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Nocturnal Torment – They Come at Night

Nocturnal Torment
They Come at Night
by Eric “Carnegie” Hall at 12 April 2012, 2:50 PM

NOCTURNAL TORMENT, besides being slightly more horrible then diurnal torment, is also an American Metal band hailing from the very same state I currently live in: Indiana. In fact, they are located in the very same town as me. Fear not, I am not a loyal man, to my state, city, town, or country. In all honesty, I don’t like much. In that sense, I don’t like anything that has committed the crime of existing near me for any perceptible amount of time. So leave any thoughts of bias at the door. Or keyboard. Whatever. They will be reviewed fairly.

Signed to something called Deathgasm Records, I can only wonder exactly what a “Deathgasm” is, or if it’s some kind of medical issue I should be contacting my doctor about. “They Come at Night” is NOCTURNAL TORMENT’s freshman album, following their 2009 demo, “Consecrated”. They also boast an album cover that has me getting the strong inclination to either laugh at its cartoonishness or snicker at its overdone attempt to look badass. Don’t ask me if this is a bad or good thing, because I haven’t decided yet.

Alright, if it seems like I’m dodging reviewing the actual album with terrible jokes about the meaning of “Deathgasm”, it’s because I am. And that is because I really can’t think of much to say. The album is not bad by anystretch of the imagination, but it also isn’t a smash-away killer. But it is good. Pretty damn good, but still just good. I got the strong sense of MORBID ANGEL and their first album, “Altars of Madness” - almost too strong a sense, to be fair.

More in-depth, what I can say is that the album is a decent piece of local Metal. It works well in the idea of the “small-time gem”. The riffing is nothing spectacular, although every once in a while they do step into a catchy little ditty. And yes, “They Come at Night” does have a couple really good tracks. But amongst nine, a couple isn’t a particularly large amount. As for the vocals, they’re standard Death Metal style: guttural and growly, with a side of snarl. Our two guitarists, Mark Schultz and Tom Stathis, share vocal duties. But to be honest, one of them sounds like Trey Azagthoth, and the other sounds like Trey Azagthoth with a snappy hat! (This is just a fancy way of saying they are identical in vocal timbre and tone)

But the sentence after this one will tell you where they are losing points. It’s the soloing. It’s just not particularly amazing or ear-catching. Sometimes it really does sound as if the soloist is hitting anyrandom, unrelated note at any one time. This means the solos only work on the shred level. The minute you try to mentally dissect them, they fall apart faster than a sandcastle being pissed on. As well, does Peter Clemens actually play the bass guitar? Or was he just in the studio holding a bass for moral support? Because I can’t hear him, and that is sad.

So, “They Come at Night” is a mixed bag. It’s got some good riffs and hooks, but the lack of anything to really stand above the pack of other Death Metal outfits is a bit of a letdown. But, you know what? They do the genre well, and that is a rarity these days. Maybe that is enough to stand out?

Oh, and I’ve decided the cover art and it’s oddness to be a good thing. Plus one point.

3 Star Rating

1. Vile Affliction
2. Alternative Reality
3. Cycle of Life
4. Fresh Flesh Fetish
5. Bleeding
6. Sweet Decay
7. Forever Eternal Darkness
8. They Come at Night
9. Primordial Existence
Mark Schultz– Guitars/Vocals
Tom Stathis– Guitars/Vocals
Peter Clemens– Bass
Dave Ross– Drums
Record Label: Deathgasm Records


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