Nokturnal Ritual – Entity of the Unholy

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/label:Independent/Self-Released
Released:2015
Buy Album [URL]: https://nokturnalritual.bandcamp.com/album/entity-of-the-unholyBand
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/nokturnalritualBand

PicBand line up:

Karhmul (Vocals and guitar)
Kadavr (Guitar, bass and flute)

Tracklisting:

01 Entity of the Unholy
02 Traversing the Sanguine Fog
03 Into the Void
04 Atrocities of Sin
05 Fatal Embrace
06 Fenrisian Spell of Winter

Review:

Established in Sheffield 2013, Nokturnal Ritual formed with the intention of creating relentless, blasting, black metal (obviously the best kind) and then took to the studio to record their debut album, “Ushering A New Era Of Agony”; an intense assault of hate-fueled aggression. The two members,Karhmul and Kadavr, got back to the studio to blight the UK with darkness with their new album, “Entity of the Unholy”. This is a more brief dose of darkness but they are where they initially wanted to be and they have more material coming to your ears soon.

The album opens with a flute playing on its own with an eerie feel (and a breath) THEN BOOM BLACK METAL FEROCITY! The production quality is not outstanding and some of the instruments could be mixed better but that’s easily overlooked in black metal. The vocal style is obviously the first thing to look for when listening to black metal, and I must say the vocals are harsh and well executed. I can hear influences from so many black metal bands like Emperor, Marduk and Carpathian Forest. The music is consistently paired with a flute which is very different these days, when a lot of BM bands use keyboard. It’s a refreshing take on the genre and after awhile when you get used to it- it bloody works! Flute windmilling needs to be a thing.

I found myself getting all carried away with songs like “Into the Void”- it had me all over the place. The riffs are killer and very
groovy, again reminding me of 90s BM. There were moments where I was unsure about certain parts of some songs but then I was proven wrong of my uncertainty as every part of this was well placed and executed.

As the album progresses, it gets more vicious and violent and I feel the animosity that these guys create and I am loving it! Again
one thing I keep thinking is that this album has such a 90s feel about it, which I think was their aim. The song that stood out for
me the most must have been “Fatal Embrace” with a doomy sludgy tone and riff accompanied by a lethargic flute before the vocals sound more tragic than a cat trapped outside. Nearing the end this song has some sad as hell acoustic guitar setting you up for death, then BANG back into it- what a great track! I assume the song is about death due to the name and I certainly got that feeling!

The final song “Ferisian Spell of Winter” was enjoyable with its almost folky feel then verging onto death metal in parts! This
worked and kept a good pace going, but the song ended quite suddenly after a period of riffing and it made the album quite
anticlimactic unless that was deliberate and I missed its point (most likely).

Overall this album kept my attention it did not overstay its welcome and was a great guest and would have them over again but it is not going to move into my spare room, I enjoyed it as a whole! It had some nostalgia to black metal’s past greats (still going most of them). It was a consistent album with some great tracks and some will stick in my head with its catchy riffs and vocals, I look forward to their next release and I am going to be introducing my BM inclined friends to this album, I hope you do too!

Review by Kieran Scott
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