The Metal Observer - Everything in Metal!

Band-Archives: Metalheads online.  
# | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z By country | By style | By reviewer

Band history still to come.

More Reviews
Current Updates
Print article
Rating explanation

Nocturnus - Ethereal Tomb (6,5/10) - USA - 2000

Genre: Progressive Death Metal
Label: Season Of Mist
Playing time: 42:11
Band homepage: -


  1. Orbital Decay
  2. Apostle Of Evil
  3. Edge Of Darkness
  4. The Killing
  5. Search For The Trident
  6. Paranormal States
  7. The Science Of Horror
  8. Outland
Nocturnus - Ethereal Tomb
This album marks the return of NOCTURNUS after a long hiatus following the "Nocturnus"-EP. The band got a new drummer and bassist/vocalist (Emo Mowery, who lived in my hometown of Albuquerque, NM, for awhile - important trivia fact! - Gabe) and decided to resurrect the project in a slightly different vein than before. The technicality has been toned down a lot, in favour of slower, more chunky, less choppy riffs, although Davis and McNenney do their fair share of shred-soloing and flashy riffing as well. The keyboards are also present as a subtle backdrop, but sadly they're a bit low in the mix. The vocals are much more brutal, and the drumming has certainly improved a great deal...

"Orbital Decay" starts off with some pretty cool riffing, though compared to the majesty of "The Key," I must say that it pales in comparison. NOCTURNUS haven't really forged any new ground. They are exceptional musicians, but one can tell that they're selling themselves short here. For me, this band is about exploring new realms using Death Metal-medium. I do think "Search For The Trident" is the best single song they've ever written, with it's beautiful, ominous intro on the keys and thought-provoking lyrical concepts, not to mention Mike Davis' mindblowing leads that never cease to amaze me! But this doesn't make up for the fact that the album just isn't all that impressive, considering the talent on hand. It's not, in any way, a "bad" album, it just doesn't live up to the reputation that NOCTURNUS have built for themselves. The elements are all in place for a stellar release, but this is obviously not of the calibre that the band is capable of...

I'd say, if you're new to NOCTURNUS, seek out their first two releases "The Key" and "Thresholds" before getting this one, as they're more representative of a band that's hungry to forge a new sound in Metal. This is certainly a worthwhile purchase, but if you're up for exploring a sorely overlooked entity in Metal like NOCTURNUS, then I suggest that you do it chronologically with them. Hopefully the next album will be better...

Gabriel Gose

2000-2013 The Metal Observer. All rights reserved. Disclaimer