One of the very earliest manifestations of death metal on wax, Slaughter’s 1986 debut EP is a primordial blast of skull-crushing brutality-- equal parts Celtic Frost, Discharge, and Possessed, and every bit as heavy as that sounds. Urbain Grandier now presents the first-ever legitimate reissue of this ground-breaking Canadian slab in its original 7” form, in a high-quality, hand-numbered one-time pressing of 500 copies on white vinyl with insert, in pocket sleeve featuring art by OG Toronto thrash artist Harry Tong (Slaughter, Sacrifice).
Our take: Official reissue of the first EP from this legendary Canadian metal band. According to the label’s description, Nocturnal Hell was one of the first death metal records to appear on vinyl, but to my ears it’s not as singular as the pioneering records by bands like Possessed and Death that would come out thereafter; which isn’t a comment on the record’s quality, just a note that it’s still apparent here which ingredients go in the death metal stew: thrash metal, early black metal, and hardcore punk. I hear bits that remind me of Celtic Frost, GBH, and DRI, bringing together the most evil and sinister-sounding elements of all of those bands’ sounds. This is a record you should know if you’re interested in the history of death metal, but even without the historical context this is a ripper.