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HARDWARES

NOCTUM

Final Sacrifice

(Metal Blade Records)

Reviewed by : Kelley Simms
Rating : 8.0

Swedish rockers NOCTUM conjures up a convincing KING DIAMOND/MERCYFUL FATE hybrid on its sophomore release, Final Sacrifice. In fact, vocalist David Indelöf is a dead ringer for the Danish wailer, who does a good job of mimicking Diamond’s trademark falsettos and evil whispers. The band also throws in some NWOBHM influences such as JUDAS PRIEST (Rocka-Rolla era) and IRON MAIDEN.

The nine tracks that grace Final Sacrifice are steeped in occult references loaded with haunting melodies and some exceptional guitar solo passages. After the first few hypnotic notes of CD-opener, ‘Conflagration,’ you know you’re in for a treat. Sometime, the band even tricks you into thinking it’s really a groove-based blues-rock band disguised as old school metal. If you don’t believe me, check out the bluesy, DEEP PURPLE-ish instrumental jam of ‘Deadly Connection.’ Judas Priest meets Mercyful Fate by way of Black Sabbath on ‘Resurrected In Evil,’ which gives off the slightest hint of BLUE OYSTER CULT, too. ‘The Revisit’ is a cross between Sabbath’s ‘Hand Of Doom’ and JETHRO TULL. Flute in a metal song? Why not?!

Some songs could have been trimmed down a bit to keep the intrigue factor up a little longer, but thankfully there’s enough tempo variation, transitional riffs and emotion within each song to keep things entertaining. Even if Noctum contently wear its influences on its sleeve, they shouldn’t have a problem standing on its own two feet with future releases.




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