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Nocturnal - The Greater Emptiness

The Greater Emptiness
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 09 November 2019, 1:19 AM

NOCTURNAL is a Black/Doom Metal band from South Australia.  “The Greater Emptiness,” is their third release, in addition to two demos.  The overall feeling of the album is definitely one ridden in despair and forgotten hope.  The production, which I really enjoyed, really amplifies this by providing the raw approach that Black Metal is known for but deep enough to contain the black hole of Doom.

The first track, “My Temple,” is a strong start to the album.  The guitars begin with a resounding ring before the bass adds in another layer as the minutes pass by.  The song builds up to the main riffs—it is heavy, with Doom influences but also strangely melodic.  Solus’s vocals are a Blackened scream but robust enough not to sound shrill of too monotonous.  Around three and a half minutes into the track, earth shattering double bass boosts the track’s intensity by tenfold.  The tempo changes and the band goes broke for a strong finish.

My Flesh Is But Rot,” opens with some killer melodic guitar leads on top of Blackened riffs and excellent drums—I really enjoyed that, despite the Blackened aspect to their music, the drums were not constantly hammering a thousand miles an hour.  Too many Black Metal bands do this and it gets old quick—NOCTURNAL’s drum takes a smarter but no less intense approach. Whereas “My Flesh Is But Rot,” was heavy on the Doom, the title track, “The Greater Emptiness,” definitely leans more towards Black Metal, albeit depressive.  This track changes tempo several times but in a natural way where it doesn’t feel like a roller coaster but instead a living entity of sorrow.  The last few minutes of the song contain some of the album’s best riffs and drum moments.

Song of Death,” has a really killer opening hook: strong melodies with rusty riffs that make a perfect combo and set up for the deranged vocal attack that follows. The bass guitar really stands out in this song, holding down the bottom end perfectly during the more melodic lead guitar portions of the track. “Nail,” is a frightening track, one that seduces with darkness.  The vocals here are clean but only add to the track’s harrowing and creepy feel—it is the shortest track on the album but I found it to be perfectly placed in the track listing and helped even out the album’s flow.

Shadows of Euclidean Spaces,” and it is probably the best of what I’ve heard.  The main riff is groovy as hell, something a lot of bands of this type are afraid to approach.  Around the three-minute mark, the bass throws out some great riffs while the vocals scream out from beyond before the temple changes to a faster pace.  Afterwards, the double bass approaches like an unstoppable army and ends the album on a very high note. Doom and Black Metal go so well together that I’m surprised the mashing of the two genres doesn’t happen more often.  With albums like NOCTURNAL’s “The Greater Emptiness,” a strong case has been made for the need of much, much more Blackened Doom.

Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. My Temple
2. My Flesh Is But Rot
3. The Greater Emptiness
4. Nail
5. Song of Death
6. Shadows In Euclidean Spaces
A. Frore – Drums
P. Solus – Guitars, Vocals
Record Label: Seance Records


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Edited 03 December 2022

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