Noctem

Divinity

Written by: PP on 09/11/2010 22:17:46

Excuse my absence in the last week or so, but I've been overloaded with uni work recently to muster any additional resources into writing reviews, which is extremely bad considering how ridiculous the length of my review queue is. To compensate, however, I bring you a review of Noctem, who originate from Spain by the way, whose latest album "Divinity" contains death metal in just the format I like it the best: a brilliant contrast of extreme shredding and melodeath-inspired leads.

Now, before all you kvlt metallers wrench in disgust over how melody just doesn't fit together with extremity, let me assure you that there's nothing 'core' about this record, nor much of Gothenburg either. Instead, Noctem play traditional death metal with serpentine solos and devastating blast-beat pummeling dominating the background. But, and this is the big reason why I find them such a promising outfit, they've fully understood the importance of melody as a tool of contrast to extreme shredding. The serpentine riffs are surrounded in clean production and nice melody, and there's plenty of finger-tapping going on in many of the main riffs. Moreover, their vocalist shares a similar style to the guy from Enter My Silence, an excellent melodeath band from Finland, in that his growl drips of accessible melody throughout the album. Now, it may sound like I'm describing yet another melodeath outfit, but as if to reassure the listener this is not the case, you also have songs like "The Sanctuary" proving that the band definitely also has a black metal background, defined by its scraping vocal shrieks and rapid-fire drumming. But even here, melodic guitar work is in focus, and rightly so, because those two guitarists sure can shred.

Spain might not be the cradle of death metal bands by any standards, but Noctem have delivered a formidable surprise with "Divinity". It sits so well right in between death/black and melodeath that it should find its way to the record shelves of fans of all styles of metal. More bands should learn to understand what Noctem have very clearly realized here: adding a healthy dose of melody into your metal mixture will take you a long way and much further than receding to the niché 'the more extreme the better' type of thinking. Well done.

Download: Under Seas Of Silence, In The Path of Heleim
For the fans of: Melodic extreme metal
Listen: Myspace

Release date May 2009
Noisehead Records

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