NOCTEM CURSIS
Nocturnal Frost (2014) By xDemoNx

Nowadays it is rare to find a band which has a complete line up and when you find that, it draws your attention by itself. Noctem Cursis is one of these absolutely complete bands as they consist of six members, two guitars, bass, drums, vocals and keyboards. Usually, when many people cooperate, many ideas, influences and talents are combined and the result that comes out is, at least, interesting but I will speak about this band later. Well, they come from France and they were formed in 2010 while they have released one EP. “Nocturnal Frost” was sent to us by their label before it is officially released (in 6 of June), that it is their first full length album and it contains eight compositions and one atmospheric ambient introduction, of overall duration of a little less than forty five minutes. Indeed, musically, the band combines a lot of different elements and influences, but everything under a specific orientation.

More specifically, the listener will come across melodic, atmospheric Black Metal, clearly influenced by the melodic Scandinavian scene. To be precise they strongly brought to my mind four bands, Emperor, which is their biggest influence, Dimmu Borgir, Dissection and Gehenna. As you can understand the main characteristics of their music is melody, atmosphere and feeling. The riffs are melodic, quite simple regarding their technic and quote “easy” to listen, their speed ranges from medium to rhythmic – fast while the hyper – speed outbursts and the slow parts are a few. The tracks last as long as they should, in order not to become tedious and to maintain the listener’s interest to high level. The structure of the tracks is quite good with changes into the riffing and into the feeling and with variety concerning the instrumentation.

The guitars have clean, warm sound, they are played with much feeling and they deliver the messages of the compositions very schematically. The bass is not clearly audible but without that influencing the result in a negative way. The keyboards add that majestic atmosphere that we come across into the compositions of Emperor, they play a very important role into the compositions as, other times in the background other times in the foreground, they create the atmosphere. The lines of the drums don’t remind Black Metal band at all, they reminded me of Swedish Death drumming. They are powerful with many changes, blastbits outbursts and rhythmic passages they are played with much energy and certainty. The vocals are harsh Black Metal vocals, quite monotonous regarding the expression style, something that might tire the listener. The sound that the production puts out is bass and very clean. The mixture has found the perfect balance between the instruments so as all of them to be clearly audible (apart from the bass) and a very massive and deep sound is delivered. The lyrics are not contained in the cd and in the majority of the tracks they are written in English (two tracks in French) and by the titles and the feeling I get that they are philosophical.

The first full length work of Noctem Cursis, although that it is created under an “easier” musical approach, it is a mentionable effort. The feelings and the images that the band creates and offers to the listener are very intense. Moreover the work that they have done to the sound is very good and shows that they work seriously in every level. Personally, the almost commercial style of the album is not one of my favorite but for sure I have to acknowledge the good effort. The fans of the bands that I mentioned above as also those of you who want a more melodic album, listen to it.

1. Prelude of an Era 01:13
2. From Space 06:10
3. Scars of the Past 05:43
4. Le Guerrier Noir 05:01
5. Ov Immobile Energy 04:09
6. World to Ashes 04:30
7. Secrets of the Elders 04:51
8. Les Rivages de la Mort 06:51
9. Crossing the Everlasting 05:29