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Carpe Noctem - Vitrun

Carpe Noctem
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 26 November 2018, 6:35 AM

Formed in Reykjavík during the month of November 2005, CARPE NOCTEM quickly earned a reputation of intense performances on stage, while rising as one of Iceland's leading acts in black metal. The music shows various influences and expresses extreme opposites, forming a raw, chaotic and apocalyptic soundscape combined with Icelandic lyrics referencing Norse mythology, occult writings, apocalyptic prophecies and Icelandic black magic rituals. Five years later the band is back with the second album, titled “Vitrun,” again on Code666 Records.

“Songurrin sem omar milli stjaranna” leads off the album, in a traditional FWOBM method. The guitars keep a constant buzzing in your ears while the vocals are low grunts that don’t overpower the music. “Upplausn” opens quietly, and with some mystery, and some super-low, fat bass notes. When the main riff comes in, it’s quite frightening. The guitars keep a steady presence while the vocals dart in and out. It’s like a summoning ritual of sorts. For the last two minutes, the song descends deeper and deeper, until all is black. “Og hofia fylltist af reyk” opens with a slower pace and some eerie guitar notes. It slowly begins to pick up, at first with a dissonant guitar riff, until the fury hits you head on. Armies of demons begin to gather in the abyss, in a chaotic fashion, taking order from the Dark Lord himself. Cold winds blow vehemently, turning your blood to ice.

“Her hvilir bolvun” is the second longest song on the album, at close to eleven minutes. Calm, dissonant guitar notes open the song. You can feel the fury coming however. Slowly, more instrumentation fills in, and you await the bomb. But the contrast is exceptional. Instead of one major moment, they are able to build chaos slowly, until it is simply all around you. “Ur beinum og brjoksi” is a brief four minutes, of eerie guitars and the sound of beast slowing awakening from his slumber. It keeps a steady, mesmerizing rhythm throughout. The beastly “Sa sem slitur vaengi flugunnar hefur naa hugljonam” closes the album, at close to 12 minutes. Discordant guitar riffs combine with desolate vocals, the kind that leave you gutted. It’s the perfect ending to the album; leaving you with no shred of hope left.

What really make the album as good as it is, is the cold, sterile qualities of the songs. They come into your world and suck everything out of you, whole and complete. You are left with your carcass frozen in the tundra of life, thousands of miles from existence. It’s almost as if you ever lived in the first place. Being that the band is from Iceland is the perfect backdrop for this album.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Songurrin sem omar milli stjaranna
2. Upplausn
3. Og hofia fylltist af reyk
4. Her hvilir bolvun
5. Ur beinum og brjoksi
6. Sa sem slitur vaengi flugunnar hefur naa hugljonam
Alexander – Vocals & Lyrics
Andri – Guitars
Árni – Bass
Helgi – Drums & Percussion
Tómas – Guitars
Record Label: Code 666


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