(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by the German black metal band Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult.)
The name Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult is one of those monikers that, once you’ve heard it, you’re unlikely to ever forget.
Unfortunately it’s been my experience that, even amongst the Black Metal faithful, the band’s name is somehow still more famous than their music.
Thankfully, with the release of their sixth album (which comes out today on War Anthem Records) I’m hopeful that this might just be about to change, as Mardom is not only a fantastic continuation of their already impressive legacy, and a near-perfect jumping-on point for new fans, it’s also one of the best Black Metal albums I’ve heard so far this year.
Perhaps the band’s greatest strength, and most defining characteristic, over the years has been their ability to remain true to the genre’s roots without falling prey to either the creative stagnation or outside temptations which have, more times than I’d like to count, ultimately been the undoing of many of its bigger, and more (in)famous, names.
Instead, while many of their peers have either collapsed in upon themselves or transformed into something that no longer deserves, or desires, to be called Black Metal, DNS have simply remained focussed on refining their art and remaining true to their ideals, refusing to compromise or stray from the path in their pursuit of perfection.
Most importantly, however, Onielar and co. clearly understand that “old school” doesn’t have to mean “outdated”, being “raw” isn’t the same as being “sloppy”, and that embracing “tradition” doesn’t mean accepting “limitation”.
As a result, the sheer, raw intensity of this album is a true sight (or sound) to behold, and the blend of blazing ferocity and merciless precision displayed on cuts like “Mardom – Echo Zmory”, “Exaudi Domine”, and “Imperishable Soulless Gown”, could go round-for-round with anyone and everyone from Mayhem to Marduk to early Immortal, without ever once feeling obsolete or antiquated.
It helps, of course, that the wicked, finger-shredding riff-craft displayed throughout the album (with the scything “T.O.W.D.A.T.H.A.B.T.E.” being perhaps the best example) showcases a similarly sharp and subtly technical flair to that of a band like Funeral Mist or Nidingr, while the icy and surprisingly elegant production work successfully gives each and every element and instrument a punishing, palpable presence, without rounding off the rough and serrated edges of the music in the process.
It’s also impossible to deny the hellish hookiness of these tracks, from the face-melting ferocity of “A Sweven Most Devout” to the grimly groovesome strains of “The Boundless Beast”, or the clever and carefully constructed songwriting which underpins captivating cuts like the expansive, atmosphere-heavy “A Beseechment Twofold” or seethingly melodic close “The Sphere”, and it’s the combination of these many factors, along with a clear and unshakeable vision for what Black Metal can, and should be, which makes this album such a truly vital and relentlessly visceral listening experience from start to finish.
Love everything about this post!
“…could go round-for-round with anyone and everyone from Mayhem to Marduk to early Immortal”. This even applies to the band pic—priceless sulkiness haha
One of my favorite black metal bands – I can’t wait for this to finally come out.
Saw them play at MDF a few years back. A really good time. And I can never forget their name because an increasingly drunk woman next to us kept slur-yelling, “DAHKENED NOKTUUUURRRN SLAUFHTEERCUULLLLT!” starting two bands before they were set to take the stage. She also had—dare I say it?—a way of speaking that strongly suggested “sorority girl.” Are sorority girls into BM now?
I commend you for not killing her or yourself.
Finally the album has been released and I thank you from a long time DNS supporter for this great review. While I am thirlled with the new release I am still waiting for my LP and Digi in the mail. I am VERY angry about the horrible advertising or promoting that a box set was available, key word “was.” I am really tired of not knowing what the hell is being released and on what formats. I remember news being relased about this album Feb 2018 such as the album title and nothing else. As soon as I find out the release date the Box set is already sold out. Now if I want it, if I ever find it..I am sure it will be around $300-500 USA. Hell I can’t even find the 7inch single they released a few years ago and I see that for $100 and that is w/out the picture sleeve. My ultimate BM dream right now would be a second USA tour for WATAIN’S Trident Wolf album and the opener would be DNS. OMG I would go absolutley crazy. Or f Marduk did a Viktoria USA second leg tour and DNS the opener. I hope I get to see them on some kind of USA tour this album. When I hear about “extreme” women in metal I am sick of hearing about the Arch Enemy chick….ONIELAR is the most talented and Brutal female ever to grace a Black Metal stage I hpe this band grows on this album and that would be a GREAT thing and if some idiot thinks that would be selling out than I call you a fool. DNS is a BRILLIANT band. I would like to see the magazine’s Decibal and Iro Fist give DNS some ink as well – MSFS (If someone can help me find an afordable Mardom Box please email me at Strutsexy120@gmail.com Thanks – Miss Felony Strutter
Btw, what was the contents of the Mardom Box Set?