Black metal will probably always be principally associated with the cold climes of northern Europe. That is, after all, where the second wave originated and where it has achieved its greatest and most long-lasting popularity. Even as black metal has spread like another plague into almost every corner of the globe, much of the music still tends to gravitate toward the Scandinavian templates, even when bands come from places that couldn’t be more different.
One such place is southern Florida, where The Noctambulant make their home. With a trio of opening EPs under their belts and two albums, the last of which was 2019’s The Cold and Formless Deep, The Noctambulant had carved a black path that also drew upon Scandinavian traditions, albeit with an emphasis on hook-heavy melody as well as sinister, supernatural, and venomous atmosphere — and with a pronounced place for swaggering, hard-rocking heat.
Yet after five years of exploring the musical landscape of Black Metal, The Noctambulant have decided to adopt an aesthetic that they see as more authentic to their southern Floridian roots. “Being steeped in the traditions of Blues, Rockabilly, Goth rock and American Country”, they report that they have “found their niche in the Southern Gothic motif that they were raised around”. In a realm of pine forests and hot, oppressive swamps, they’ve changed course in a way that better reflects that environment.
As a sign of the band’s changed direction, we present a video for a new single being released today named “Hellrazor“, a video whose high production values contrast with the setting in which the band perform and a devilishly seductive figure cavorts.
To begin, we share this comment from The Noctambulant‘s frontman E. Helvete:
“For me personally, this rebrand and music video was very personal. The video was shot on our family property, of which I”m the 4th generation to live here. I spent so many years trying to fit into the Scandanavian/European motif, that it started to feel disingenuous. So after our last album, The Cold and Formless Deep, the band and I decided to look at what makes us unique in the Black Metal landscape, and that is our origin. From the swamps and bayous of the south, we found a love of extreme metal tempered with our own brand and influences.”
On this new song, Helvete’s barbed-wire snarling screams are still front and center (though he also drops into guttural growls), and the band still create an aura of occult menace through eerie, swirling and cascading melodic accents. But no blast-beats are to be found here after an initial torrent of them — just hard-rocking back-beats and big booming bass grooves that are made for head movement. The riffing is fiery and flickering but also predatory, and in the chorus an atmosphere of infernal grandeur comes through, while Helvete’s extended guitar solo channels a kind of sorcerous ecstasy.
Perhaps needless to say, the hooks in the song are sharp, and make it a memorable track on top of everything else
The single “Hellrazor” will be available today on all streaming platforms. Check these links for details:
THE NOCTAMBULANT – BANDCAMP:
THE NOCTAMBULANT – FACEBOOK: