Nokturnal Mortum – To the Gates of – Review

Nokturnal Mortum

To the Gates of Blasphemous Fire (The End)
by Scott Hefflon

Lemme guess, black metal? Can’t read the fuckin’ logo, it’s got a title like that (and it’s a follow up to the Goat Horns EP that Nuclear Blast just reissued in Europe), and they use that Old English font everyone thinks looks Med-evil or something. Not to make fun of Nokturnal Mortum, cuz hell, they rip shit up like, um, like everyone else that plays this kinda throat-ripping, post-thrash black metal stuff, wears corpse paint, and poses for photos beneath a full moon, beside a stone altar, clutching a battle ax. The difference? To the Gates of the Fiery Bad Place: Scary, Scary! is 50 minutes long. And while it still has subtle elements of pagan celebration, folklore, naked chicks being tied to stuff in tribute to something big and nasty, this motherfucker starts in high gear and spends the whole 50 minutes flying by blurring scenery perhaps best not scrutinized. Most songs are five minutes or more, and each will leave you panting. Evidently based on war (that’s the only useful info I got out of the bio), Nokturnal Mortum may in fact have released one of the most powerful single-speeded slabs of black brutality yet. There are blasphemous goblin dances (hyperactive goblins I must add), hoofed creatures cavorting about whilst playing flutes and lutes and the like, not to mention cackling gremlins ripping away on various stringed instruments (smashing things and impaling one another as much as playing) making the symphonic pit a bloody battle royal – all the imagery that makes ferocious black metal great.
(556 S. Fair Oaks Ave. #101-111 Pasadena, CA 91105)