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Noctem - Exilium Award winner

Noctem
Exilium
by Erika Kuenstler at 10 April 2014, 10:21 PM

NOCTEM is a Spanish Blackened Death Metal band with Thrash elements, and have just released their third full-length album “Exilium”. And what a milestone it really is! Not only do I think that this album is inarguably NOCTEM’s best album to date, but I would even go as far as saying that this release is amongst the top Blackened Death Metal albums I have ever heard. This is NOCTEM’s first album with their new drummer Vhert and new guitarist Nekros, and with these two additions, NOCTEM seems to have found a lineup that is the formula for the complete domination of the world of Extreme Metal, with each band member doing an absolutely phenomenal job in creating an album that can only be described as an apocalyptic masterpiece.

With an agitated orchestral opening that soon swells to incorporate a choral element “Enuma Elish” is a perfectly composed intro that melds seamlessly into the first track, “Apsu Dethroned” and puts the listener in the perfect mood for the rest of the album. The start of “Namtar’s Crown” is perhaps fragmented and disorganised, but this chaotic sound nevertheless lends the album certain freshness, although this in no way implies that any part of it can be described as lacklustre. Acoustic sections in songs like “The Rising Horns” and “Halo of Repugnance” give the listener a brief respite before one is once again cast into a maelstrom of blast beats, searing riffs, and grim vocals.

Feverish, frantic and fast-paced, NOCTEM take everything that is divine and beautiful and send it plummeting down an infernal abyss. They lay waste to everything that is pure and virtuous, and mutate the wreckage into sepulchre strains of venom, aggression, and misanthropy. This is particularly true of songs such as “Halo of Repugnance”, which starts out with a frenetically devout angelic voice that soon begins to be corrupted by malignant guitar riffs and ungodly vocals that completely shatter any remnants of anything deific. This angelic chanting makes a very brief resurgence, a last flicker of sanctity, before NOCTEM brutally extinguish this, sending the listener into the most abysmal pit of infernal darkness. On an album that is absolutely outstanding in every aspect, it is difficult to find one particular track that really shines through; yet having said that, the one song which absolutely won over my heart was “Eidelon”, the track which the band also recently released the music video to. Incorporating a fiery power and dark majesty reminiscent of mid-era BEHEMOTH, “Eidelon” is a simultaneously uplifting and yet crushingly devastating magnum opus that you can completely lose yourself in.

Overall, this is a stunning, full, and complex album that is without a shadow of a doubt a must-have for any fans of the genre; it simply is the closest thing imaginable to the apotheosis of Blackened Death Metal. It is an addictive darkened onslaught which is impossible to resist; one listen and I guarantee you will be just as hooked as I am.

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Enuma Elish
2. Apsu Dethroned
3. Decrepit Human Kingdom
4. Namtar’s Crown
5. The Rising Horns
6. Halo of Repugnance
7. Egregor
8. The Splint of Destinations
9. Eidolon
10. The Adamantine Doors
Lineup:
Exo – Guitars
Beleth – Vocals
UI – Bass
Vhert – Drums
Nekros – Guitars
Record Label: Independent
     


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