Jul 192010

The bands whose new albums we’re reviewing today and tomorrow are a study in contrasts. They’re both death metal bands, but they’re lined up on different ends of that playing field. Grave (the subject of tomorrow’s review) is old-school Swedish death metal. In Grave’s case, that “old school” label isn’t a cliche, because they helped build the school in the first place.

As for Noctiferia, it’s a bit more difficult to sum up their style. For now, let’s call it the bullhorn, jeep-driving, flag-waving school of death metal — except we’re guessing the only thing on the flag is a big “FUCK YOU!” in day-glo red.

Noctiferia is from The Republic of Slovenia, which is in the Balkans, just around the Adriatic to the east of Italy and south of Austria. Based on our research, Noctiferia may be the longest-running extreme metal band in Slovenia; they’re celebrating their 12th anniversary as a band this year. Join with us in throwing some horns their way in honor of their sheer bloody-minded dedication — because let’s face it, Slovenia is another one of those places that just doesn’t seem like fertile ground for a successful extreme metal enterprise.

Earlier this year, Noctiferia signed with Listenable Records, and on July 27 their fourth album will be released in the U.S., following its European release a few months ago. The album was mixed by Peter Tägtgren (Hypocrisy, Bloodbath), mastered by Jonas Kjellgren (Black Lounge studio), and it’s called Death Culture.

The title isn’t a reference to music. Lyrically, the album is an indictment of capitalist greed, the suppression of individuality by the economic and political elite, the false prophets of institutional religion, and the human propensity to sow death and destruction in ever-more horrific ways.

But as somber as the subject matter, the music is anything but. Noctiferia takes a rock-solid foundation of syncopated death metal, adorns it with everything from industrial to ethnic stylings, and then sets the whole thing on fire in a spirited romp. Noctiferia blazes with speed and fury, but prays at the altar of groove.

And among other things, the new album includes a track (“Demoncracy”) that’s our current favorite for just rocking-the-fuck out.

(more after the jump, including a track to hear and a video of “Demoncracy” . . .) Continue reading »