Noctem - Oblivion

'Oblvion' is the second offering in Noctem's tale of the 'final battle for Good vs. Evil.' As expected, the music is going to be dark but highly energetic and violent. Like their previous release, the group merges Black, Thrash, and Death Metal all together but for some reason, unlike their last album, it just doesn't feel like it merges well together. Like oil on water listeners will hear what feels like three separate genres mixed together but each one cutting in at random times. For one, the opening track is a bit misleading despite being a fantastic intro with the whole orchestral and almost industrial tone to it before jumping right into the Black/ Thrash Metal based "The Arrival Of The False God." Here the music sounds much in the Black Metal vein with the screeching vocals, tremolo picking that is far more rhythmic than the average Black Metal band, and just direct speed mixed with catchy chugs to mix in some of the Thrash elements. But, then take a track like "Universal Disorder" where suddenly the screeching is replaced by deep growls, and combined the two just don't mix well with how they are placed. It feels more like there are two vocalists performing instead of one. And then on "Sons Of Hun..." the vocals almost seem to take a bit of a Hardcore approach that doesn't suit the Thrash background of instruments at all. If anything stays constant throughout the music, it's the Thrash oriented style.

Sometimes the vocals do work to the advantage of the music, on whatever front they are. The Black Metal tones will always suit the instruments because that's what the music was designed for as far as structure. When the growls/ grunts are a bit more echoing, they help with the atmosphere adding a bit of a mystical side to the music such as on "Seeking The Ruin Of Souls" which is one of the darker tracks on the album without being slow like Doom Metal and lives up to the overall themes of the album. Regrettably the band did not include more moments like on "Q'uma'rka'aaj" which is the other interlude that is acoustic, dark, and perfect with its soft beginnings and then militant drum build up right before the next track. The final "Oblivion" literally lives up to its name as the track actually begins to cut in and out, sounding like it is fragmenting as time goes by, but after a while it can be a bit of an annoyance rather than a little innovative aesthetic. Still, for a solid Black/ Thrash based album 'Oblivion' does paint a picture of the 'final battle' without being too cliche, but all the sides that are fighting it out seem to be fighting amongst themselves a bit too much rather than working together, hindering a bit of the solid, crisp sound that could have made this album a little better.


  1. Popol Vuh
  2. The Arrival Of The False God
  3. Universal Disorder
  4. Abnegation And Brutality
  5. Invictus
  6. Son Of Hun- Vucub
  7. Seeking The Ruin Of Souls
  8. Unredemption
  9. Q'uma'rka'aaj
  10. A Borning Winged Snake
  11. Oblivion