THE NOCTAMBULANT – The Cold and Formless Deep
US horde The Noctambulant are about to unleash this rather fierce and punishing wall of ugly sound appropriately entitled "The Cold and Formless Deep", and if bands such as Naglfar and Necrophobic get your dick hard, this is most certainly a record that you do not want to pass up on.
There is a melodic sensibility to The Noctambulant’s intense brand of black metal and yet it comes across as relentlessly aggressive most of the time, which is to say that "The Cold and Formless Deep" walks that fine line between being easy on the ear while simultaneously feeling like a bombastic assault on the senses. Funnily, Sacramentum’s overlooked jewel "The Coming of Chaos" as well as Gehenna’s "First Spell" also come to mind now and then due to the band’s ability to combine majestic (and at times beautiful) melodies with a truly sinister and foul atmosphere. Some of the album’s slightly bleaker and more melancholy passages remind yours truly of Dissection’s "The Somberlain", which is obviously a compliment. These skilled dudes know perfectly well how to incorporate plenty of interesting nuances and wicked guitar hooks into their evocative compositions as evidenced by the massive track that is "Morietur Solus" or the insanely catchy "Bloodhunt". The raging title track is pretty damn glorious as well. Vocalist E. Helvete does a fine job overall with respect to adapting his voice to whatever the riff or part of a song calls for. Musically and in terms of its dynamic production values, this is a solid and well-crafted affair with a dark vibe and a delightfully morose feel to it.
"The Cold and Formless Deep" may not be particularly original or different to what some of the melodic black metal genre’s European titans do (or have done earlier on), but it is an inspired piece of work that shows determination and confidence, and it is worthy of closer inspection and study should you be an adherent of this particular style and genre.