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Technical death metal's overlords - 88%

BloodIronBeer, February 4th, 2013

This band embodies technical death metal. Rapid-fire growls, absurdly complex, ridiculously fast and ever-changing guitar parts, bass that is treated like a separate instrument; not an extension of the guitar, and drum parts that will give a veteran drummer a headache.

The production here is a notch above Cabinet, but not quite as good as Incurso. The guitar tone has been made more acceptable (not so thin sounding) but it doesn't have the punch and fullness of Incurso. The sound of the band becomes more refined at this point; not indicative of what Incurso would be, but slowly making every riff count for something, and contribute to the over all picture. This is probably the most straightforward of their releases, Sour Flow is actually not very crazy by this band's standards, and uncharacteristically mid-paced throughout. Dead and Grotesque is fairly technical, but stylistically reminds me more of Cannibal Corpse than this band's signature style.

Be prepared to follow a dizzying path to what the guitar does next, even playing slower tracks, the guitar riffs are incredibly busy. Again there is an overtone of classical elements; with impeccable harmony and lyrical phrasing throughout. Which is really what makes this band what it is.

Unless the last track of an album is an "epic", normally the final track on an album is garbage - either an acoustic outro, or some boring bullshit. Don't miss the last track on this album. After a strange harp carnival-music intro, there begins one of the fastest songs I think I've ever heard. So intense!

The lyrics, despite the grammatical errors in spots, are very poignant, very apt for this style, not really themed about the demonic stuff like the other albums - which I love - but still pretty cool.

I guess this is their "accessible" album, if such a leap of relative terms could be made. A bit slower, a bit more straightforward, not quite as great of riffs and guitar work, but still right there and a damn good album.

Just shy of perfect... - 99%

Chaos_Inferno, June 11th, 2008

I can say that this album especially has solidified Spawn of Possession as my favorite brutal tech death band. It's technical without being overbearing like Epitaph, and still more brutal than a lot of bands.

Every riff is expertly crafted to be technical and pleasing to the ear, with drumming to match it. Normally very little tech death drumming ever impresses me because everyone seems to be blown away by pure speed. Scorched is the only time I've ever been impressed by speed, granted I've heard live he must two hand the freaking THREE HUNDRED AND TEN BEAT PER MINUTE BLAST BEATS but even attempting to play such a song is commendable in itself. On top of this he uses a few techniques and playing styles a bit unique to most tech death, breaking the generic mold quite easily.

The fact Dennis also pulled off the vocals for the album is incredible as well, he has one of the clearest while remaining brutal, as well as fast death growls I've ever heard, keeping pace with his blast beats throughout the album.

Solos on the album aren't incredibly common but when they show up they're well done, it's not particularly necessary for there to be many solos on the album as it is because of the incredible technicality of the riffs.

The only thing that I think could've been done better with this album would've been the shortening or removal of the samples that begin the album and begin Scorched. They're rather unncessary, not detrimental to the songs but still rather unnecessary in their length, even though they are only about a minute long. Something closer to 30 seconds like the opening of Church of Deviance on Cabinet would've been more fitting, at least in my opinion.

Overall, as close to as perfect a tech death album as I've ever heard, recommend it to anyone who enjoys some form of extreme metal.

Render me speechless - 98%

Destroyeroftheweak, November 21st, 2007

Spawn of Possession's "Noctambulant" is a very rare and special death metal release, to say the least. After their first release "Cabinet", I was skeptical about this. Cabinet was technical but somewhat dull death metal, which didn't impress me at all. But Spawn of Possession kicked my elitist beliefs into the dirt with this rare gem of death metal.

I didn't care much about the ambient instrumental thing, partly because I always skip them on death metal albums. The second track "Lash By Lash" is one of the most impressive tracks on this album, consisting of very clean guitar and well...blasting. The shine of this song is the songwriting, it's very fast, brutal, and amazingly technical. Most elitists now think of Necrophagist or Martyr when Tech. Death is mentioned, but introduce Spawn of Possession because well...Spawn of Possession pretty much defeat the competition.

There are very very few dull tracks on this album, the tracks "Sour Flow" and "Solemn They Wait". Other than that, every other is packed with skill, technicality, and originality.The tracks that really stand out to me are "In My Own Greed", "Lash By Lash", "Render My Prey", and "Scorched". The last mentioned song is a spectacle of death metal, it starts with a ambient intro with the sound of fire, then a baroque style harpsichord sounding neoclassical keyboarding, then the insane blasting. Most likely the most brutal track on the album, the vocals are done very fast to keep pace with the face pounding riffs and drumming. The album finishes itself off with a very satisfying ending.

The only complaint with this album is well, I want more! The loss of Dennis Rondum is also very saddening because he played the key role in Spawn of Possession. I recommend this album to any death metal fan. Throw away your Necrophagist, Beneath the Massacre, The Faceless, or any other mediocre tech. death album and pick this up.

98/100

Mindblowing and technical - 98%

BabySchraiberJesus, September 21st, 2006

I recently ordered this CD during a binge of orders from The End, and this one has blown them all away. Spawn of Possession really don't bring anything new to the table, as it were, but they have synthesized and created a wholey unique kind of technical death metal that no other band does quite as well.

Prior to my purchase of this album, I had only heard a couple tracks from Cabinet (which I had intended to buy but I was unable to locate it!) and thought they were pretty damned good, mixing a Necrophagist-like technicality with brutality and their own Spawn of Possession twist. The band continues in the same vein through their sophomore effort, perhaps toning the brutality down just a bit but only as a means of creating a more cohesive set of songs that feature plenty of catchy/distinguishable melodies and more mind-bending technicality.

The band fits into the melodic-tech-death genre (along with the likes of Necrophagist, Anata, and labelmates Psycroptic) which has recieved numerous ass-kicking releases this year. The first thing that sets this album apart, in my opinion, is the extreme usage of dual guitar harmony. Almost every section of every song has some usage of dual guitar harmony! This is not just Iron Maiden harmonized thirds, either; this is serious atonal counterpoint with both guitars operating independent of one another much of the time. However, don't get the impression that the band is going to lull you into a Dark Tranquillity-like state of melody... because all of a sudden the tempo picks up and they come blasting with a vicious brutality. And to top it all off, they might lay down a killer groove (see Solemn they Await)!

Another great aspect of this album is the vocal performance; Jonas Renvaktar delivers lightning fast lines that my friends and I have referred to as "death metal rap" due to their intense and driving rhythm. The album also features two guests on vocal duty, and I have to say Robbie K's gutteral vocals on By A Thousand Death's Fullfilled serve as a nice change from Jonas' more dry vocals.

The only downsides I see on this album are that the songs have a bit of a samey feel (except for Sour Flow, which I feel is the "ballad" of the album... that is to say, it's a bit slower. Still very technical though!) and that the drums are sometimes a little uninspired. Lots of unaccented blasting and meat beats. I guess, though, that it was a good way to keep the album somewhat grounded, considering the acrobatics that the guitars are doing.

Definitely a must-buy of 2006, and one of my favorite death metal albums ever!

Brilliant - 94%

Dark_Mewtwo1, June 26th, 2006

Spawn of Possession has picked up steam in the metal underground in recent years due to the word-of-mouth success of their debut album Cabinet. Well, 3 years after the fact, the band releases their sophomore effort to many waiting fans. I wanted this album to be just a little bit better than Cabinet, but I got something more.

The band experiments a little more on this album. They turned up the technicality up a notch, more technical than Cabinet was, but they don't overdo it, like Necrophagist or some other tech death bands. The band also shows their affinity for adding random things into the songs. Lash By Lash has a little clean guitar break, and Scorched, the final track, has a minute long intro in which there's nothing but clean guitar work and nice, melodic solos which weave in and out in a pretty strange polyrhythm. Each of the tracks on Noctambulant deliver, they are punishing yet technical, but neither side is overpowering. The vocals are pretty low sounding, just like on Cabinet, so if you were a fan of those vocals, these are pretty much like that, and they fit the frantic style of the music very well. The drumming is superb, extremely technical, with blast beats used in extremely tasteful sections of the song, not being completely retarded like many bands like to do. The guitar riffs are excellent, never staying put on a riff very long, just going from riff to riff to riff and maybe back to riffs, but not staying on one idea too long, so it keeps you guessing. Even the bass has a few appearances here.

The main drawback I see with the album is the pretty mediocre showing of the bass. It does show up at times, but for the most part, it is drowned out in the mix. My only other complain is Sour Flow, which is a good song, but somehow doesn't flow well in my mind (maybe it's why it was called that by the band, lol) with the rest of the album. But aside from those two complaints, this album delivers the goods for any death metal fan. If Spawn of Possession was poised to become one of the best in death metal, they've surely taken the next step toward that goal with this album. I highly recommend this.

What to say... - 95%

KayTeeBee, June 25th, 2006

Second album for the Swedish brutal death metal Spawn of Possession, who has been getting more and more popular over the years since their debut, and noone's wondering why. This sophomore release is technical without being braggy, brutal without being redundant and sometimes melodic without being cheey (just like Kronos, although Kronos are not as technical).

After skipping (yes, I skip cheesy intros) a symphonic misleading intro, the band jumps straight into action, with intricate melodies, clean interludes and low vocals. All of this reminds of the latest Psycroptic offering, one may think, but this is technical without showing off. The mix of brutal, technical and subtly melodic metal is something few bands can achieve. Just as the listener thinks things can't get any better, one of the guitarists busts a sweet solo, with a heavy, slowed down riff in the background (just like Aborted's work in "The Inertia"). Repeat this process for about 8 more tracks and you've got Noctambulant. Always pushing the boundaries without being too pushy, the band touches many styles including technical death, brutal death, or just death.

Now, as if I haven't said it enough already, what sets this album apart is the fact that it's just not braggy. Sure, some parts sound like your average brutal death metal band, but Spawn of Possession switch genres so many times in each song, it's easy to get lost and forget the use of very little clich├ęs. All 5 musicians deliver a top-notch performance, be it the guitar tone being not too raw nor too soft, of the drummer (and vocalist) delivering one hell of a performance. Sometimes majestuous while being rarely symphonic, fascinating and boundary-crossing, Spawn of Possession are the new death metal band to look for in the 21st century. Yes, they're that good.