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Nothing but Chaos and Disorienting Cacophony - 83%

bayern, June 22nd, 2017

Nokturnel should be mentioned alongside another very similar act, Vicious Circle, as both outfits belong to the more technical side of the death/thrash metal hybrid, and both released their debuts a bit later than the mass (Atheist, Nocturnus, Vacant Grave, Incubus, Hellwitch, Revenant, etc.) in the trend, and both shot their sophomores after the same lengthy period. Both outfits can easily come on top of the group in terms of brutality as both cling more towards the death metal side of the spectre, but in terms of musical proficiency Vicious Circle are the decidedly superior team. This doesn’t mean that our friends here are slouchers and don’t know what they’re doing... it’s just that they have chosen to present the thrash/death metal blend in a most chaotic, dishevelled, charmingly scattered manner, one that would never attract a large pool of fans, and one that would keep them inhabiting a special niche from the metal field.

So this “madness” here begins with “Human Termite”, a bashing brutalizer which will scare the non-trve immediately, and once it clears the way things become way better with the stylish leads on “No 2nd Chance” and the more moderate thrashing rhythms on “Sliding Down The Razor” which even features quite intriguing melodic embellishments. “Global Suicide” is brutal technical death metal predating the Cryptopsy “atrocities” by a few years, but this is a tad more linear and certainly more chaotic. “Skonopolator” is a short aggressor with a great psychedelic interlude ala Voivod, and “My Hell” is excellent hectic thrash/death ala Atheist’s “Piece of Time” with a couple of choppy breakdowns and a supreme bizarre technical stroke towards the end. The instrumental “Final Punishment” goes off the path with eccentric spacey accumulations and spiral-like riff-patterns; a masterpiece of busy technical/progressive metal that explores a myriad of time-signatures along the way. “Target Planet” returns to the more orthodox barrage, but the riffs remain on a higher, more complex level. “Revenge of the Corpse” slows down and serves intelligent technical guitars their jumpy stride broken once by an insane brutal insertion. “Welcome to NJ” is another high achievement in the technical/progressive sector with eclectic tunes, sudden tempo shifts, and weird riffy configurations which amazingly seldom leave the mid-paced parametres. “Poltergeist” closes this diverse opus with lightning speed decisions, a few virtuoso sections, some impetuous outlandish thrashing, and a pleiad of screamy chaotic leads.

The very shouty, nearly hysterical at times, vocals are the perfect fit to this utterly hallucinogenic aural experience which lacks order and discipline, but makes up with loads of musical histrionics that would take some time to settle in. Again, the more squeamish will run away after the few introductory chords from the opener, and will never come back although the initial chaos gets under control a bit, and the band keep producing surprises for the more tolerant all the way to the end. With closer supervision and more compact musicianship they would have fitted into the dazzling brutality movement, which started a few years later, and would have given Suffocation and Cryptopsy again a very good run for their money. The dishevelled riff applications may have been intentional, after all, as the guys may have wanted to generate as much chaos and perplexity as possible… and they had admirably succeeded on all counts. The only question that remained was whether the band would ever elaborate on those flashes of genius that peppered the album all over…

The fans had to wait for that to occur for whole eight years the guys throwing the “Anti Grunge” EP in-between to keep the memories of them, at least in those who had any in the first place, alive. “Fury Unleashed” eventually hit the stores in 2001 and deserved its “furious” title every bit of the way. In other words, the chaos from the album reviewed here is in full swing once again with thrash almost completely gone from the picture which gets under a bit of control at times, but only to stupefy the listener even more with the next slab of unfettered undecipherable brutality. Well, at least the guys kept their reputation for being one of the most unhinged purveyors of the brutal metal idea; with chaos and cacophony leading the way assuredly, there are literally no limits as to where their raging imagination could take them…