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Obscure yet accessible brilliance - 90%

ggspinefx, June 24th, 2012

I’m at a loss to explain the lack of reviews for Nocte Obducta on Metal Archives. After discovering them a couple of years ago they have quickly become one of my favourite bands and I think Marcel is a bit of an unsung musical genius. He clearly follows his own path with little regard for convention or the opinion of others. Never afraid to experiment, never predictable, but for the most part very successful in creating captivating and beautifully dark music.

The intricate songs are like musical journeys that twist and unfold in ways that hook you in almost immediately. Songs can vary greatly in length, in this case from less than 3 minutes to almost 16 minutes, yet nothing feels like it is missing, nor are there any moments that feel like filler. The album is captivating from beginning to end. There is great variety between and within the songs, yet the album as a whole feels perfectly cohesive.

I would say that the songs Und Pan Spielt Die Flöte and Atme are my favourite and although they are the two longest on this album, they really leave me wishing they would just keep playing forever. They contain subtly recurring themes throughout their lengthy structures, so even with the varying passages and breakdowns they still feel like cohesive pieces of music, unlike many ‘progressive’ bands whose long pieces are often seemingly random conglomerations of music bearing little relation to each other, merely for the sake of creating long and ultimately pretentious pieces of music. But there is nothing pretentious, wanky or boring here, just music that does everything that is should.

The mix is pretty good for this style. Production is very clear, perhaps a little too clean, but everything sits nicely in the mix. All instruments and vocals are balanced well with nothing jutting out. One thing I really like is the mix of vocalists, which really adds to the depth of this band’s music. I have no idea what they are saying but my German friend assures me it is poetry in its own right, which I can readily believe. The vocals though aren’t overused and there is an abundance of instrumental sections that allow for immersion in the music, particularly in the longer longs.

The music of Nocte Obducta defies any sort of characterisation and is very difficult to describe due to its great diversity. Their unpredictable nature, insistence on publishing everything in German and being released on relatively obscure labels with out-of-print back catalogues may have contributed to them being nowhere near as well known and regarded as they should be, but for those who do discover this dark little corner of the music spectrum, many enthralling delights are to be enjoyed and savoured.

I would probably rate Nektar: Teil 2 as my favourite release of theirs, hence this review, but Taverne, Stille and Nektar: Teil 1 are on a similar level. I am yet to give Lethe, Galgendämmerung and the new stuff a good listen and Schwarzmetall and Sequenzenare are quite different in style, being black metal and ambient respectively. I am pretty sure this album is still available from the label directly and it would be the perfect introduction to this great band.

Avant-garde Black Metal? - 91%

ThrashAeons, April 25th, 2009

Nocte Obducta is one of those pretty unknown progressive black metal bands that in the recent years have experienced an increase in popularity; possibly due to their work becoming more accessible by straying away from the usual black metal formula and more into the progressive field. Unfortunately I have not heard much of their other work but it seems like they get more ambitious and less aggressive with each release, their newest album, Sequenzen einer Wanderung, being made up of two songs over 20 minutes long with even more experimentation.

The first thing worth pointing out is that Nocte Obducta is not pure black metal. The mix of different genres on this album is where the avant-garde tag comes into the equation but nothing feels out of place or pretentious. Of course there is still a fair amount of satisfying black metal that the fans of the genre will appreciate. Many of the songs contain a number of melodic and beautiful passages which add to the either dark and atmospheric or quite epic feeling especially evident in the long “Und Pan spielt die Flöte”. The lyrics are written in German (and I understand only a few words) but it is fair to assume that the music reflects their apparently poetic and melancholic content.

There are only six songs on the album but they range in length from 2 to 16 minutes which is impressive as for the most part they do not become repetitive nor boring. The shortest song, “Es fließe Blut”, is probably the fastest and most raw song you will find on here. The other are more progressive and have many original ideas scattered throughout, never repeating the same riffs for too long. The instruments are well played and the production is very good too. From what I know the main driving force behind Nocte Obducta is Marcel Va. Traumschände, he is responsible for the lyrics, guitars, keys and vocals. All I can really say is that he must be a very creative person and his vocals add a lot of soul to the music.

If you ever get the chance to buy this album, don't hesitate. It is one of the better modern black metal releases with something for everyone. Nocte Obducta could be called the Atheist of black metal, in both cases the bands show a lot of interesting ideas which do not feel forced and will still sound refreshing after multiple listens. Even though all of the songs are of similar high quality and there is no filler the album does not strike me as perfect, even if the only flaw I can pinpoint is that you need to be in a certain mood to fully appreciate it. Nocte Obducta have pushed the boundaries of black metal, even if only by a little, and created something that should be remembered in the scene for some time to come.