Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Nocturnal Torment - They Come at Night [2012]

Nocturnal Torment are a four-piece death metal band from the United States that follow suit to the recurring American death metal sound but, having previously been a thrash metal band named Termination, intersperse short bursts of a slight thrash influence throughout. That’s not to say that said thrash influence is very prevalent in this album either, because what dominates "They Come at Night" is an assault of finely formulated old-school death metal paying tribute and adding to what former death metal masters have done.

The vicious attack of heavy death metal that resides in “They Come at Night” is resulted primarily from the grating guitars that penetrate the overall sound, being low and threatening. Tremolo-picking a la Malevolent Creation is frequently heard throughout, and this often gives way to slower, heavier passages that are dominated by more rhythmic and lower guitar riffs. This album undergoes constant changes in regards to different riffs and patterns, and these will surprise you once they come around. An example of this is at 2:57 in “They Come at Night,” where the bass is left alone to give a prologue for the subsequent riff, which, in fact, is dangerously catchy and headbang-inducing. And, sure enough, another change of pace is seen soon after this riff ends. There is not much use of melody or guitar solos on this record, but this does in no way detract from the quality of the album, as there is not much need for them. Thrash riffs are used scarcely, but they are seen throughout, and are often accompanied by a thumping d-beat being played on the drums, adding to the intensity of the guitars. This can be seen at around the middle of the song “Bleeding,” where a crusty thrash riff is played.

While the guitars pummel on in the foreground, other aspects of this album are sure to impress and deserve to be praised as well. Firstly, the vocals. The vocals on "They Come at Night" are very akin to early Hypocrisy, ranging from low to high gutturals that pierce the air. In addition, they have a  tendency to utter out quick vocal segments. The drumming is neither remarkable nor trite, but it is noteworthy. It’s in no way boring, and along with the repeated use of thrash beats, a blast beat is seen now and then. The use of fills is also frequent, being hardly every the same, and they aid in transitioning into different phases of songs smoothly.

Definitely a must for fans of American death metal. Hell, for fans of any style of old-school death metal. They pull off an old-school sound while at the same time not completely ripping off their predecessors, and the songwriting, often resulting in long songs, will more than certainly keep listeners entertained as they are surprised by different riffs at every turn. Straightforward, pounding death metal that’s bound to be sought out by metalheads the world over once they are noticed in the scene; and rightly so.



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