The band play Blackened Death Metal with a bit of pomp and plenty of bite.
After a symphonic intro the first track proper Apsu Dethroned wastes no time introducing you to the band’s particular brand of blasting and heaviness. What is not quite as expected, however, is the orchestral accompaniment that forms a nice link to the intro.
It’s a great touch that precedes the actual singer who belches out occult growls with the fervour of the possessed. His is an unrelenting, uncompromising style that gives no quarter and knows no mercy.
The rest of the album continues the theme of a Death Metal band with Blackened influences that incorporates plenty of interesting ideas and sounds into their Extreme Metal repertoire.
The brutality and blast beats of their core Death Metal sound share space with more melodic riffs and a healthy dose of Black Metal influences. The orchestral sounds/choirs/keyboards add a deeper layer to Noctem’s identity and are embedded well rather than just sounding tacked on.
The musicianship is first rate, with the drumming being a precision assault and guitar solos and leads flashing by like lightning. It’s all wrapped up in a stellar production job that allows everything to shine and just sounds crushing.
None of this would have any longevity of course if it wasn’t for the songs themselves. The band show quite capably that they can write a good tune and Exilium is full of them.
If you take elements of bands like Behemoth, Nile, Atrocity and Septic Flesh, mix them in a blender and make a tasty hate-filled frothy shake then Noctem would be the cream.
A high quality, ambitious release; Noctem have proven they have what it takes to become forerunners in the Extreme Metal world.
Watch them go.