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Rating explanation

Nocturnus - Thresholds (8,5/10) - USA - 1992

Genre: Progressive Death Metal
Label: Earache
Playing time: 43:49
Band homepage: -


  1. Climate Controller
  2. Tribal Vodoun
  3. Nocturne In Bm
  4. Arctic Crypt
  5. Aquatica
  6. Subterranean Infiltrator
  7. Alter Reality
  8. Gridzone
Nocturnus - Thresholds
NOCTURNUS' 2nd full-length isn't quite as technical as "The Key", which is why most people didn't think it measured up musically. I disagree with this for the most part. While the production is thinner and the guitar solos aren't quite as abundant, I think the band matured on this album quite well. The drumming has improved a bit, which was a definite weak-point on "The Key", and they've included some more melodies in their sound on songs like "Arctic Crypt", which remains my favourite NOCTURNUS-number.

The chanting at the beginning of the "Climate Controller" shows you where Trey got the outlandish lyrical inspiration from for MORBID ANGEL's "Formulas..."-album. Oddly, though, the song that follows is the worst on the album, minus the lead playing on it which is just incredible. The instrumental "Nocturne In Bm" is excellent, with Louis Panzer's keyboard-tones providing a haunting vibe, while Mike Davis and Sean McNenney solo like the space-aliens they are. Then to follow is "Arctic Crypt", which is a song I think fans of IN FLAMES would really enjoy, if they could handle the tripped-out arpeggio section in the middle, which is the highlight of the album for me! Overall the song is very melodic, in a NOCTURNUS-sort of way (you just have to hear for yourself).

Surprisingly, this album turned out to be my favourite of NOCTURNUS', when most people told me it was their worst! There are many, many moments of sublimity to behold here, whereas on "The Key", it was "look, I can play guitar hyperfast, wanna see?!" There is more QUALITY here, and despite some minor setbacks sound-wise, one thing that is not lacking here is a certain indescribable "vibe". If what I have described here interests you at all, then by all means I suggest you try and obtain this album. And for once, this is an album where the music lives up to the excellent cover-artwork as well!

Gabriel Gose

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