.

Noctum - Until Then... Until the End


by Matt Hensch

.
Sweden's Mercyful Fate fetish has led to more than one visit from Satan's stork, if you know what I mean. Noctum is in an odd place compared to their fantastic cohorts, as they are, in my humble opinion, the oath-bearing family's red-headed stepchild. Whatever it is that holds the group back from rivaling Portrait or Trial is not necessarily palpable; there is, however, a hindrance in play. "Until Then…Until the End," just a two-song 7'' vinyl release, shows Noctum building upon the gained traction of 2013's "Final Sacrifice," which was a solid affair of heavy metal coated in the shadows of Mercyful Fate. While a pair of tracks does not substantiate a seat at the adults' table, it does show Noctum is working hard and staying true despite the undervalued property. Then again, this market has a high standard for a reason.

I suppose the main joy of this small effort comes from Noctum's resilience; no changes, either major or minor, have occurred since "Final Sacrifice." With that being said, both tracks here eclipse most of the group's erstwhile works by means of enhanced songwriting represented in the horror-themed atmosphere. The title track is better-rounded than prior Noctum labors, implementing a theatrical chorus next to the King Diamond-esque vocals and a familiar heavy metal blueprint that makes the jump from decent to pretty damn awesome. "In Precious Time" might contend for the crown of Noctum's best song ever, as the driving riff that naturally explodes into a quasi-black metal sequence while juggling the Mercyful Fate-ish temperature without sacrificing Noctum's individuality is superb. Heads have been banged, and necks now hurt.

"Until Then…Until the End" gets down to business in ten minutes. It's imprudent to call a two-track 7'' a band's best release, but this stuff makes the case to topple most of what the group has done thus far. Needless to say, it ain't too shabby.

Noctum - Until Then... Until the End
Rating:

Share this article

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Pin it Share on Reddit email this article