Speaking for myself and when listening to metal, I look for the energy, speed and aggression, well most of the time, there’s also time for nuance and subtleties in the darkness but still nothing is quite like in your face aggression, speed and bombast. Spain’s Noctem have been on my radar for a bit, I being a artist, was drawn in by their visual imagery which got me to dig deeper into the music. I’ve listened to the albums Divinity and Oblivion and liked what I heard.

So I welcomed the opportunity to review the latest release Haeresis. Again, with the artwork and bands imagery I give a thumbs up ( okay so sue me, I love bands with the whole package, because sometimes we do listen with our eyes as well as our ears.) So pressing play, I was welcomed by a thunderous sound that is equal parts Behemoth, later day Setherial and even a touch of some of the technical orchestrated aspects via Fleshgod Apocalypse. With the ears perked on the onset, I sat back to draw in more of the nuances and auditory explosions put forth.

Opener, “Through the Black Temples of Disaster” sets the pace immediately and with it’s guitars and varied drums & double bass pounding. The song is one straight forward attack,but with plenty of variation within the song which embodies much of the aforementioned musical entities but also as a band beginning to make a sound of their own. Noctem is not taking any prisoners with this latest release, and despite numerous line-up changes the band has maintained a consistent output and with vocalist Beleth being a consistent mainstay since the beginning. One thing I noticed is his style, his technique brings an added dimension to the music and contributes to the musical dynamic. He vocally adjusts to the mood and or tempo from a high end black metal screech, down to a lower deathly growl. Listen to the layers of guitars, the core riffing of Ethell, but above that you will have a melodic lead riff adding to the interest.

The keyboards are semi prominent but not in the Dimmu Borgir bombastic vein but something that adds emphasis at different moments. Some may find issue with the fact that much of the album is pretty fast and can be a bit of a blur, but I feel with the structure and song composition, it is not too bad of an issue. Listen to the song “The Submission Discipline” as a testament of this fact, speed, acoustic interludes all contribute to an auditory assault.  Another “minus”, albeit a small one, it could be said,  that once you’ve heard the first three songs you have heard the whole album because they do have much of the same dynamics, style and song structure.

The sound with the guitars, is not too trebly a more thunderous, razor riffing sound, but catchy in their sound & technique. Both guitarists ( The other being Exo) change enough in sound and riffing, so as not to bore. The song “Blind Devotion” is a reprieve from the speed, being more a bombastic dirge and also some of these elements being added to The Dark One The drums at times, remind me a tad of Nick Barker (ex of Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir) with a slightly triggered drum sound but I think with all that is going on musically this sound is utilized to separate and keep sound equally balanced and will set your speakers and ears to trembling.

With all the different bands that are out there, looking to assault your senses, it can be a bit hard to stand out in pack and Noctem are not genre defining by any means but they do offer bang for the buck with a solid release that keeps you interested both visually and as well as with your ears.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Will 'Bones' Lee
January 19th, 2017


  1. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    God the song that accompanied the review was nutso. Good stuff.

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