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Noctambulist – Noctambulist 1: Elegieen Award winner

Noctambulist 1: Elegieen
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 05 January 2021, 7:04 AM

Hailing from The Netherlands and formed in 2016, NOCTAMBULIST present their debut album here, titled “Noctambulist 1: Elegieen,” which contains six tracks. The label themselves as Post-Black/Black/Death Metal, and amalgam of a few different styles. “Elegieën” leads off the album, a quick one-minute mood setting instrumental. Sounds are tense at first, with soft spoken word, and you get the feeling something will soon be unleashed.

“Klatergoud” begins with a heavy and aggressive Black Metal sound, before settling into a more ambient and sad groove. At the half-way mark, the riff changes to a charged sound, complete with tortured and anguished screams. It begins to get progressively sadder, but that heaviness is still there. “De Leegte Wenkt” is over eight-minutes in length, and opens with some clean and melancholy guitar tones, with whispered vocals. Screams come in, but the original melody is retained. The juxtaposition of the two styles is quite marked. It picks up towards the end, with a raucous and raging end.

“Vagevuur” opens with tender clean guitar notes and a slight feeling of sadness. The main riff drops hard, then it eases back with a bit of melody. The two competing styles then merge, creating this awful beauty that is marred with harsh vocals and sad guitar tones. It builds to a frightening yet inviting crescendo at the end. “Vreugd” is a ten-minute beast. It begins with softer tones in the guitars, yet heavy drumming. The sound drops to an ambient passage just before the half-way mark, with melancholy guitars and a charming little melody that is easy on the ears. It begins to crescendo, then backs off, then picks up again.

“Kraaienmars” closes the album, at close to fourteen-minutes in length. It begins with a dull and steady passage of clean guitars. The anguished screams come in, but the melody in the guitars remains. Then, the steady drone returns. It’s so pretty but also so draining at the same time. Then, an absolutely fervent sound is presented, thick with guitars and harsh vocals. After the half-way mark, the guitars kick in hard, providing a mesmerizing sound that just sucks you in. The song ends with strings so beautiful it threatens to suck out your soul.

The constant pushing and pulling between heavy and melodic passages, done with full transitions, is what sets the album apart. There are moments of absolute dread, along with chillingly beautiful moments, and the band knows precisely when and where to pour it on or let it slide. I have always said that beauty can be found in the darkness, and that is no exception on this album. The compositions are breathtaking, and while one hand pummels down on your head, the other hand raises you up into the clouds. There are elements that all fans of any kind of music will find to their liking here.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Elegieën
2. Klatergoud
3. De Leegte Wenkt
4. Vagevuur
5. Vreugd
6. Kraaienmars
Record Label: Northern Silence Productions


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