The Noctambulant – The Cold and Formless Deep

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/label: https://www.artgatesrecords.com
Released: 2019
Buy Album: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cold-Formless-Deep-Noctambulant/dp/B07SBP54MY/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=the+noctambulant&qid=1562841260&s=gateway&sr=8-2
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/TheNoctambulant/

Band Line-up:

E. Helvete – Guitars & Vocals
Lars G. – Bass & Backing Vocals
D. Franseth – Drums & Backing vocals
J. Hoarfrost – Lead Guitar

Tracklisting:

1.Sonos Noctem
2.Peste
3.Morietur Solus
4.Leviathan
5.Valkyrie
6.Evil Calling
7.Bloodhunt
8.Unholy Benediction
9.Immortal
10.The Cold and Formless Deep
11.My Dark Desires

Review:

The Noctambulant are an experienced melodic black metal band from Jacksonville Florida, and are on Art Gates Records. Despite their hometown’s very warm climate, the group’s material invokes the darkest of northern tenets without neglecting massive hooks that keep listeners coming back for more. After unleashing their first album ‘Advocatus Diaboli’ in 2016 and performing with acts such as Moonspell, Skeleton Witch, and Turisas, the band have released their sophomore effort ‘The Cold and Formless Deep’ on 28th June. 

The song ‘Valkrie’ may be pretty simple at times, but the various surprises in the form of adding and taking away of instruments at hard to predict moments (well at first) are very well done. More of that stuff would be greatly desired, but the well written, though cliched harmony non-stop throughout the album does compensate things. The guitar solos in the song, and indeed in some others have a surprisingly good, classic rock/metal tone in contrast to the harsh backing. The leads are perhaps surprisingly some of the highlights of the album. Well, for those who appreciate virtuosity, at least. The combination of sounds provide effective depth.

Other than that, this music is pretty typical BM, but the vocals have a lot more power to them than many of their contemporaries. Rather than them sounding like pained shrieks, they often sound more like suffering, raging monsters, which is pretty cool. Nevertheless, Noctambulant are not exactly reinventing the wheel. The intro clean, peaceful though spooky guitars in ‘The Cold and Formless Deep’ should have been expanded upon to counter that problem. As they are used for such a brief period of time, there usage seems a little weird. They are used at the end of the song too, but are heavily modified so they sound more like noises than anything. 

In conclusion, the more basic parts of this music are perhaps the strongest. The way they get twisted as previously mentioned is deceptively creative and moreish. There are other decent riffs in the album, such as the ones in ‘Unholy Benediction’ for example, but as you may expect, without the changes of instrumentation, they’re not made to shine. However, the biggest problem of this album is the lack of originality. On the other hand, there are countless bands out there who shamelessly completely rip others off, and The Noctambulant do try not to. Give them a try if you like your BM nice and (mostly) raw!

Review by Simon Wiedemann
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