I’m not necessarily the biggest fan of Raw Black Metal but since it’s my duty to give my opinion on this album, I’ll try to keep an open mind. So this band is called NOKTURNE; a super-underground Black Metal band that plays their music brutally and raw. NOKTURNE have been around for 10 years now and I still can’t find shit about them on the net, after looking for about an hour for information on these dudes, I found no record company website and no official band website. Actually, come to think of it, I’m not entirely sure if this band exists anymore. Anyways onto the review.
The music here sounds a lot like many other underground old-school Black Metal bands such as MAYHEM (old), DARKTHRONE, CARPATHIAN FOREST, etc… As usual for a release like this, the sound quality is bad throughout the entire album- but I won’t take points off of it just for that; for it seems to be a standard for Black Metal CD’s. The CD starts off with an intro of the sounds of feet marching (possibly soldiers to war), because the next song “Blood Flag”, without noticing the title- sounds like a lot of those Black/War Metal songs you’ll hear from artists these days.
The instruments actually have a good sound to them, the guitars are in proportion with each other and the riffs, even though sometimes generic, have good parts to them and the drums are kinda heavy, but sound a little dry and muffled. As for bass? Well… There is no bass. The vocals on this album are your standard gritty shrieks heard in every Black Metal band. There are a few occasions on this CD where some clean singing comes in. The best example being the last track on the CD. Where the song is about 2/3 sung in clean vocals. The problem is though that the clean singing is way off tune and the guy can’t hold a pitch for his life.
A lot of the songs on the CD sound the same which is my main problem with raw Black Metal. A lot of songs have the same structure. Same riffs, same drum beats, same gritty vocals; but like I said, although this type of Black Metal has a huge following, I’m trying to stay as open minded ad possible because I know a lot of people prefer Black Metal in this stage and not so complicated as bands such as DIMMU BORGIR or CRADLE OF FILTH.
There’s also a DVD that comes with this CD which has a full live performance of NOKTURNE performing their “Kruelty Kampaign” CD in front of a crowd in the Key Club in Los Angeles, California. The performance is quite comical actually as it seems the singer of the band is the only one who actually moves around the stage at all during the performance and the way he moves looks like Donald Duck sometimes. Oh and this is no super high-quality DVD either. It’s recorded by a camcorder and the sound quality is worse than that on the CD.
So with my final closing comments, this CD is good. As much as I’d like to give it a higher score, I just can’t cause of my preferences in this genre of music. It is worth a buy if you’re into the old-school Black Metal. For me though, it’s just another underground band that worships Satan too hard trying to be the most extreme band out there. (Online March 4, 2006)