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Noctum: Final Sacrifice

Sweden's Noctum have moved on a bit from the doomy Black Sabbath/Pentagram worship on their previous album The Séance to an early '80s Mercyful Fate/NWOBHM stance on their new Metal Blade offering Final Sacrifice. In fact, if you loved the King Diamond-isms of the first Ghost album, but maybe were turned off by the toned down metal of that bands second release, then Final Sacrifice is really going to hit the mark for you.

At times I almost feel like I am listening to outtakes from Melissa or Don't Break the Oath, as vocalist/guitarist David Indelöf really does a great job honing in on the King's vocal style and the band really cranks up some outstanding riffs & melodies that aren't far removed from classic Mercyful Fate. "Conflagration" and "Resurrected in Evil" are just great, classic heavy metal songs steeped in an occult feel, while the added bluesy touch to that formula makes "Deadly Connection" a barnburner of a song. "Void of Emptiness" has some unbelievably amazing riffs (perhaps the most Melissa-ish song here), while "The Revisit" contains some of the albums only real doom elements. There's just something so, I don't know, 1983 about "Temple of the Living Dead", which is a totally enjoyable metal track that will just take you back to a magical time in the history of the genre.

With so many acts from Sweden taking the retro route these days, Final Sacrifice isn't all that surprising, but, it is all that impressive. Metal fans who miss that early Mercyful Fate style will just fall in love with this album, which is filled with some really, really cool riffing and vocals. It's interesting how quickly they moved away from their earlier doom style and into this, but I'm not complaining one bit. More please!!

Track Listing
1) Conflagration
2) Liberty in Death
3) Resurrected in Evil
4) Deadly Connection
5) Void of Emptiness
6) The Revisit
7) A Burning Will
8) Temple of the Living Dead
9) Azoth

Added: November 20th 2013
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2531
Language: english

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Noctum: Final Sacrifice
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2013-11-20 14:43:51
My Score:

There's a ton of retro flavoured Metal releases out there and I in recent times have been known to lambaste many of the more derivative and less imaginative offerings. However when a band get it right, there's simply no denying how seductive a barrage of 70s, or in the case of the second album from Noctum, Final Sacrifice, 80s Metal values can be.

This is a blast straight out of the Mercyful Fate school of high pitched wails (not quite of King Diamond glass shattering proportions), creepy themes and classy guitar work and it makes for quite a statement. When compared to the more "modern" crop of say, Symphonic, Power, or even Death Metal acts Final Sacrifice can come across as quite simple and perfunctory, however delve a little deeper than the opening blast of "Conflagration" and there's much to get the teeth into. "Liberty In Death" reveals an unexpected groove, while "A Burning Will" finds a slightly Progressive edge, utilising a variety of attacks to create a looming, dooming, yet sharp and incisive track of almost epic proportions.

Comparisons to Ghost have been made and hold up to scrutiny, while Hell's long delayed debut also stands as a touching point and like those acts, in the shape of the expressive vocals of David Indelof Noctum have a focal point capable of standing up to the thoroughly convincing bass barrage from Tobias Rosen, drums of doom from Frederik Jansson and the twin guitar assault from Daniel Johansson and Indelof himself. The best example arriving in the shape of "Temple Of The Living Dead", where the doubled up fret work is impressive indeed.

Too blatant in their homage of Metal days gone by to be classed as anything other than retro, but far, far too good to dismissed as a rehash of past glories, Noctum have served up an album which will delight followers of the early European Metal scene, before the pantomime and theatrics became equally, or even more, important than the music.

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