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Noctum
Final Sacrifice
November 2013
Released: 2013, Metal Blade Records
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson

Sweden's Noctum follow fellow countrymen Ghost into the classic metal revivalist breach – though without the garish costuming or ever-present schtick. Boasting a sound that is heavily influenced by Mercyful Fate/early King Diamond – most obviously in rangey, occasionally falsetto vocals of David Indelöf, not to mention his affinity for human bone accoutrements – and the new wave of British heavy metal, Noctum proudly wave the early '80s flag, and with more genuine affinity than Ghost who, to me, seem like some sort of put-on or con job.



Indeed, Noctum are more than a bit too reverential in their old school inclinations. They do a great job of capturing the sound, mood and aura of the era, but don't do a whole to make it more their own or give it a contemporary spin. The retro production, gritty hooks, understated complexity and nifty guitar interplay, occult-inspired lyrics and, once again, the Diamond-esque vocals are all spot-on here, but too often it seems more like karaoke than something new, exciting or different.



There are exceptions, like the calamitous finale to “Azoth” or the buoyant, infectious “Resurrected In Evil” with its ringing guitar solos. But listen to the punchy “Temple of the Living Dead” or the towering “The Revisit” with your eyes closed, and you'd swear they were something from Don't Break The Oath if you didn't know any better. They're both terrific songs, don't get me wrong, but if imitation is the highest form of flattery, then King Diamond's probably blushing underneath his corpse paint right about now.



And that's the maddening rub with Final Sacrifice. Noctum have crafted a great collection of creepy, riffy and undeniably enjoyable songs here. But it all sounds so familiar. It's one thing to honor your influences, it's another to simply mimic them. And while Noctum don't seem anywhere near as calculating or gimmicky as Ghost, playing copycat is still playing copycat.
Track Listing

1. Conflagration
2. Liberty In Death
3. Resurrected In Evil
4. Deadly Connection
5. Void of Emptiness
6. The Revisit
7. A Burning Will
8. Temple Of The Living Dead
9. Azoth

Lineup

David Indelöf - guitar/vocals
Daniel Johansson - guitar
Tobias Rosén - bass
Fredrik Jansson - drums

Other reviews

» Final Sacrifice
by Peter Atkinson

» Final Sacrifice
by Helias Papadopoulos


Next review: » Noctum - Final Sacrifice
Previous review: » Noctuary - WHEN FIRES BREED BLOOD

Noctum
Final Sacrifice
February 2014
Released: 2013, Metal Blade
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Helias Papadopoulos

Could anyone think of a band that can create a perfect soundtrack for Halloween’s celebration except for Mercyful Fate?



The answer is yes: Noctum and their second album, FINAL SACRIFICE. This is the new dark, ambient horror, heavy metal album in the bans of Mercyful Fate and early Black Sabbath and in parts early Iron Maiden. When I first put this album in my stereo, I was scared shitless. This is an album that would scare everyone at nights. Hank Shermann guitarring is of course the guide for this album and King Diamond’s vocals are the homework that David Indelöf has had to do. FINAL SACRIFICE is the auditory version of Lovecraft’s tales. The Swedish quartet dared to make an old school horror concept album in the vintage progressive metal tradition that the legendary Mercyful Fate did.



From the first second to the last one, the songs are catchy (not in a mainstream way and radio-friendly one), grabbing and drenched in a 70’s occult atmosphere. No, Noctum is NOT another sludge-doom-heavy band that belongs in the modern revival of that subgenre. Without any excess and exaggeration, not only there are not any fillers here, but also all the tracks are exemplary songs and perfectly built music compositions that constitute a tapestry of 80’s heavy metal music that is so missed.



FINAL SACRIFICE is an album that every fan of the 80’s metal must have. The galloping guitar riffs, the special and King Diamond-like vocals and the rhythm section that is as tight as Butler’s and Ward’s one. This was an unexpectedly and surprisingly Heavy Metal diamond that amazed us with its harmonies and leads that bring to mind anything and everything from early Iron Maiden, Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest, Sabbath and of course , for one more time, Mercyful Fate.
Track Listing

1. Conflagration
2. Liberty in Death
3. Resurrected in Evil
4. Deadly Connection
5. Void of Emptiness
6. The Revisit
7. A Burning Will
8. Temple of the Living Dead
9. Azoth

Lineup

David Indelöf - Guitar/Vocals
Daniel Johansson - Guitar
Tobias Rosén - Bass
Fredrik Jansson – Drums.

Other reviews

» Final Sacrifice
by Peter Atkinson

» Final Sacrifice
by Helias Papadopoulos


Next review: » Nocturnal - ARRIVAL OF THE CARNIVORE
Previous review: » Noctuary - WHEN FIRES BREED BLOOD





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