Nov 152022

(Late October brought forth MNRK Heavy‘s release of a new album by Spanish Noctem, a band we’ve been following closely and happily for a long time, and now we catch up to the new album with this extensive review by DGR.)

Over the course of six albums Noctem have placed themselves in an interesting spot musically, where it has seemed like the only point of reference for comparison in terms of their musical history was the album prior and nothing more.

The group have gone through some sizeable leaps and shifts in their sound over the years, and many of them are well-documented on this here site. While it seemed like they may have found a niche within the black metal world with their triptych of Oblivion, Exilium, and Haeresis, the following disc The Black Consecration moved away from the overwhelming chaotic madness of those three albums and into a realm much more deep and cavernous than before.

The Black Consecration was Noctem proving their worth to the black metal abyss, and that is really the biggest point of reference when it comes to this Spanish group’s latest album, Credo Certe Ne Cras, because after the band laid their foundation through that preceding album, they have now built upon it by becoming “bigger” in just about every sense imaginable. Continue reading »

Oct 022022


I failed to get one of these columns done last Sunday, so I decided to go big today. I was able to spend hours yesterday listening, making choices, and beginning to write. From the windows, it looked like a beautiful day outside my home, but that’s as close as I got to it.

I made 13 choices, and 6 of them are in Part 1. Thirteen selections of music seems like too much to lay on anyone in a single day, particularly a weekend day, so I’m saving Part 2 for tomorrow. But I’ll give you a quick explanation about how I divided the choices:

Until you get to the last song, Part 1 is basically an inferno; the music in Part 2 goes off in a number of unusual directions that probably won’t please the trve and kvlt among you, but may intrigue others. Continue reading »

Jul 222022

Welcome to Part 2 of this Friday round-up of new songs and videos. It includes perhaps even more musical scatter than what I collected in Part 1 (be forewarned, there’s singing in the last of these tracks!), which may increase the odds that you’ll find something to like. And if you don’t, try your chances tomorrow when I’ll have one more collection to throw at your head.

NOCTEM (Spain)

We’ve been following the twisting and turning path of this Spanish band for a lot of damned years. It has been something of an adventure to witness their musical evolution, but a generally exiting one, and now we get to discover their next steps through an album named Credo Certe Ne Cras that’s coming out in late October via MNRK Heavy. Just today they released a video for the album’s first single, “We Are Omega“. Continue reading »

Jul 072019


As you can see, I’ve planned a two-part SOB again. I doubt I’ll finish Part 2 in time to post it today, and even if I do, I think I’ll defer it to Monday anyway. With so many new-music round-ups lately, I’m afraid we’re at risk of overloading people already, especially because this Part 1 includes four full releases in addition to the two advance tracks I’ve placed at the beginning (and there are additional complete releases in what I have in mind for Part 2)..


We’ve been closely following the progress of the Spanish band Noctem since 2011, when they released their second album, Oblivion. Four of us have written about the band over the years since then, amassing 16 different posts about them (including two interviews). Obviously, we are fans. But we have equally been persistently curious about what they would do next.

Noctem’s music has always been a blend of death and black metal, but the sound hasn’t remained stagnant. It might go too far to say there has been a continuous trajectory over time, but in general it seems like in the earlier years they were more death-metal focused, whereas the last album, 2016’s Haeresis, leaned more toward the black metal elements in their sound. Based on the title track from their new album, The Black Consecration, it sounds like they’re leaning even harder in that direction, and have in other ways made shifts in sound from their last record. Continue reading »

Oct 102016



(DGR reviews the new album by Spain’s Noctem, which was released on September 30 by Art Gates Records and Prosthetic Records.)

Spain’s Noctem have kept themselves to a pretty tight every-two-years-put-out-a-new-album schedule, something made more impressive by the fact that the group have had some pretty consistent — though small — lineup shifts in between each album. In the case of Noctem’s new disc, that isn’t the case anymore, as the band’s current lineup features three new members, with the change made official in 2015.

Noctem are one of those groups who have drastically refined their sound with each release, as they trim whatever fat they find, or make a shift in sound. In the case of the group’s 2014 release Exilium, Noctem wound up a fairly sleek, blackened death metal band with a penchant for going at hyper-speed for most of the album; they sounded like a hyperbasting death metal band with just a slight bit of recent-era Kataklysm guitar shred tossed into it. The songs were of the shock-and-awe-assault type: no time to build, just starting at a million miles an hour and accelerating from there. Whatever wasn’t destroyed by the initial blast still had to weather three-plus minutes of the band roaring at you.

Haeresis is Noctem’s fourth full-length disc and it stays pretty close to its siblings Divinity, Oblivion, and Exilium in terms of run time at about ten songs and forty-five minutes in length. Barring Oblivion, which is an outlier with a last track running thirteen minutes long, Noctem have at this point found a pretty concrete formula in terms of just how many songs they want and how long an album needs to be. They’ve found that a sleek forty-some-odd minutes tends to work for them, and with Haeresis, the band do that without any instrumentals in the mix, meaning that all ten songs on Haeresis are Noctem at their most vicious. Continue reading »

Sep 202016



Maybe I should have divided this round-up of mostly new music into multiple parts in an effort to reduce the sensory-overload risk. But I was so happy with the range of diversity in this collection that I decided to leave it alone. Hope you find some things to like in here.


Haeresis is the name of the new album by one of our site’s favorite bands, the Iberian horde known as Noctem. They’ve been dribbling out tracks from the album since August, with “Through the Black Temples of Disaster” and “The Submission Discipline” having been previously released, and yesterday I discovered a third single, “Pactum With The Indomitable Darkness“. Continue reading »

Aug 162016

Khonsu-The Xun Protectorate


I’ve returned from Olympia where I spent three days and four nights immersed in the wonders of Migration Fest. While I still need to write a recap of the festival’s final day to accompany two previously posted recaps, I’ve also started exploring developments in the world of metal that I missed while I was out and about in Olympia. Unsurprisingly, I missed a lot. I’ve selected a mere quintet of items to recommend in this round-up — four of them from old favorites of our site and one by a very striking newcomer.


To say that we’ve been eagerly anticipating the new album from Norway’s Khonsu would be an understatement. Earlier this year, our man Andy Synn named it as one of his five most anticipated albums of this year, largely on the strength of the band’s 2012 debut album Anomalia, which he called “without doubt one of the strongest and most creative debut albums in living metal memory”. And now, finally, we have more details about the album along with a video trailer for it. Continue reading »

Aug 012016

Volturyon-Cleansed by Carnage


(DGR volunteered for round-up duty to start our week, and brings us new music from seven bands plus new-album news from an eighth.)

We have been trying our damndest to keep up with the flow of music that has been spilling forth from the gaping maw of heavy metal recently, but it has become clear that this is a war that must be fought on multiple fronts. Thus, I find myself once again deploying to the Seen and Heard front lines with a veritable smorgasbord of new music, videos, and album announcements for you to all enjoy.

I had a lot of fun figuring out where to position each band this time, as I have a very symmetrical idea of how things in this Seen and Heard should be approached — resulting in tremendously heavy music spilling into some infectiously light stuff and then returning right back to the abyss from which it came. You may need to settle in for this one; there’s a lot of fantastic stuff packed within this round-up, and it just goes to show that 2016 is proving to be a hell of a year for metal. Continue reading »

Sep 172014


I’ve had quite a fruitful morning of listening to new music, and among the fruits I tasted were the following three premieres and one teaser, which I’ve grouped together as examples of razor-edged black metal that will jolt you wide awake.


That album art at the top of this post is so damned cool. It grabbed my attention immediately and led me to explore what it signified. And what it signifies is the coming of a new album (the third one) by Norway’s Posthum. Entitled The Black Northern Ritual, it’s scheduled for both CD and vinyl release by Indie Recordings on October 13.

Having been seduced by the album cover, I discovered that Norway’s NRK P3 Pyro (the internet radio station of the state-owned Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation) has begun streaming an advance track from the album named “To the Pit”. It’s loaded with riffs and rhythms that both rip and rock, and at its core is a sombre melody that will get its hooks in you. Beautiful guitar solo in this song, too. Continue reading »

Sep 092014

In the spring of this year our man DGR heaped praise on the new album Exilium by Spain’s Noctem, describing it as “the best work the band have done so far” — “an album forged by experts at their craft who knew exactly how to kick out music of fury, fire, and war”.

Now, Noctem have signed with Prosthetic Records for the release of a special edition of Exilium in America, Canada, and Australia. The new edition of the album comes with two bonus tracks, and today we bring you the premiere of one of them — a song named “Divine Xib’ab’a”.

It’s a short slashing assault of ripping riffs, militaristic percussion, and utterly bestial growls — the kind of high-speed conflagration that burns through much of the album as a whole, and a good tease for the blazing intensity that Exilium holds in store if you’re not already familiar with it. Continue reading »