Sweden’s own Noctum have returned with their sophomore album Final Sacrifice out October 29 via Metal Blade Records. This was another recommendation from Carine over there, and so far she’s two for two (Thanks, Carine!). I have to say, I was really digging these guys 30 seconds in. I love their vintage sound, a blend of 70’s and 80’s rock and metal, with some doom and gloom, and thick and hearty riffs all blended together for one hell of a statement record. Final Sacrifice is a fictional horror story where each song communicates a portion of the overall narrative. The band members have kept mum as to what the story is, wanting the listener to draw his or her own conclusions, and I applaud them for it.
Now, onto the songs: “Conflagration” gets things started with an eerie and ominous guitar line, essentially welcoming you to the tale. David Indelöf, who plays guitar and sings, can easily go between his high and mid-range notes which add to the song’s effect. “Liberty In Death” was the first one I heard and was also what really hooked me. Like I said, I really liked the thickness of the riffs and the up-tempo marching beat of this one. “Resurrected In Evil” is one of the more Black Sabbath-like tunes found on the disc and segues brilliantly into “Deadly Connection” which shares very similar musical DNA.
Another favorite for me was “Void of Emptiness”. Everything about this song is killer. The tempo, the groove, and it gallops along nicely. Now, “The Revisit” will catch many of you off-guard. It certainly took me by surprise. It is slow, it is spooky, and the flute used on it beautifully adds to this atmosphere. You almost expect to hear some madman’s, “MUAHA HA HA HA HAAAA!!!” behind it. Things take off once again for the riff-laden “A Burning Will” featuring some interesting patterns and breakdowns, and with “Temple of the Living Dead” the title pretty much says it all. But let me add that this is without a doubt the best track on this record. It just flat-out rocks from start to finish! And the guitar tone is just perfect.
Closer “Azoth” is one of those songs just MADE for the end of an album. Noctum throw everything at us here in one final blitz on the senses for about seven minutes. I’m telling you, this is a very well done disc from top to bottom. There wasn’t a single song I didn’t like, which is rare. Not to mention the arrangements of them all and the atmospheric quality throughout would definitely make Final Sacrifice something you should have on if you’re throwing a Heavy Metal Halloween Party this year!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Liberty In Death”, “Void of Emptiness”, “Azoth”, “Temple of the Living Dead”