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National Napalm Syndicate
June 2003
Released: 2003, Self-released
Rating: 3.2/5
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen

Who could have ever guessed, another a relatively semi-legendary Finnish Thrash Metal outfit from the northern part of Finland, National Napalm Syndicate (or just N.N.S.) are amongst us again as they regrouped recently. The band released their debut album in 1989 and then split up even before it was released through EMI Finland back in the day (!).N.N.S. were undoubtedly one of the first Finnish Metal bands that felt comfortable churning out aggressive Speed/Thrash Metal in their own unique and well recognizable style. Their debut album (10 tracks in total) contained a decent package of sheer metal mayhem for all Speed/Thrash suckers, of which such songs as “Lucy”, “Where Fears Reign” and “14U” could be considered sort of the band´s best works back then. (In my opinion. If that is what you are eagerly wanting to hear from me. No, I didn’t think it was.)

Those days are gone and the N.N.S. dudes (not with the original line-up, though) recorded their new 4-song promo that introduces us both to something old and something new as far as the band´s original sound is concerned.

What is old, then? Well, some of the familiar Thrash riffs are still there; I mean, some of those trademark riffs that were an essential part of the band´s sound in the past. And that´s a really cool thing in my opinion ´coz at least the guys do show some respect to traditions, if you know what I mean. Probably the3rd song titled “Hate Crimes” is the one that has the greatest tendency to kick your fat ass. Also, the 1st song off the promo, “Tribulations of the Automata” has some classy N.N.S.–vibes going on that pretty much reminds me of the band´s past hectic, “mosh-it-up!” -times. Pretty damn cool song all in all.

As for “new” in the N.N.S. sound, the biggest difference without a doubt is the new vocalist. Altti Veteläinen (ex-Eternal Tears of Sorrow, For My Pain) has been recruited as the new N.N.S. frontman to replace the band´s original shouter named Aku Raaska. In all honesty, Altti´s vocal style simply doesn´t fit into the N.N.S. sound well at all. His raspy, dry and nearly growling vocal parts obviously aren´t meant for N.N.S. Something obviously needs to be done ´coz I don´t think the way he pulls his vocals through in N.N.S. will lead anywhere in the long run. It´s actually quite unfortunate that he did the vocals for the promo in the very first place. If he just could have concentrated on playing bass in N.N.S. instead of singing in the band at all?! Oh well...

If this 4-song promo has been done for the purpose of getting signed by a label, then I sincerely wish them good luck. Possibly after a few hard practice sessions, they might be more ready to do a couple of their “little miracles” song-wise again, but, of course, that only remains to be seen...
Track Listing

01. Tribulations of the Automata
02. Asleep at the Wheel
03. Hate Crimes
04. The Remains Burn


Altti Veteläinen – Vocals
Markku Jokikokko – Guitar
Jukka Kyrö – Guitar
Tero Nevala – Bass
Jari Kaiponen – Drums

Next review: » National Napalm Syndicate - Devolution of Species
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