Nocturnal Torment
They Come at Night

You’ll have to forgive Indiana’s Nocturnal Torment for their horrendous 90s CG cover art, logo and moniker. You see, they actually formed in 1988 and up to now only had one 2009 demo to show for it. However, seeing as 1/2 of the band released some quality Swedish styled death metal via the underrated Invasion, I’ll let it go. Plus, the 20 or so year wait was apparently worth it as They Come At Night is a killer death metal album.

Kind of like releases by the likes of Domination Through Impurity, Fleshrot, Monumental Torment, Fetal Decay, Desecravity and such, Nocturnal Torment just kind come out of nowhere with relatively little hype or expectations in the death metal community and beat you relentlessly with a slab of very enjoyable death metal.

It’s not original and it’s not a technical marvel but what is does do is mix the blustery semi technicality of US  death metal with a little old school Swedish death metal vibe and tone (possibly left from the Invasion material). It’s neither retro or homage, just honest, well performed and well written and mixing two of my favorite styles perfectly. I get the sense of Deicide, Brutality and Grave mixed in a blender resulting in a surprising , satisfying malt shake of death metal goodness. I also get a little inkling that some of this material has been written over the last 20 years and dusted off for this release, the song titles and many of the structures just sound convincingly 90s-ish with a modern polish. The production is a mix of clinical drums and bass with a very slight , underlying Stockholm buzz. It’s understated like only one of the guitars was hooked up to a HM-2 pedal, and the rest was done with a Tom Morris/ Scott Burns sound board.

“Vile Affliction”  gets things going right away with a scatter shot, Floridian opening before shifting ever so subtly into something more European with a stop start gallop and back again. But considering my affinity for old school death metal,  tracks like “Sweet Decay”, “Bleeding”,  “Forever Eternal Darkness”  and “Primordial Existence” with their more meaty canters thrown into the mix that grab my attention more. And these aren’t short 3 minute romps either, heck the albums last 3 cuts are all about 6 minutes including the solid title track that’s pure, scratchy then lurchy Floridian death metal worship.I have no real gripes (the artwork maybe?) other than the so so but effective and primal vocals-no voice modulation layering here.

This, along with last year’s Blaspherian and Mordbrand efforts and new King release shows Deathgasm has discovered a few more promising new acts to go along side their annual Abominant, Avenger and Nominon releases. Almost makes be forget the Diabolic and Blastmasters days….

 

 

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
March 12th, 2012

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