Nokturnal Mortum
The Voice of Steel


4.5
superb

Review

by Kyle Ward STAFF
December 30th, 2009 | 434 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist


More than four years after the release of their previous LP, 2005’s Weltanschauung, Ukranian symphonic black metal band Nokturnal Mortum have presented us with The Voice Of Steel, an album which is both insanely varied and rock-solid. The amalgam of traditional eastern-European folk music, symphonic black metal, and touches of genres like blues and hard rock make Voice Of Steel easily the most bold release of Nokturnal Mortum’s career. The black metal portion is less keyboard-centered, instead going for numerous guitar solos which draw influences from a wide array of musical styles and a good emphasis on the bass guitar. This styling really helps keep the one hour and twelve minute album from growing stale, and also shows a giant leap in songwriting progression for the band.

Save two tracks, each song clocks in at over eight minutes, going to upwards of twelve. This leaves a lot of room for a vast array of different riffs and transitions which make the ending of each song sound a world away from the beginning. Take, for instance, the third track “Valkyrie”: the song starts off right from the get-go with intensely heavy black metal laden with tremolo picking and blast beats before it breaks into a symphonic bridge before transitioning to clean chanting vocals, only to move to a slower guitar solo which brings to mind influences from 80’s metal to hard rock, before slamming you with more black metal. It might sound crazy, but Nokturnal Mortum somehow makes each and every song enjoyable despite countless different sounds flying around. The pristine production helps facilitate such a strong atmosphere, with each and every instrument audible at all times.

Indeed, the increased use of melody really makes The Voice Of Steel an enjoyable listen and more than just an album which you will listen to once every few months. In both the verse riffing and the multiple guitar solos which show off a huge display of technicality which Nokturnal Mortum was, for some reason, hiding for so long, you will find excellent songwriting and a keen ear for harmony that helps to keep things constantly fresh. The atmospheric tracks like “My Dream Islands” and “Sky Of Saddened Nights” provide both an increased synth display as well as a calm, almost beautiful side to the music which even further displays the daunting array of different sounds displayed here. The heavier tracks, as well, often showcase extremely heavy mid-paced black metal which never overstays its welcome but almost always adds a solid base on which to build the remainder of the song.

It’s really impossible to fully describe how exactly The Voice Of Steel sounds. It’s a unique album which most certainly deserves a spot in the top black metal releases of the year, as well as yet another affirmation that Nokturnal Mortum are one of the most consistently good symphonic black metal bands in the scene. Their music, as it is displayed here, has matured to a sound which sets this band apart from any other in the world. The raspy scream of Varggoth to the hugely atmospheric cleans of guest musician W. Angel provide engaging vocal arrangements on top of the impressive musicianship, and as a package The Voice Of Steel far and away surpasses fellow Ukranian band Drudkh’s latest album Microcosmos, probably the only other release which sounds even close to what is displayed here. Four years was a while to wait for this album, but with the quality displayed on The Voice Of Steel, it would have been worth the wait even if the album took another four to complete.



Recent reviews by this author
In Flames Siren CharmsPanopticon Roads to the North
Empyrium The Turn of the TidesWolves in the Throne Room Celestite
Agalloch The Serpent and the SphereInsomnium Shadows of the Dying Sun
user ratings (167)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Crysis
Staff Reviewer
December 30th 2009


16410 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

There we go, posted it to the right album this time.....


As Wizard said to me when I posted my best of 2009 list: "I hate to say it Crysis, the year isn't up yet dude"

He was right. Album of the year for me.

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III ? Saturnian Poetry

FadeToBlack
December 30th 2009


10926 Comments


I only have Goat Horns and Lunar Poetry, but I love both of them and want more; what shall I get next?

good review, pos'd

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
December 30th 2009


16410 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Get this album for sure, it's their best since Goat Horns.

TheSpirit
December 30th 2009


17881 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great Album/Review

Digging: Wreodan Heahl - Laecig

FadeToBlack
December 30th 2009


10926 Comments


ok, I might need to edit my top 10 of 2009 list :P

TheSpirit
December 30th 2009


17881 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Get Kob yet Crysis?

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
December 30th 2009


16410 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Not yet, I was too bust last night listening to this album. Will do so today.

TheSpirit
December 30th 2009


17881 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's not quite as good as this but it's still really solid

Ponton
Emeritus
December 30th 2009


5793 Comments


good review. What are the lyrics about?

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
December 30th 2009


16410 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I have no clue, they are all in Russian.

Ponton
Emeritus
December 30th 2009


5793 Comments


Ah I see. I really like the symphonic aspect of these black metal bands but I can't seem to get into them that easily.

pride
December 30th 2009


227 Comments


Damn now I have to look into this too.

Motiv3
December 30th 2009


8938 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Been looking into this band for a while, should i start with this crysis?

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
December 30th 2009


16410 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Either with this album or Goat Horns, I say. Go with Goat Horns if you like A LOT of keyboards.

jingledeath
December 30th 2009


7104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good stuff man, will definitely be getting this soon.

Hawks
December 30th 2009


35824 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review Crysis. Album sounds like something I would love, which I probably would because I like everything else I've heard from this band.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
December 30th 2009


16410 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah if you like anything this band has done there is really no reason why you wouldn't like this.

Hawks
December 30th 2009


35824 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well then I'm going to add this to my already huge list of albums I need to check out.

BallsToTheWall
December 30th 2009


44472 Comments


Oh shit son, a new Nokturnal Mortum album. I did not see this coming but will immediately find. Ace work you melancholic motherfucker.

Digging: Tove Lo - Queen of the Clouds

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
December 30th 2009


16410 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Why thank you, I knew that this album was coming out sometime but didn't realize that it was released four days ago.

Album art is awesome too, forgot to mention that.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy