|Review: Noctum - The Seance|
Label: High Roller Records
Year released: 2010
Genre: Doom Metal
Review online: October 29, 2010
Reviewed by: Adam Kohrman
Some albums are nothing new but are nothing less than a sigh of relief. They're relaxing, provocative, and simply fun. An old and tired genre done well is just as good as exciting innovation. Such is the case with Sweden's Noctum. There really isn't anything that separates this from early Black Sabbath or Pentagram, and that's just fine. While it may seem paradoxical, Noctum play the style so freely that it comes off as fresh and endearing on The Seance. You can tell that the band have no qualms about playing a tried and true style, but they aren't playing it in homage either. It sounds too honest to for aping reverence. This is passionately crafted early doom metal. The riffs vibrate back and forth with strong traditional rock influences while David Indelöf's Bobby Liebling-esque squeal rolls over everything.
Noctum really do sound as if they came right out of 1978, within the scene of proto-metal wizards such as Sir Lord Baltimore and Budgie. But they hail from Uppsala, Sweden, which apparently has developed a strong doom scene. This is very riff-based, as the guitar carries each song from its opening riff to the closing moments. Indelöf's vocals are nothing stellar and he never showcases any range, but that's the way it should be. This is simple traditional doom metal that shouldn't have the dramatic histrionics that many metal singers employ. Instead, Noctum have one thing that many bands don't, and that's flow. These songs practically guide themselves from part to part, right until their end. The Seance is an album devoted to strong musicians that don't want to show off, but simply want to make good, enjoyable music in the vein of their predecessors.
This isn't astounding, but it's well worth it. Noctum are a breath of fresh air for doomsters. People who want to relive the days of traditional doom metal without lukewarm imitators should check this out.
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