|Symohonic Black Metal, Death Metal, Industrial Metal
March 15th, 2010
Release length: 48:43
Death Culture starts things off with your typical Industrial sampling that incorporates a wisdom-like saying with what can only be described as a war march introduction in the background before tearing into the highly Industrialized track “Terror”, which isn’t much outside of that same Groove Metal-like war march sound that worked in the background of “Premonition” with some not-so-complex guitar chords making up the chorus. However, that kind of music writing on this album is pretty far in between, as Noctiferia manage to create the same kind of atmosphere that one would find on well polished Symphonic Black Metal albums by bands such as Dimmu Borgir or even Emperor, except instead of presenting a symphonic element through the additional or keyboards and guitar chords that ultimately sound harmonized to them, the focus is more on Industrial sounds and those aforementioned harmonized guitars, as well as the structure of the songs and the pace all of these are played.
Take “Monarch” as the prime example for this album. The song is heavily composed of both Black and Death Metal offerings such as intense drumming and fantastic guitar structures that also carry an Industrial feel to them, but not too much to completely tear it away from any Death Metal recognition. The song has a pretty intense pace throughout, however the slower choruses of the song really bring the symphonic aspect home thanks to the slower guitars used and the atmospheric Industrial sounds incorporated into it. This track, however, is also a bit repetitive of the structure to the “Delluders & Followers”, in that the slowest moment of the entire song feature spoke word audio samples, like the one that appeared on the introduction track “Premonition”, but in this case appears more then just once. While these tracks are a nice touch, it’s actually odd to sit back and listen to this album and enjoy the more Industrial only tracks over the rest.
After the song “Monarch”, Death Culture really winds up picking up, but seems to segregate it’s self from the aforementioned Symphonic Black and Death elements a little more. While those tracks are absolutely fantastic, songs like “Slavedriver” are just simply hard hitting songs that seem to never really let up and don’t have any alter motives musically, as in not trying to create some kind of fantastic dark environment, though there are plenty of moments in this song that happen naturally as opposed to a more purpose driven melancholic feel like in “Delluders & Followers”. That, and these tracks are just genuine headbanging fun from start to finish. The music on these songs are typically just non-stop intensity that builds upon the Industrial effects and keeps the music generally simple as far as the drums and guitars go. There are still some curve balls that happen towards the end of the album, such as “Non Individuum” which incorporates the same Groove guitar work as “Terror” has, just without the war march feel that lurks in the background in that one.
The only negative aspect to this album would be the song “Demagog”. While nothing on this album is set up to the point where it gets repetitive or even boring in the slightest, “Demagog” becomes the exception with it’s beyond simple Industrial composition. It’s not that bad a song, but it just doesn’t have anything to it that really will keep the listeners interest after a while. Infact, the song actually sounds like a song that was more inspired by Mallcore acts, or even mid-career Fear Factory when they performed songs like “Edgecrusher”. While the guitar solos in this track are fantastic, and the drumming is fast and intense, it just doesn’t really seem to go anywhere and winds up as if the band wanted to do some kind of musical endurance test and see how long they can play consistant simple Industrial with dramatic changes in pace while not really having much variety in the faster portions of the song. “Samsara” could be debated as a song that acts more as a filler song, and in essence won’t really hold your attention past a few initial spins of the album, but this song winds up beingr ather unique to the album and truly is the most Industrial song on this entire album and makes for a nice change of pace in the long run thanks to it’s clearly Egyptian based music and consistancy that doesn’t cause a rather large jump in repetition or even start to get lame right away.
Technically speaking, though Death Culture by Noctiferia is twelve tracks long, you technically get ten real songs as “Premonition” acts as the albums introduction and “SM 02” is an outro. Luckily, both of these wind up suiting the album nicely, and “Premonition” actually goes right into “Terror”, so it doesn’t feel like these two tracks just sit there taking up space. Noctiferia have composed a fantastic album here, with the only real downfall track being “Demagog”, which will not be embraced by everyone for the aforementioned reasons. This album shows great range and depth from the band, but that’s the overall feeling you get from the album. While it’s full of fantastic tracks, Death Culture feels more like an album that was created just to show off the band’s abilities, as it varies so much, and practically shows specific things in sections, one for the Symphonic Black and even Death Metal material, another for stronger Industrial and more fun mosh worthy tracks, and then just flat out ambient-inspired Industrial to end the album. while a little shaking around of the track listing may have worked in keeping the variety of the album a little fresher compared to that, Death Culture is still a hard hitting and thoroughly enjoyable release that fans, and those new to Noctiferia, should definitely take the time out to experience.
01. Premonition – 1:39
02. Terror – 2:33
03. Deluders and Followers – 4:10
04. Monarch – 5:15
05. Slavedriver – 2:59
06. Rust – 5:14
07. Non Individuum – 4:34
08. Catarsis – 3:39
09. Demagog – 4:16
10. Holymen – 4:13
11. Samsara – 3:49
12. SM 02 – 2:44
|Overall Score: 8.5/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Listenable Records.