Lecherous Nocturne - Occultaclysmic - (5.5/10)
Published on May 7, 2018
Some unknown number of years ago, when I dreamed instead of tremolo picking rather than character development, I was having a discussion with a fellow metalhead about different styles of metal. We had gone back and forth about styles we enjoy, styles we despised, how fucking stupid crabcore bands were, and the technical minutiae of how guitar playing differs from subgenre to subgenre. It was within this long-lost Facebook discussion that my friend said something that slowly has altered my opinions on metal music: ‘all metal sounds the same to me.’
I still remember reading that in the little messaging window. Metal all sounding the same? To a youngling like me at the time, I believed that all styles of metal were unique and possessed their own musical qualities that were absolutely indistinguishable from each other. I thought such a statement was reserved for those who hadn’t the proper ear training for extreme metal, let alone regular heavy traditional metal. Now, my friend knew what different styles sounded like and was definitely more well-versed in the genre than I was at the time, but as I got older, his words started to make more sense to me. Be it age or my exploration of other non-metal genres of music, but there is a slow becoming of all the new metal bands sounding like one singular aural collusion. I briefly touched upon this with my review of ‘Bestial Hymns of Perversion’ by Of Feather and Bone, how the band seemed to fall into those usual modern metal pitfalls of muddy production, full-throated pseudo-growls, and that kind of crunchy guitar tone that every band these days tries to emulate.
Sometimes, a band can get caught up in the sound of the moment. This is when artists all fall into a kind of stalemate, following the sonic template of that moment in time and falling into the same pitfalls as many of their contemporaries. Sometimes, that pitfall isn’t even a movement or a trend or the birth of a subgenre; it’s just the sound of what other bands are doing, and there’s no escaping it. Lo and behold, one such band that seemed to have suffered this fate, Lecherous Nocturne.
I had never heard of this band before sitting down to do this review. And now, as I crawl out the other end of this review, dirtied and battle-crazy, I can honestly say that LN’s latest, ‘Occultaclysmic,’ is just meh. A mediocre entry is the modern underground pantheon that sounds too much like a lot of other bands these days.
The current state of brutal death metal is kinda sad, in my opinion. Now, to their credit, LN is a step-above a lot of the ridiculous cookie-cutter brutal/slam bedroom projects that focus more on cartoonishly offensive artwork rather than strong pummeling riffs. Not all bands are like this, hell no, but it’s become a real trend and has probably become a joke sometime ago. Fortunately, this band is not that. LN are a bloody axe thrown in the right direction, focusing more on songwriting than aesthetics. They, like any good band, haven’t forgotten about the music. If only they were better at it.
The songwriting here isn’t stand-out; it falls short of being noteworthy to a notable extent, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely bereft of enjoyment. Underground metal releases are very much focused on catering to other metal fans, so it becomes harder to dissuade people from turning away from certain releases. They WILL find something to like about them. Personal enjoyment has more value than quality, which makes it easier for certain bands to find audiences. Now, that being said, there will be people who enjoy this record and others like it. That’s fine. But I personally am kinda sick of the whole technical-to-the-breaking-point-trying-to-break-reality-by-speed-alone shtick. The album got pretty tiring when I noticed how similar each song was to one another. It just felt… well, bland.
There is one shining grace to this album. And that would be the instrumental track ‘Remembrance.’ Goddamn this track is killer. While all the other songs are rather meh in their execution and songwriting, this nearly-five-minute instrumental is a fantastic mood piece that marries dissonance and a melody so sorrowful to make a rather killer bit of music. Throw some acoustics and haunting background sounds to this mix, and you’ve got, what I would consider, the high point of the album.
Lecherous Nocturne aren’t bad per se, but just aren’t doing a whole lot differently than a lot of other brutal/technical death metallers right now. This flaw, while not intrinsically bad, certainly doesn’t do them any favours in the end. ‘Occultaclysmic’ falls short of being anything really special, at least in my opinion. But, like horror fans, we metalheads are willing to overlook a lot to get our fix, so while I may not have been blown away, I’m sure some of you guys will like it. So, have at it, if you want.