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Review: Nocturnus AD - Paradox
Nocturnus AD

Label: Profound Lore Records
Year released: 2019
Duration: 52:09
Tracks: 9
Genre: Death Metal

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: June 14, 2019
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating

Rated 4.36/5 (87.27%) (11 Votes)

Well, there's a complicated history behind this album, and it's taken a lot of years and twists and turns to get here. Nocturnus was the band started by drummer Mike Browning after he left Morbid Angel back in the '80s, and produced the debut The Key, which is, on the one hand, a groundbreaking album due to its use of keyboards in extreme metal but, on the other hand, isn't that good. Browning used to have a very stilted, staccato style of songwriting which made all his songs sound the same.

Then in 1992 the other members of Nocturnus trademarked the band name and fired Browning from his own band. It was a dick move, but then they released Thresholds, which I thought was way better than The Key, so it kind of evened out. Browning then went on to form After Death, who basically played the same style of Death Metal, but never released an album.

So now we have Nocturnus AD, which is essentially Browning and his revamped lineup reclaiming the Nocturnus name even though they legally can't use it—even with the old Nocturnus broken up since 2002. So, this is really the proper follow-up to The Key by the original songwriter, almost 30 years later.

Fortunately, Browning's songwriting has improved enormously in the last three decades, as this is everything The Key should have been, but wasn't. This is heavy, slightly technical Death Metal with crunching riffs, atonal leads, and the keys adding atmosphere and a horror-movie kind of menace to the whole affair. The songwriting has a lot more variety and flow to it than it did on The Key, and the album remains interesting and visceral all the way through. A solid return from a force long absent from the scene.

Other related information on the site
Interview with drummer and vocalist Mike Browning on December 7, 2013 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with drummer and vocalist Mike Browning on August 21, 2016 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with drummer and vocalist Mike Browning on June 16, 2019 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with drummer and vocalist Mike Browning on December 31, 2022 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with vocalist and drummer Mike Browning on February 7, 2015 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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