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Nocturnal Fear is a thrash band obsessed with war and combat and the mythos of masculinity that's bound up in combat. The album's first track, "Cast from Heaven," begins with a montage of dialogue samples from all four Rambo movies in a (surprisingly effective) attempt to, it must be assumed, bring the listener into the warrior mind. The song itself, like the rest of the album, is bare-bones thrash with effectively nonexistent bass and blurry rhythm guitar work, though the leads come through with a fairly stinging presence. Though they can play quite well, the bandmembers are just a little too proud of their own instrumental abilities, which causes them to write songs that are two to three minutes too long -- there's way too much wanking and riff-grinding going on in the nearly seven-minute "Death Before Dishonor," which starts to feel like "death before this song's over." Ironically, the only song under five minutes long is the three-minute instrumental "Reign of Terror," which is labeled in three parts and features more sampled dialogue, this time from Conan the Barbarian (though it inexplicably doesn't use the glorious "Tell us, Conan, what is best in life? To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women" exchange). Overall, this isn't a bad record for die-hard thrash/death metal enthusiasts -- the vocals recall early acts like Obituary or Defiance more than the ultra-low guttural growl that's popular these days, which is cool. But lyrically and philosophically, it's probably gonna come a little too close to the stone-faced foolishness of Manowar for most listeners' comfort.