Album Review: Night Fighter – Unholy Sepulchre

In recent years, Scotland has been becoming a hotbed of awesome metal talent. Enter one of the latest additions to the Scottish scene: Glasgow’s poser-killing, deathrashing black speed metal one-man-band – Night Fighter! Forming last year, Night Fighter has wasted no time in launching aural assaults with the duo of singles, “Hell Thrashing Savagery” and “Beerhammer” at the end of 2019. Fast forward to June 2020 and the first LP, Unholy Sepulchre, has already been unleashed.

The opening title track sets the tone with the initial spooky voices bursting into some straight up old-skool thrash. The sound is lo-fi and fuzzy, giving that early black thrash feel of the mid-80’s Euro thrash but with the clarity of the programmed drums. The riffing is simple and in your face and guaranteed to get the headbanging. Follow up “Hellthrashing Savagery” continues the trend with more no-nonsense old-skool punky riffing. The lyrics are a little cheesy but in a good way, referencing numerous classic thrash albums that have undoubtedly influenced Night Fighter. The slamming outro riffing bursts instantly into the frantic speed metal attack of “Traitor’s Grave”. The sharp transition to the more NWOBHM style second half of the song is seamless, bringing in slightly more melodic vibes.

Marking the halfway point is “Leather Offender” bringing a chunkier sound and swinging pace before making a straightforward punk rock racket. At this point, it must be said the variety of vocal styles Night Fighter display is awesome. There are all the best bits of vocal styles from across the extreme metal spectrum from gruff growls, to throaty barks and high screams. Next number “Beerhammer” brings a more slow early black metal vibe with the buzzsaw blasting power chord slides. At the halfway point the song bursts into another barrage of punk with some frenzied soloing before returning to the swinging verse. The “No glamour! Beerhammer!” refrain in the chorus is certain to be a shoutalong moment at live shows.

Penultimate number “Barbaric Cruelty” ramps the tempo up to full deathrash in the intro with zombified growls over the intense chugging guitars. With a roar of the title, the riffs return to the punky speed metal sound at a steadier headbanging pace. The bass is more prominent here, with a gnarly fuzzy overtone above the rumbling lows. Closer “Live Hard Diehard” goes full on NWOBHM-esque speed metal, with higher double-stop chord ideas mixed with more shouted vocals and high screams.

Unholy Sepulchre is a celebration of the fun side of classic extreme metal. There’s elements of old-skool thrash, death, black and speed metal all blended well with classic metal and punk styles. All packaged with some cool hand-drawn black and white cover art. A lot of the songs feel like there’s almost a party vibe that would be fun at live shows. Night Fighter brings a rough, raucous old-skool metal riot with Unholy Sepulchre and with work on its follow-up EP already underway, it’s exciting to see what hellthrashing savagery is coming next.

Unholy Sepulchre is available now digitally via the Night Fighter Bandcamp, and on physical formats via Alone Records.

Night Fighter: facebook | bandcamp | spotify

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