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Nocte Obducta - Irrlicht Award winner

Nocte Obducta
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 21 September 2020, 7:45 AM

NOCTE OBDUCTA is a German avant-garde black metal band formed in 1995.  They have been out a long time and their large discography reflects this— “Irrlicht” is the band’s twelfth full length album, in addition to having an EP and one demo. “Irrlicht” is definitely not your average black metal album—and that is a good aspect.  I immediately noticed how guitar oriented it is.  That isn’t to say the other instruments aren’t on firm display here or that it lacks atmosphere but it worships the almighty riff rather than focusing on only setting a certain mood.

However, I detect a playfulness to much of the album.  It is a deadly serious album, mind you, but I can’t help but think the band must had a blast putting it all together.  The avant-garde aspects of the album are during the album’s lighter moments, where cracks of light shine through the darkness.  In these moments, it isn’t necessarily what is played that sticks with you but the hidden notes in between. But these aspects don’t betray or downplay the fact this is still black metal.  There is enough appropriately raw moments and frozen textures spread throughout to please fans of the genre.

Zurück im bizarren Theater,” opens the album the right way with the guitars up front and leading the charge.  The vocals soon join, an extreme growl that is caught somewhere between death growls and blackened shrieks. The song’s mid portion goes a little heavy on the genre’s more traditional elements but it doesn’t last long.  The “quiet” section around the 4:45 mark is serene in a morbid way. “Rot und Grau,” features beginning melodies that are quiet and far away, like the drops of water from a deep cave’s ceiling.  The song is spread out among very ambient, detached moments that speak louder than they sound.  The clean vocals at the end are a nice cap on a song that stepped outside the box very well.

Der alte Traum,” shows, in part, the band flexing a bit of their musical muscle.  The first five minutes is straight up black metal rage.  Afterwards, spacey and cold melodies hit the song as the rest of the instruments come in behind it, very subtle but also very focused on execution.  The last minute and half or so is one made of thicker than usual black metal riffs, bass that provides a melodic foundation for the vocals to play off of.

The last track, “Noch,” is over ten minutes in length and maybe the best track on the album.  Watery melodies come in around the 3:20 mark, after the black metal beginning has its feel. The accompanying passage is near alien feeling but finds a more natural footing when the rest of the band comes in.  A similar part returns around the 7:45 mark but comes with more guitar for the second round. All in all, NOCTE OBDUCTA’s “Irrlicht” is a solid blast of fresh air for black metal this year and you could do a lost worse than check this album out.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Zurück im bizarren Theater
2. Von Stürzen in Mondmeere
3. Rot und Grau
4. Der Greis und die Reiterin
5. Der alte Traum
6. Bei den Ruinen
7. Noch
Marcel – Bass, Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals
Torsten – Vocals
Matze – Drums
Stefan – Guitars, Vocals
Heidig – Bass
Record Label: Supreme Chaos Records


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