Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Nocturnal Depression :"Near to the Stars"

At one point Depressive black metal was set to be the next big thing in terms of black metal, then Shining went and started making cock rock albums, so Totalselfhatred has now become my only hope. I was hopeful when I came across the new one by France's Nocturnal Depression.  France normally makes some pretty quality metal. This band has been around for ten years and this album is it's 6th full length. Two of the three members of this project preformed live with Make a Change Kill Yourself.. which is high pedigree when it comes to this sub genre.

First off I had to get over the shitty production. Sometimes this is easier for me to do than others. It works for the more jangly clean guitar on "Crystal Tears". Though that jangle creates a ragged drone as it ambles on for 13 minutes. The lingering intro "In the Arms of Fog" is a shaky instrumental and sound like it should be part of a longer piece as you are waiting for the anguished shrieks to sail in over the riff.

The bittersweet tragic sense of romanticism that this brand of black metal conveys so well is in tact when the ten minute title track is underway. The vocals are tortured rasp that is more emotive than anything possessing lyrical value. The riffs mainly shift from two themes, almost like a Burzum song. Some cool melodic , but simple layers of guitar sit like a light rain on this  The dynamic build is slow coming but it gets there and also has the slower break down to contrast when the storm really comes.

"Nocte Aeterna" is a slower almost acoustic song that is counter balance by the chocked growls . This capture the creepy moods and morbid melodic nature I want from this sort of thing. They hit every atmospheric mark, from the weird rain samples to the dissonance of chords in the build.

At four and a half minutes even the lingering noise that starts off the albums closing song, makes it seem like pop after the drone of the 13 minute zombie before it. Though it never turns into a song but remains just guitar jamming, almost like the scene in Last Days the Gus Van Zandt movie about Kurt Cobain , where he is just going at his guitar in a drugged drone.

Long songs like the title track don't normally last long in the old iPod, but then again I am always hungry for this sort of thing, it can satisfy the goth mope in me and the need more the balls of metal. So I will give this a 9 for now, the sound quality is the only thing holding it back.


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