When you think of Valencia, you might imagine sun, sea and sangria. Who knew then, that this Spanish city could be the home for a metal band so ambitious and extreme they’d give the Scandinavians a run for their money. Introducing NOCTEM, a black metal band that have more tricks up their sleeve than you might first perceive. They sound like all of your favourite extreme bands rolled into one delicious, morbid package, each track offering a new twist to proceedings.
Indeed this is no thrashed out, rushed output, but a well thought out and composed album which should propel NOCTEM amongst the extreme greats such as BEHEMOTH and DIMMU BORGIR. Opening track The Black Temples of Disaster kicks in straight away, unleashing the band’s lethal dose of metal. Ferocious drumming, complex and mesmerising guitars lead the way, but it soon becomes hard to ignore the variety in vocal styles frontman Beleth can achieve with his hellish growls; chants like DIMMU BORGIR, screeches straight out of CRADLE OF FILTH and low guttural growls which wouldn’t sound out of place on an AKERCOCKE album, this guy is one versatile extreme metal warbler.
There are a few interesting little nuggets throughout Haeresis, including the acoustic interludes which add a unique classical twist to songs such as single The Submission Discipline. With track The Dark One, it is indeed the dark one of the album, demonstrating a confident black metal swagger you normally hear from ANAAL NATHRAKH. The album as a whole shimmers with NOCTEM’s confidence, so by the time the pummelling closing track Pactum with the Indomitable Darkness rolls round, there is no doubt NOCTEM will soon become the ones to watch in the extreme metal scene.