Thursday, April 9, 2015

CD review: NOCTURNE Ave Noctem by Dave Wolff

Ave Noctem
Nocturne, a solo project from Chicago, continue the tradition of US black metal with Ave Noctem. Founding member Dan Klein cites black, death and traditional metal as chief influences. While listening I mostly heard the black metal elements, and it could have just been me but a few elements reminded me of folk metal bands like Primordial. At first I didn’t see this heading in new directions but a degree of professionalism demonstrates how seriously Klein is taking this project. The musicianship is tight, with a solid grasp of the atmosphere and attitude a black metal band needs to leave an impression. Inside your thoughts you’ll see ancient unholy magic and inside your soul you’ll feel as if you’re being taken to this distant past. That Klein plays all of the instruments, writes all of the lyrics and composes all of the material proves that one-man black metal bands can produce quality material. Klein is also the sole driving force behind the recording, mixing and mastering so he has a clear vision of what he seeks to accomplish. A recurring theme I found in the lyrics was of escaping from perdition after what had seemed like ages of imprisonment. Famed underground artist Christophe Szpajdel designed the logo with Norgith Demonrace. Juha Vuorma designed the front and back cover art. Do Or Die Records, also from Chicago, is a new label with three releases out: Nocturne’s Ave Noctem, Deathcult’s The Test of Time and Relentless’ Souls of Charon. Updates are on the label’s Facebook community page that they’re planning more releases and will be releasing material on vinyl. Distribution is limited to three figures for each of their releases, which shows they’re building a fan base on a grassroots level from the ground up. Some new releases from early this month include Sons Of Famine and Alleyway. -Dave Wolff