Review: NOCTEM – Haeresis

MsRayV0511 Reviews 0 Comments


Prosthetic Records

Released: September 30, 2016

The only difference between noise and music is organization. And there is much to be said about the dark or else there would be no fear of it.

There are many, many Black Metal bands, but only Noctem of Spain has been able to produce such an enriching, old-world beauty with shadows.

Yes, many acts sing of history and attempt to paint scenes of desecration and chaos, but to use echo and sound and technique of the distant past and bring it into a new age, with such ferocity and organization, is Metal most elegant – and therefore, deliciously dangerous.

Recorded at the secluded Necromorbus Studio in Alvik, Sweden where the likes of Watain and Tribulation tread, the production is expertly mixed for the genre, where there is just enough cleanliness to appreciate the notes, but raw enough to keep it ‘trve’ to sound. Voor’s double-bass drum work is exemplary and Beleth’s vocals exhibit a healthy range from baritone growls to high-pitch forceful incantations. Exo and Ethell possess skill and creativity, using some faintly reminiscent flamenco techniques – most notably in the intro of “The Submission Discipline” – with hypnotic, bone-crunching riffs, all accented well with Varu’s deep basslines.

But, musicianship aside, what is most striking about Haeresis is the extraordinary imagery that goes beyond fire and death and ritual. It lends itself to old stone ruins, catacombs and mildew.

An extraordinary example of this is “Auto De Fe” which begins with blast beats and then more blast beats and burning burning burning, until the bridge, the break, then the acoustic sound of tears. Finally they throw open the curtain to show the whole horrific scene of the heartless gathering to toast the burning of innocent flesh and the witch accepting her fate.

Noctem does not preach or just try to be disturbing. Instead, they recall the echoes of the disturbed and bring the listener back to their own forbidden roots with every track and it’s a very refreshing approach.

There’s more to the dark than just ‘black’ and this band found it.

Haeresis is very Black Metal with underlying gems of onyx, sapphire, tourmaline, and oil glimmering beneath the thickest stench of the worst in humanity. Noctem creates a beautiful dam where the blood never stopped flowing, making this album a must-have.

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