Noctiferia - Death Culture
Listenable Records
Industrial Black Metal
13 songs (48'43")
Release year: 2010
Listenable Records
Reviewed by Alex

Why on Earth did I have an idea that Noctiferia play symphonic melodic black metal? Perhaps it was one of their earlier albums, or I have confused them with some other act emerging now from the remnants of the former Yugoslavia. Hailing from quiet Slovenia, a classic mittel-Europa, the republic which largely escaped the ugly clutches of war marking Yugoslavia’s demise, one would expect Noctiferia to be a little less angry and politicized, but it is exactly that brand of harsh industrialized blackened metal which the band presents on Death Culture.

Militaristic intro Premonition with spoken samples giving a good glimpse of what’s to come, most of Death Culture songs are based around the slamming Fear Factorish-guitar riffs and incessant punched up mechanized drums, plastic sounding and so repetitive, the “drum machine” notion is firmly planted. This adrenaline fueled aggressive engine rarely stopping for a quick guitar solo, Noctiferia inject a sense of futuristic apocalypses (or modern day society demise, if you wish) with synthesizer backdrop, providing a shifting melodic shroud. As merciless and automated as the guitar riffs are, with the vocals shouted in your face, it is the synth that provides both the blackened edge and some relief. The starlit beginning of Demoncracy hints at … And Oceans and Havoc Hate (something Noctiferia can be strongly compared to), but with the reminder that “money is your god”, yelled about good 10-15 times straight, we are brought back to the matters mostly earthly.

The variety is difficult to come by on the album, the whole initial premise demanding this cold faceless rigid approach. Rust slows down the tempo, guitars stretching the song out, as if putting the lube into worn out parts, and Non Individuum opts for a more voluminous chorus sound, yet some other compositions on Death Culture reach for diversity in rather strange ways such as the rapping syncopated rhythm at the end of Monarch. If patience is your virtue, the best moment of the album comes on the tribal rhythm organized and ethnically filled Samsara, which, along with the throughout militaristic theme, immediately brings to mind the latest Rotting Christ. I am in no way suggesting Noctiferia would be better infusing folk into the mix, but Samsara lifted the eyelids a little.

Striking the proverbial anvil with the modernized hammer constantly, Death Culture is one of those albums which can play in the backroom of reclusive, yet aggressive, goth freak, as well as in the scintillating illumination lit rave bar somewhere in any decent size European city. An equal part industrial, black and political statement, I could not overcome the decided lack of personality to embrace this monochromatic forceful display of aggression.

Killing Songs :
Alex quoted 61 / 100
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