Having no prior listening experience with Slovenia’s Noctiferia, I was completely unbiased in my judgement with their new full length, ‘DeathCulture’. Midway through the album’s opening track, ‘Premonition’, I knew I was in for a good listen…the intensity grew and swelled until erupting into a grooving and churning maelstrom of fury, devasting all its path.
Noctiferia and Listenable Records have kept no secrets as to who is responsible for the top notch production heard on ‘DeathCulture’…none another than master producer/engineer Peter Tagtren and Abyss Studios. The last album I heard that wore his mark sounded too thin and overproduced for my ears and I am happy to say that ‘DeathCulture’ is a different monster altogether. The sound is nearly flawless, with drums that are up front and dominating, layered, vicious vocals and guitar performances that are as smooth and sharp as glass. My take on keyboards is that if you don’t notice them immediately, they are doing their job…these keyboards add another dimension to the recordings without be obtuse and fit perfectly.
‘DeathCulture’ combines syncopated drum and rhythm guitar work with violent vocals and distant keyboard atmospheres to form a rather crushing assortment of neck breaking tracks. Tracks such as ‘Monarch’, ‘Democracy’ and the pounding ‘Delluders and Followers’ contain an intensity that can only be heard in true masters of extreme metal. The listener will often find vocal samples mixed in throughout the album, which, if left alone, would be rather boring but Noctiferia was able to provide fitting music beds that make these passages their very best…or maybe it was Peter? Either way, the effect is the same and worthwhile.
All in all, I recommend ‘DeathCulture’ to the fans of extreme metal music. The sound of the recording, while as clean as can be, still retains a strong element of attitude and excellent musicianship, thanks mainly to the guitar leads and snarling vocals. If you are in search of a driving and headbanging album full of groove and attitude, look no further than Noctiferia’s ‘DeathCulture’.