Review Summary: Dissonant sleepwalking
Sleepwalking is a phenomenon that has always aroused my curiosity. A person who walks while asleep is never truly among us. The subconscious frees itself through the infinite dimensions of sleep, without ever losing close contact with its body, that remains active in the physical world. This intermediate state of consciousness has always been subject to various metaphysical and artistic interpretations, which have seen this phenomenon as a seductive source of inspiration for surrealist manifestations. Denver-based dissonant death metal band Noctambulist, built their brand around this state of consciousness and its communication flows with other dimensions.
The intro "Dimming Lights Illuminate" is the gateway to Atmospheres of Desolation
, the rite of passage that prepares the listener for the disconcerting journey that starts with "Abnegation", a dissonant vortex that violently swallows us into a parallel dimension, where everything seems uncertain and surreal. But despite the surrealistic textures, Noctambulist's dissonance has a less abstract twist, as we can hear in the title track or "Habitual Falsehood", which present a more tangible and realistic approach. These two songs are the album's highlights and translate, by their stylistic nature, the band's DNA, that embodies the dissonant strength of bands like Altarage in a more straightforward and less blurred style. The hypnotizing side of Atmospheres of Desolation
also deserves to be mentioned since it's a structuring part of Noctambulist's music. This mesmerizing texture manifests itself, in all its blackness, in the final sequence of "Jubilant Cataclisym", which has a transcendental levitation effect, perfectly mirroring the album's artwork.
As the title suggests, a state of emptiness surrounds every second of the album. This dense vacuum is enhanced by an adequate production that emphasizes Noctambulist's intensity and strong synergy between musicians, whose performance is clearly above average. If I had to highlight something, it would be Sean McConnell's powerful vocals, which burst like a multidimensional behemoth through the dissonant vortex.
Despite its short duration, Atmospheres of Desolation
is the auspicious debut of one of the most promising bands in the dissonant extreme metal scene. These guys know what they're doing, and everything leads us to believe that this is only the first step towards further journeys through the tenebrous dimensions of sleep. As far as I'm concerned, I'll be waiting, with my eyes wide open.