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Noctum’s Final Sacrifice: Rockin’, Yes, Scary, No

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There’s two things to remember when you’re an “evil” metal band:

  1. Don’t name one of your EPs The Fiddler.
  2. NO FLUTES.

Noctum, the up-and-coming but retro-vibing Swedish rockers, have broken both rules. The second indiscretion waits a little bit, thankfully, not mucking things up until the “The Revisit,” the sixth track of their new album, Final Sacrifice. It’s also here where the band not-so-convincingly invites us to “enter the world of death”… apparently some world where Ian Anderson lays waste to non-woodwind believers.

But I digress. Noctum succeeds because the band does enough to overcome its mistakes. This is a metal record with a rare groove. Sacrifice may look back for its inspiration, but it finds success beyond any one piece of metal history, be it doom, death, classic guitar rock or NWOBHM.

Sure, frontman David Indelöf brings the cheese: his high-pitched shrieks of “The darkness!” (during “Azoth”) and “send me to hell” (“Temple of the Living Dead”) aren’t going to scare, say, your average Burzum fan.

But you’re here for the riffs. And they are meaty… without too much noodling (although the funky intro to “Deadly Connection” gets a bit too Nuno Bettencourt-y). The songs gallop along with force, particularly during the furious build-up of “A Burning Will” and “Void of Emptiness.”

So ignore the “evil” of Noctum — especially the album’s back story, some vague horror concept about, well, a final sacrifice. Spooky this is not. A lean, mean piece of heavy rock, however: that’s a different story.

Noctum’s Final Sacrifice comes out October 29 on Metal Blade. Stream the track “Liberty in Death” here and pre-order the album here.

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