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Dangerous Atmospheres - 78%

DeadFetus, February 21st, 2004

Slovenian death metallers Noctiferia have quite an impressive debut album here. Per Aspera is doomy death metal with sparse classical instrumentation included. It's not a terribly unique idea, but is quite well done on this release. Usually the problem with bands that include "symphonic" elements is that they drown out everything metal about an album. When there are more violins than guitars the album ceases to be metal and becomes an exercise in dick-sucking garbage. Noctiferia avoid this quite well: the violin elements stay in the background and their powerful riffs and competent songwriting shine through. When the symphony comes in, it is used minimally with great effect, either continuing the great buildup of the guitars or setting the dark mood of each section of the album.

The strength of this album is its consistency. Track after track is catchy and well written. There are no standout songs, but at the same time no track deserves the skip button either. While being Noctiferia's greatest strength, I don't see this album having incredible replay value, and would like to see them expand on a few of their ideas because the talent is obviously there to make a standout death metal album.

Overall this album has a dark, somber, crazed feeling. This could very well be a symphony created by a group of slightly deranged composers. While not disturbed enough to warrant any notice, this is an album that may just catch one off guard and captivate you with its maddening atmosphere and grim instrumentation.

Originally Published @ (c) 2004

Very cold atmosphere and borderline-psychotic vibe - 90%

MHITO, March 20th, 2003

Okay, straight of the bat let me tell you Per Aspera the new album by Slovenian metallers Noctiferia is a work of sheer genius!!! Not that I figured it out in one go, instead it took me 4 listens to come to that conclusion. The first thing to grab my attention holding the album in my hands is the great cover artwork and the terribly strange lyrics. I’m wondering if it’s on purpose or just bad English but for this they are forgiven. When playing the disc the thing that really grabs the attention is the unbelievably tight and triggered drum sound. Normally I’m not a very big fun of this sound but in the very controlled sound of the album, which breaths a very cold atmosphere and borderline-psychotic vibe, it works perfectly.

The band is signed to Arctic Music Group by Malevolent Creation’s Phil Fasciana after ghaving toured Europe with them and boy, did he ever make the right move! I’ve never heard of this band but to me it’s clear, they are here to stay. Go and check out because there are two more albums by this band. Musically speaking this album is a blend of Morbid Angel and Emperor influences, but don’t go expecting a lot of speed all of the time cause this band concentrates more on the brooding and mid paced approach and sometimes goes in for the kill with a ferocious blast beat between the eyes, right where it hurts. De guitars play very hard hitting riffs in the spirit of Morbid Angel opposed only by the keyboard’s more Emperor-like approach. But don’t fear out of every thing this band does seeps the thick style this band has made their own. Absolutely great! Even the guitar solos are completely in service to the songs and add atmosphere to the big picture.

The singer reminds me of Samael’s Vorphalak with his typical back-of-the-throat growl. The songs are quite long and complicated with numerous riffs, tempo changes and breaks and rouse the thought of what this band is able to do live. But since this band was signed by virtue of a tour I guess that won’t be a problem. Not a easy album to listen to and I requires a couple of spins for complete enjoyment, at least it did for me. But that is really the power this band has to offer. One hell of an album that’ll hopefully kick up some dust.

(this review was originally written for and is republished here with kind permission of the webmaster)