It’s a curious feature of the metal genre that the size and population of a country has no real bearing on the size and quality of its metal scene, and Spain, while blessed with sunny shores, EU membership, a booming tourism industry, football superpower status and some truly beautiful women, has never wowed the metal public with bands of real, established quality. Well, Valencia’s Noctem are trying their damnedest to change this perception of Spain and Spanish metal.
Playing a form of blackened death metal, Noctem’s philosophy in life is “cradled by the ideals of violence exaltation, misanthropy and antithesis to the totality of the absurd religions created this most excellent machine of War, which advances by leaps and bounds among the ranks of a putrid and poor social values infested civilization” (sic). Make of that what you will, but one thing you can’t deny is Noctem’s quality in the music department. A lot of the riffs sound like they were lifted either from Origin, Brain Drill or other technical death metal bands, or death metal bands of the slightly more melodic persuasion, like At The Gates, Lykathea Aflame or Nile; unfortunately, the riffs are imbued with a certain ‘cleanliness’ rather in variance with their stated ideals, and thus they possess the sterility of sound that a lot of tech death bands seem to go for. The meld of technical death metal and black metal-ish vibe is pretty well done, sounding fresh and, dare I say it, spontaneous. The vocals and drumming are pretty one-paced, one-dimensional, but there is enough – just enough – variation between clumps of songs to keep the listeners’ interest. Just keep saying to yourself, this is a band from Spain, which is about as rare as a polite Frenchman.
This is a pretty enjoyable debut record from Spain’s Noctem, and I highly recommend this if you have a bit of spare cash lying around and are quite the fan of blackened tech death metal with a melodic bent.
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