Oh man, have you guys heard this band NOCTEM from Spain? What am I saying, of course you have! They’re on their third record fer chrissakes. Well, this is brand new to my ears and all I can say is that I’m really fuckin’ digging them. This new record is called Exilium and is due out on September 16 via Prosthetic Records (thank you, Kelly for the heads-up on them!!). A blackened death metal act with a mixture of thrash and a dash of symphonic metal these guys are like an all-out assault on the senses, albeit in a good way. Musically this five-piece is tight as all get-out combining bludgeoning riffs with blast beats that will break you down and have you kneeling before Zod.
“The Splint of Destinations” was the first thing that grabbed me by my pale, pasty throat with its unbridled savagery, Beleth’s razor-sharp vocals and the guitars of Exo and Necros ripping through everything in their path while new drummer Vhert empties his clip on full auto for six minutes. The BEHEMOTH influence is apparent on “Eidolon” and that’s OK because all it did was call to mind how great it would be if these two bands did a tour together. Both songs became instant favorites within minutes. On “The Adamantine Doors” Vhert once again lays down a fearsome groove with his rhythm section partner UI holding firm. “Divine Xib’alb’a” is the soundtrack to a wild boar in the Australian Outback eating someone alive, something some of us would pay to see…just sayin’. It is ferocious on all levels for exactly 1:34 and then, much like the boar it is gone.
“Apsu Dethroned” is one of those album openers that when you hear it you know that you are in store for something pretty fucking great. Blast Beats, USA is the city in which “Decrepit Human Kingdom” hangs its hat. Man alive this band just fucks shit up on every level!! “Tiamat’s Crown” is mostly an exercise in “How the fuck’d they do that?” and will leave you dizzy without a doubt and “The Rising Horns” was another instant standout because of its marriage of melody and punch. We are treated to a real house of horrors experience with “Halo of Repugnance” and I’m pretty sure this one will be on my Halloween Mix 2014. It’s vicious and the orchestral voices only make it more sinister.
At the end of the day NOCTEM deliver the goods on so many levels it’s not even funny. This album Exilium is at times brutal, angry, sweeping, melodic, and pummeling. It is one that fans of blackened death metal need to own and fans of other extreme metal genres should look into it as well. Once again it comes out September 16 and you’d be crazy to miss this one. Take my word for it, NOCTEM are one of those bands we’ll be talking about for years.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “The Splint of Destinations”, “Eidolon”, “Tiamat’s Crown”, “Halo of Repugnance”, “The Rising Horns”