With a moniker like LUNA AD NOCTUM and photographs of the band adorned with Corpse paint, one would make the assumption that you’d be in for a blast of straight Black Metal. Not completely though, as “Sempiternal Consecration” is one of those burgeoning releases swarming Metal from Europe these days: a mix of Black and Death Metal blended so as to cover enough ground in both genres that when you’ve finished listening you feel like you’ve heard an album from both camps. While it is tempting to describe them as Melodic Black Metal, I think there is too much deep Death riffs to be discounted on this album.
Birthed from Hell in 1998, LUNA AD NOCTUM hails from the bursting-at-the-seams scene in Poland. You get what I describe o’ plenty with “Sempiternal Consecration”. The band gallops away for the most part in the beginning of track with a Black Metal structured beat that forces you too awaken and prepare for a primeval blitz of music. The vocals are aptly handled along with the bass by Adrian Nefarious, who is the constant Black Metal ingredient in the band, remaining in a screech throughout the album. After the initial intro track though, the title cut races with what could easily be an opening to modern Death songs. Nefarious, along with band members Dragor Born in Flames, Tomas Infamous and Blasphemo Abyssum Invocat (don’t you love made up words for names?) more than competently execute their brand of Black Metal. Shredding guitars accompanied with blast beat percussion. “Devotion In Sin”, the third track on the release is where you find a good mix of that Death with Black Metal, time changes and slowed riffs contained that mix it up enough to separate LUNA AD NOCTUM from the raw Black Metal of the past. This Black Metal I prefer: cleaner production and a wider scope of sound.
As with most releases of this nature, there are keyboards in the mix. However, unlike many contemporaries, LUNA AD NOCTUM keeps the keys in check and never let them intrude enough to saturate the songs. Melody is often carried in the keyboards, but those melodies are not as omnipresent as with other Black Metal bands. No, LUNA AD NOCTUM’s “Sempiternal Consecration” is a ravaging album that has little in the way of melodic relief and that is just fine with me. I get engrossed in the vigour of tracks like “Avast!” and “Inner Predator”.
There is quality here. For those looking for a tempered Black Metal album from older, unrefined efforts should check this out. (Online January 15, 2006)