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Nocturnus AD: Paradox

Remember 1990's The Key from symphonic technical death metal act Nocturnus? Easily one of the most important extreme metal albums to come out of the early '90s Florida scene, The Key combined science fiction lyrics, a wealth of synths & keyboards, and brutal death metal for a style which was pretty unheard of at the time. Though the band remained a force throughout much of that decade, they never quite reached the heights of that debut album and by the end of the decade the band were no more. Fast forward here to 2019, and founding member/drummer/vocalist Mike Browning has resurfaced with Nocturnus AD, which is basically his band After Death with guitarists Demian Heftel & Belial Koblak, bassist Daniel Tucker, and keyboard player Josh Holdren, with their new album for Profound Lore Records titled Paradox. Stylistically similar to the material heard on The Key, Paradox features a wealth of complex, technical death metal riffery & drumming alongside sci-fi/fantasy lyrics and symphonic keyboard orchestrations. Even here in 2019, this style still sounds unique coming from Browning & Co., despite so many bands trying to imitate their sound over the years. "Paleolithic" crushes with monstrous, churning riffs and walls of synths and blazing leads from Holdren. Death metal shred? Absolutely! "Seizing the Thrones" and "The Bandar Sign" rampage along like speeding juggernauts, while the ferocious "Precession of the Equinoxes" features Browning's blistering blast beats and effective growls, which, are some of the best in the business, as you can understand everything he is snarling. More intricate arrangements can be heard on the jaw-dropping "The Antechamber", and the grandiose "The Return of the Lost Key" is basically progressive metal with growling vocals...complex, melodic, and brutal, complete with some stunning musicianship from the band. "Apotheosis" contains some cool Rush and Rainbow influences, while "Aeon of The Ancient Ones" provides some awesome prog keyboards as a bed for plenty of technical riffery from Heftel and Koblak, both of whom also toss in blazing solos. And, how about the complete symphonic shred fest that is the instrumental closer "Number 9" ? Excellent!

Damn impressive from start to finish, Paradox is not only a welcome return from a familiar face, but it's easily one of the best death metal albums of 2019. Do not miss this one!

Track Listing
1. Seizing The Throne 05:53
2. The Bandar Sign 05:51
3. Paleolithic 05:02
4. Precession of The Equinoxes 04:35
5. The Antechamber 06:27
6. The Return of The Lost Key 07:47
7. Apotheosis 06:17
8. Aeon of The Ancient Ones 05:38
9. Number 9 04:42

Added: August 31st 2019
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 786
Language: english

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