Goat Horns (The End)
by Paul Lee
I’m continuously astounded by how worldly the black metal scene has become, it’s growing increasingly hard to keep up with how many countries are producing decent bands these days. One such entity arises from the darkest depths of the Ukraine calling itself Nocturnal Mortum. This is a highly keyboard-dominated black metal outfit that add their own distinctive element to the black metal scene. With the integration of Ukrainian folk melodies, NM have tapped into an original element that works. What Nocturnal Mortum lack in the production department, they more than make up for with the passion and complexity of their compositions. They have a great feel for emotional and gorgeous melodies. They’re keyboard-heavy in a Mortiis sort of way, but with a completely different melodic feel and approach. Though there’re five corpse-painted guys in the CD booklet, it sounds more likely that only a few musicians created this with a weak drum machine (though a drummer is credited), no guitar (though two are credited), and plenty of distorted bass. That aside, NM could prove to be a serious challenger to the black metal crown of Norway. According to The End Records, there’s more to come from these Ukrainians this year, and since this was recorded in 1996, they will likely have made vast improvements in sound. I look forward to hearing Nocturnal Mortum with good production in the months to come.
(331 Rio Grande #58 SLC, UT 84101)