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This is just wrong...entertaining...but wrong! - 62%

hells_unicorn, July 21st, 2011

Like a stubborn attack of plague boils, our lovable prognosticator of the sonically repulsive Noktorn has elected to remind us of how extreme metal can be obnoxiously so, yet still have a level of charm to it. His latest project, dubbed Bonescraper, follows a particularly basic concept of repulsing the listener with punishing low-fi production values and utterly stupefying depths of chug guitar sewage to complement a muffled growl that is sure to do lasting damage to any set of subwoofers. It’s all just a few steps away from mush, yet it also has a fairly tasty flavor to it, in much the same respect as those amateur early recordings Agathocles put out in the late 80s, with a good helping of Mortician tendencies too, particularly in the guitar sound.

Perhaps the most unique aspect of this small collection of swamp traps and septic ponds is the heavily laid back tempo that dominates most of the listen. Combined with a very formulaic and stripped down riff set, I can’t help but think I’m listening to 3 different interpretations of Morbid Angel’s “God Of Emptiness” with an occasional launching into a distorted, muddy blast section that is all but unintelligible. The only outlier of the group is the monstrously short “Instant Death”, which ironically takes 47 seconds to get the cadaver to stop twitching, but provides a reminder as to Noktorn’s grindcore influences on this beast. But regardless to whether each individual package breaks the 1 minute mark or not, the goal of these songs is to shock and disgust, in a pleasing way of course. Particular note should be made of the closer “Lurking Insanity”, with a principle riff during the slow sections that evolves in a very subtle fashion yet sticks in the memory instantly.

The principle complaint to be launched at this album is one that could be launched at a number of death/grind acts. After a handful of listens this thing starts to get redundant and needs to be shelved for a while in order to be interesting. While simplicity is generally what tends to sell if you’re in the pop/punk or old school heavy metal scene, this style of music generally doesn’t grab too many unless it has some sort of intricate gimmick to it (hence Brain Drill’s popularity). But that’s not necessarily the business that Noktorn is in, and there is definitely a fair collection of mud loving death/doom fanatics out there who can appreciate this.

Crushing and simplistic - 78%

overkill666, September 7th, 2009

I've followed Noktorns projects for a while now, so I usually know the quality of music he will release. Usually he finds a way to make minimalist music sound pretty good, such as Bonescraper and Septic Tomb. I'm a big Mortician fan, especially their early career era. This demo reminds me of the Mortician demos, and maybe a little of House by the Cemetary.

The first thing I noticed was the epically downtuned guitar. It's most likely tuned as far as Mortician tunes, but I'm not certain of this. Let's just say it's very, very low. It causes the riffs to sound like they are chugging along. Though, don't let that fool you. The riffs are vicious even though they are very simple. I enjoy the subtle changes in the guitar writing. It's easy to headbang along to the opening riff in 'Torturer' because it has so much groove in it. Many times there's changes in tempo, sometimes slow and sometimes blistering fast. See 'Instant Death' for the best example of this. I can't hear any bass as I listen to this, so that's something that leaves me lacking. If you're going to be Mortician worship, you need that crushing bass in the mix. The drums are programmed very well. I could see Noktorn easily finding a drummer to play this music and maybe that would lead to more music or shows. The drum work fits perfectly with the tempo changes and it never has those awkward moments that a lot of bands using drum programming seem to have. Down to the vocal work, it's damn brutal. The gutturals are the best for what's being played here. It just fits the music and creates a brutal atmosphere.

I only found a few things I didn't like about the demo. For one, the production seems to be a bit of an issue. It causes a lot of the tremolo style riffs to sound almost too raw. It causes the guitar to sound inaudible. With a cleaner production style, I'm sure the music would sound a lot better in some parts. Though, don't get me works very well in some parts. Also, the length. I wouldn't directly say it's too much of a negative thing, but I wanted to hear more than ten minutes. Maybe on the next release there will be more music to be heard.

Bonescraper is not for the fans of super technical. You will not be pleased since there is not an ounce of technicality within the ten minutes of music on this demo. Though, you don't have to be technical to create good music. What's here is this: atmosphere and brutality. For me, that's good enough. Let's hope the next Bonescraper release will be as interesting.

Boring - 39%

weakling_goat, June 25th, 2009

Here’s the first demo for Noktorn’s new project. He’s already tried ambient black metal and doom/death/grind and is now onto brutal death metal. His older outputs have been met with very mixed results and I was eager to see if an improvement had been made (and if his obvious fetish for molasses would arrive and spoil the show).

As with Septic Tomb, the music here is very low and at some points turns into mere rumbling. I’m not sure why Noktorn seems to favor extremely low-end sound, but it doesn’t work too well in this case. The bass is stupidly heavy and muddles the tracks as well as adding an obnoxious crunching quality, only remedied by large subwoofers. The music is brainless in composition and rather uninteresting as a whole. I don’t understand the appeal of boring low death metal at all. None of the songs really carry any strength and are rather stagnant. (an aspect shared with Septic Tomb). They chug along slowly, then fast, then slow again in the most unremarkable fashion. Another annoying feature are the vocals. They’re impossibly low, probably pitch-shifted, and come off sounding more like angry wind than a human. Lyrics were published as well, though the listener will have trouble distinguishing words even if s/he was reading them simultaneously. Speaking of, the words are just as stale the music. “There is no escape/ From my crypts of doom/ Grimly meet your fate/ My walls will be your tomb” doesn’t exactly get people excited (if they had the opportunity to understand them).

Bad production, “vocals”, and audial fogginess aside, there are some positive moments on the demo. Some of the slower riffs sound pretty cool and the atmosphere is pretty heavy (Torturer and Lurking Insanity) and the instruments easier to distinguish. The drum machine feel very under powered during these segments, but it’s still palatable. As for the others, Hunt for Blood is decent, but is way too crunchy and distorted for my tastes. Instant Death is a complete blur (bad) and is over before it’s begun (good). Though I’m not an expert on the genre, I believe I can safely say that this is generic. I suppose if you’re a fan of Mortician or a multitude of similar bands I’m unfamiliar with, you would find this enjoyable. People checking this band out because it’s self-compared to Jungle Rot and Bolt Thrower will more than likely be disappointed. I think a Buddhist monk or Rasta once said “seek little and be disappointed naught.” Listeners’ experiences with Bonescraper relate to this quote (zero disappointment not guaranteed). It’s available for free, and everybody loves free stuff right? I can’t recommend it, but if you’re curious, give it a download. Just don't say that I didn't warn you.

Your subwoofers are now mangled and lifeless - 79%

Muloc7253, May 21st, 2009

Stop digging, there is nothing deep here. Noktorn's previous projects (Rainfall, Feast of Roses, Septic Tomb) might have been more ambitious, striving to reach some kind of aesthetic or unconcieved atmosphere, but this is exactly what it sounds like upon first listen. It's death metal, very very brutal death metal, with no secret message or deeper meaning. Just death metal, pure and simple.

There is obviously a high amount of Mortician influence here. This demo follows that band's exact same style of writing, with lots of very simple, fast riffs that take no effort to write whatsoever, building up tension and releasing it during the slower, more calculated sections. The faster parts aren't effortless because Noktorn's (or Mortician) is lazy, but because they don't require any effort, and whether or not you spend thirty seconds thinking up a set of notes or spend hours dwelling on it, the end product would be the same. They're there to provide a function, and that is to build up intensity before the slow riffs, and they're not there to be listen to and analysed and appreciated on their own.

Did I mention that the production really goes too far? This is STUPIDLY low. There is so much low end on here that both my laptop and iPod earphones can barely contain it. The bass is just too much and goes beyond being heavy by regular standards and turns everything into sort of wavy floods of sounds that are sure to make your room shake if this is played too loud. The vocals only make things worse (but by worse I mean better), it's believable that Noktorn could have performed the vocals on the Septic Tomb album without pitchshifting, but there's no way in Hell I'm believing it this time. The vocals are insanely low and contribute more to the brute...brutality of this demo. The tremolo parts are even weirder, the chugging sounds almost normal under this much low end, the tremolo riffs just sound strange, with those superlow rumblings split up into mininotes whilst Noktorn murmurs with completely inhuman vocals over the top. The drum machine is a well programmed but super-obvious drum machine like the one used on Catasexual Urge Motivation's 'Encyclopedia of Serial Murders'. It does it's job of holding the beat and is pretty heavy, not interfering at all. Infact whilst listening to this you barely even think about the drum machine, which was probably intentional.

The songwriting is completely dumb on purpose and will appeal only to death metalheads that aren't exceptions to the rule that like death metal for it's sound and aesthetic and not just the fact that there are lots of great songwriters. This demo isn't memorable at all, not one bit, but it's super enjoyable while it's playing, which is most definitely it's purpose. Do you hate Mortician? Jungle Rot? Devourment? Then stay away from this. This is not Demilich worship. This is ugly, raw death metal that does not intend to excel beyond anything other than being death metal. It's about taking the basic elements of death metal and crafting really great songs with them without passing outside the boundaries of death metal by even the smallest step, 'normal' music listeners that don't like death metal will not like this at all, and it has been purposefully crafted in such a way. If you're a fan of death metal then I recommend you check out Bonescraper, this demo is a promising look at what the future holds.