Noctem – Haeresis (Review)

NoctemThis is the fourth album by this Spanish blackened death metal band.

It seems like their previous album, Exilium, was only released last year, but no; it was actually 2014. So here we are now, with another 46 minutes of their dark and malevolent brand of blackened death.

First off, let’s state the obvious – Haeresis is the sound of a confident and professional band at the height of their game. This is blatantly apparent from the start.

Noctem’s fusion of the black and death metal styles is seamlessly realised across these songs, with brutality and darkness working together to conquer the light.

Like the impressive music, the vocals also blur the line between genres, with piercing shrieks, hoarser screams and pitch-black growls leading very much from the front.

Evil melodies and blackened riffs show admirable restraint when dealing the the deathly bludgeoning. Both parent styles are played to their strengths, and the songs end up erasing the line between genres with ease. I think some of my favourite parts on this release are when the band are playing blisteringly fast with some exquisitely nasty melodies accompanying the chaotic pestilence that they seem intent on spreading.

Little orchestral flourishes and atmospheric workouts add colour, flavour and extra intrigue to already strong songs, and Noctem essentially do whatever they feel like in their quest for misanthropic extremity. Oh, but there’s some gloriously nasty brutality on this album!

One of the important things to realise about Noctem, though, is that although they make an impressively horrible noise, there’s more to them than just extremity. More than this is the band’s appreciation and understanding of the need for effective atmosphere, feeling and nuance alongside and inside the plentiful blast beats and aggression. This is finely realised on Haeresis, meaning that the songs will far outlast other, lesser bands, whose longevity is only measured by the impact of their last blast beat.

Another top-quality release from Noctem, once more securing their reputation for being one of the best bands playing this hybrid form of extreme metal.

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