Friday, April 26, 2019

Nocturnus AD : "Paradox"

Drummer Mike Browning was one of the founding members of Morbid Angel. Is he as good as Pete? No, but he is pretty solid and he sings ..ok, growls on top of playing. "the Key" was one of the best albums of the early days of death metal. There is not the same level of feral chaos. Calling this a mature  performance might be premature. He is a more refined song writer. Which a veteran player should be.  The opener is pretty solid and hearkens back to the classic death metal sound. Keyboards helped set these guys apart and are still a big part of their sound, though there is less of a sci-fi tone to them. On the second song, he lets up on his growl and it gives the song more of a thrash feel til they speed up. In some parts he even sounds like Tom Warrior.

Sometimes there sound takes on a more angular feel. "Procession of the Equinoxes" is more focused in it's aggression to the point that it establishes some solid head banging grooves.The vocals are not this albums strong point. I think if they had more menace it might make certain passages feel less awkward. The guitars and drums are capable of doing the heavy lifting, the phrasing of the vocals would help smooth it out song wise."Return of the Lost Key" tries to pick up where the first album left off. Some of the more intricate noodling guitar parts are not as powerful as the more direct approach. The vocals do take on more of a snarl on this one which is an improvement.

There are several moments that remind me of a death metal version of Coroner . "Apotheosis" is one of them.  I think some of the more progressive grooves work best on this song. "Aeon of the Ancient Ones " takes on a darker and more traditional side of death metal. Chaos only breaks out around the guitar solos. With an old school ethic to song writing they are very compact and pack most songs in at under seven minutes. So not much time is wasted on atmosphere. The guitars are technically sound, but also pretty mean when they want to be. I'll round this album up to a 9 and see how it grows on me. It is being released on Profound Lore.

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