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greece's best kept secret - 100%

picklekid, May 29th, 2007

Nocternity is without a doubt, the best black metal band from Greece. Onyx, is clearly their defining work for many reasons. The atmosphere is so thick it is like a tidal wave of icy guitars and blasting drums and excellent keyboards.

The overall sound is very dismal, ice-cold, and very keyboard heavy, but in a very good way. Nocternity use the keys in a way that they only add to the music rather than stick out like a sore thumb. The guitars are almost in the background along with the bass, adding a layer of distorted ambience that is interlaced with both mid-paced and near hyper-blasting drumming. The drummer is obviously extremely talented, and pulls off the tempo changes very easily. There are several breakdowns with multiple synth tracks creating a very dark ambient interlude before kicking into the fullout black metal assault.

The production is excellent, giving just the right amount of reverb on the drums and keyboards as well as the vocals to create the maximum atmosphere while still being able to hear all the instruments easily. The songs all have generally the same songwriting structure with long keyboards passages, switching from mid-paced to hyper-fast metal sections, with the occasional majestic/epic parts to round out the style nicely. With this formula, the songs never get dull, it only helps to create a constant flow throughout the album. This flow remind me alot of Abigor's classic Orktblut-the Retaliation album very much, although the style is quite different.

Bands that I would compare this to would be early Emperor, early Satyricon, and Limbonic Art. This album is highly recommended for any fan of atmospheric black metal, an essential release.