Released: 2006, Poison Arrow Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Dinosaurs ceased to exist millions of years ago; and many metal bands that once were out there - making lots of noise around them, also disbanded for many years ago. You assume this kind of never expected them to come back again. What is certain, however, the dinosaurs won´t come back. But what has already happened is that many of these once-dead-and-mummified metal bands have made their resurrections - and one of them is the Finnish National Napalm Syndicate. N.N.S., as many Finns surely remember them by this shorter name, were actually one of the very first Speed/Thrash Metal bands coming out from Finland back in the day who had a strong fanbase even by international standards.
A couple of demos (PAINFUL TEN HOURS, released ´87 and AT THE TIME OF THE FULL MOON, released ´88) and one self-titled full-leght album (´89) behind their back with the first line-up, the band split-up for a couple of years ´til was resurrected in 2003 by a new line-up. This new N.N.S. line-up had only the band´s original guitarists left from their past team as the rest of ex-members had build up their own careers in the other fields of life, letting N.N.S. to rot in its own silent grave for time being.
One fact still remains the same: It´s been 17 long years since N.N.S.´s debut album was released through EMI Records (the Finnish division), so for the N.N.S. diggers, who have still been there - waiting for this somewhat semi-legendary Finnish Speed/Thrash Metal band to be resurrected, all of your prayers have finally been answered.
RESURRECTION OF THE WICKED contains 10 new N.N.S. tunes that are all loaded with a good try and mentality to show to everyone that "we are back... are you ready for us?" - and I guess that method is working quite well - at least it did for me. However, I think one warning is justified with this new record with N.N.S. tho. If you expect them to sound like they did back in the day in 1989, then you will get mildly disappointed because they don´t sound like much of that band any more you may remember them sounding on the band´s self-titled debut album. This has naturally been caused by the fact the band line-up has changed so drastically over the years - not to forget this ´minor´ 17 years cap between the band´s nearly fossilized debut release and this new effort from them, RESURRECTION.
To put some more facts straight, N.N.S. can still combine a good load of somewhat catchy Speed - and Thrash Metal elements effortlessly on RESURRECTION. They have enough experience and ears to put together a relatively pleasing wholeness. The albums first 4 songs, "Corrosion of Humanity", "Fallen to Pieces", "Determination (someone likes obviously ripping Slayer off, heh!)" and "The Cross (I Have to Bear)" speak all for great volumes about that. As for the so-called ´so-so´ -department of satisfaction, "The Undertaker" just hasn´t got enough punch to get my dick up for a wild action; and the same goes for "Hell to Pay" even if I admit both songs do have their occasional moments.
"The Cure" wins lots of points for its side by having a very memorable chorus part which is supported by a good guitar work of both Jukka and Markku. "Nothing but Anger" is also a nicely thrashing, up-tempo Speed Metal song that could also be proclaimed as one of the better tunes on RESURRECTION. "Sleep at the Wheel", on the other hand, gets relatively easily "so-so" stamps all over it by sounding just teeny-weeny... (eh!), a ´so-so´-song. The last NEW song on N.N.S.´s hope-arousing comeback record, "Iron Horse (Terorizer)" is a pleasingly rollin´ fast tempo song ´til calming down in the 2:07 minute mark, and turning out to reach a wonderfully eerie atmosphere for the last 3-minutes. This particular song in question basically contains all those essential ingredients how I personanlly would like to see them developing their sound in the future. It´s surely N.N.S.´ ´ace-of-spaces´ song on RESURRECTION, no doubts!
For the old fans the band has cleverly added a ´hidden track´ on the album which is one of the very first songs that these Finnish napalm syndicates have ever penned down. The song is titled "Life Is Pain", the 2nd song off the band´s debut demo that was released in 1987. The main riff plus the chorus part still sound recognizable when throwing a strict comparison to the original version from the song, so it´s definitely great to get some of that old magic and mayhem back these guys were able to produce in the late eighties. In fact, the PAINFUL TEN HOURS demo where "Life is Pain" has been ripped from, was the very first ´official´Finnish Speed/Thrash Metal demo that was released in Finland ever if you are after for some history lessons off the Finnish Speed - and Thrash Metal. Another legendary N.N.S. -track, "Werewolf, the Obsession" from the same demo, would have been way cooler choice for a song to be resurrected in my opinion tho. But it´s just a matter of taste in the end, of course.
RESURRECTION OF THE WICKED is a good comeback album from N.N.S. of which they shouldn´t be ashamed of making it a bit at all. And it´s great to have them back again, keeping in our minds that N.N.S. is one of the most valuable and important bands in the whole history of Finnish metal - just like A.R.G. (stands for Ancient Rotten Graveguards), but that´s a whole lot different story there.
Anyways, feel warmly welcomed back N.N.S. - it´s overall a nice resurrection you have made on the new album. ;o)