Release DetailsLABEL Arctic Music Group
RELEASED ON 4/22/2003
posted on 4/2003 By:
Add another name to the list of bands playing symphonic, Borgir-esque extreme metal. Noctiferia's "Per Aspera" is chock-full of atmospheric synths, interesting riffs, and the requisite near-blasting drums. I'm not going to fault the band for treading a well-worn path, but the general sound is getting a bit stale. Hailing from Slovenia (add another country to the list), Noctiferia have recently signed a worldwide deal with the Arctic Music Group, and have toured with the likes of Kataklysm and Malevolent Creation, so I can't imagine they will stay silent much longer. Gianni Poposki's vocals sound like a cross between Abbath (Immortal) and Jeff Walker (Carcass) on Heartwork, utilizing a decipherable growl to get his message of evil across. The guitarists pump out skillful leads/solos and quirky rhythms. The kick drums get quite the workout, but with the exception of the occasional blast, the drumming seems a little light up top. "Per Aspera's" production is pretty average and a bit quiet, but every instrument gets equal emphasis, unlike certain other bands of the genre that give you nothing but tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat Why does every band have to put an intro on every album nowadays? Unlike on the new Vital Remains or Dimmu's "Puritanical...", most are simply a minute or two of filler - and this intro is no different. Skipping ahead to track 2, Grief to Master is a slow crusher that features some sweet effects-heavy leads, but the song would be better served at five minutes in length, not nine. Other standout songs include Fond of Lies and Aught Against Thee which speed ahead with head-bobbing Immortal-like grooves and growls. God's Debris opens up with a little Middle Eastern flare then develops into a mid-paced gem with galloping riffs and meandering, melodic leads. Per Aspera is not going to change the metal world, but it's at a high enough level to put Noctiferia's name on the map if they can get a little press. Fans of Immortal, Dimmu Borgir, Eric Peterson's Dragonlord, and Nile's softer side should pay attention to this release, while metalheads with only a passing interest in the style should just stick to the bands above when they need a symphonic fix. Overall, pretty good.
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