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Ars Nocturna - Nyarlathotep

Ars Nocturna
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 07 September 2020, 6:49 AM

ARS NOCTURNA is a Russian extreme metal band that include elements of melodic death and black metal. They formed in 2009 as NOCTURNE but changed to their present name in 2013. “Nyarlathotep,” is their second full length album. There are a lot of different elements at play throughout the album’s eight track, thirty five minute runtime.  Fortunately, the band is rather adapt at playing what they want and switching things up on the fly.

The first track, “Broken,” begins with energetic riffs and fast paced drumming.  The song quickly settles into a groove, thanks in so small part to vocalist Maxim, who has an unique but wonderful voice for this style.  His voice is caught somewhere between spoken word, growls, blackened howls and rough cleans—he does a bit of everything and, just like the band, does it on very solid ground. About halfway through the song it picks up a middle eastern flavor to the music, adding a whole new style and dimension just in the first track alone.

Sancti Bestia,” is, at least in the beginning, a slower track with an emphasis on slow, grinding doom style riffs.  The drums and vocals both pound away at a steady rhythm for an almost military type of cadence but the song keeps circling back to those opening riffs for maximum damage. The aptly named “Terror,” is my favorite on the album.  As the title would suggest, this song brings with it a dangerous atmosphere and foreboding warnings.  But it also brings excellent riffs, bass, and tight drumming.  After the solo, the song gets even better.  A menacing riff and vocal performance leads the rest of the remaining minutes down the rabbit hole to an ending that seems like it will end with black metal intensity but is instead surprisingly melodic.
Osiris,” is an Egyptian style track that is extremely intense.  The fast paced vocal delivery rolls right alongside the riffs and rolling drums.  There is an undeniable groove to this song, one that kept me coming back to it over and over again.  I loved the riffs around the 2:11 mark and the pace of the song that accompanies it.  The inhuman screams and dizzying riffs at the song’s end just add icing to the cake.

Akhenaten,” is another album favorite because of not only the energy to the song’s fervor but I can just tell the whole band loved to do this one as well.  This song contains riffs for days, a slick guitar solo, and the near nonstop rumble of double bass to hold it all in.  All in all, ARS NOCTURNA’s “Nyarlathotep,” is a surprisingly diverse, and fun, extreme metal album that will appeal to fans of a variety of styles and sub genres.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Broken
2. Apophis
3. Sancti Bestia
4. Ajattara
5. Terror
6. Akhenaten
7. Osiris
8. Sine Te
Ivan Volkov – Drums
Georgy Voloshin – Guitars
Sergey Gavrilyuk – Bass
Maxim Spassky – Vocals
Maxim Ermilov – Guitars
Record Label: Haarbn Productions


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