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Nocturnal Prayer – Advance on Weakened Foes

Nocturnal Prayer
Advance on Weakened Foes
by Gary Hernandez at 21 April 2020, 9:56 AM

NOCTURNAL PRAYER is a Black Metal trio from Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. They released their first demo, “Grim Sermons of the Nocturnal Prayer” in 2019 and their second, “May You Lay Waste to Astral Gods with Star Disintegration,” in early 2020. On April 2, 2020 they compiled the demos and released them as a full-length album entitled “Advance on Weakened Foes.” This album has a lot going for it. It captures the fierce rawness of this band and gives you an immediate sense of how quickly they’re evolving. Oh, and did I mention this is 43 minutes of killer evil aggressiveness that will violate your soul in the most exquisite way? So, it has that going for it too.

As a Black Metal band, NOCTURNAL PRAYER leans toward the Thrash side of the spectrum with raucous, punkish riffs; riotous vocals that are harsh and hypersonically energized; and drums that are . . . well, the drums and bass are both too flattened to really standout, but they’re good enough. NOCTURNAL PRAYER is at their best when they drop teeth-rattling riffs so distorted they disrupt low-flying aircraft. Thankfully this a recurrent theme throughout both demos.

Side one of the album, or the first five tracks if you buy it digitally, comprise their 2019 demo. Although each of these tracks are great examples of visceral, no frills metal stripped to a lo-fi denominator, it’s the cover of BLACK MURDER’s “The Last Supper” (track five) that wins the most favored track award. “Alignment of Souls” (track four) is also very good. In fact, it feels like tracks one through three are just warm-ups to these two mega tracks.

Perhaps it’s the lead-in of the last two tracks on side one, but with the side two, you can hear significant growth in the band’s sound. For one, the mix is deeper, and we all know that down-tuned equals gravity. Best tracks on this side are “Howling the Bastard Night on Snow Covered Castles,” which is also a great title and would make an awesome name for a band, and “Echoing Thine Molten Might,” which features riffs that are equal parts haunting and blistering. Like their first demo, the second demo, or side two, also presents a cover. This one is from MOONBLOOD, “Blut und Krieg,” (trans: blood and war). It’s a significant and solid rendering which gives a nod to its originators while still taking bow for the makeover.

This compilation is a blast. It provides an unadulterated view of an emergent band that doesn’t need hide behind gimmicks or marketing ploys — it’s just straight up primal metal. While part of me would love to hear these demos re-mixed or redone, I also love that they were captured here, authentic and raw.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 5

3 Star Rating

Side A - Grim Sermons of the Nocturnal Prayer
1. Glistening Sword upon Thy Savior
2. Basking in Corporeal Destruction
3. Winter Winds and Cold Towers
4. Alignment of Skulls
5. The Last Supper (Black Murder cover)

Side B - May You Lay Waste to Astral Gods with Star Disintegration
6. Seven Sceptres to Inflict His Spell
7. Howling the Bastard Night on Snow Covered Castles
8. Blut und Krieg (Moonblood cover)
9. Echoing Thine Molten Might
10. May You Lay Waste to Astral Gods with Star Disintegration
Nausea - Drums
Murder - Guitars, Bass
Cancer - Vocals
Record Label: Infernal Profundus Records


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