ALBUM REVIEW: NOCTAMBULIST – I. ELEGIEëN

I guess it doesn’t come as any great surprise – but the term ‘post’ anything has increasingly come to mean taking a particular genre and twisting it to the point that it bears little resemblance to anything that it was to start with. As such, when records leap into view that restrain themselves from this chokehold, they appeal in a relatively unique way. That’s what I found here – given that this first full-length from these Dutch expressionists is absolutely ‘post’ everything yet captures the untarnished spirit of all that it draws from.

I remember a record coming out by the US band Numenorean that managed the same feat. Within this sublime offering from Noctambulist, there remains the true desolation and spiritual abandonment of the more atmospheric extremes of black metal. There is less ‘gaze’ than Deafheaven but as much face-scratching, blood-letting misery as, for example, Drudkh.

Progressive tendons are stretched right out through tracks such as the exhilarating ‘De Leegte Wenkt’ whilst the dripping cold of a frozen, windswept land sail in via the quite epic closer ‘Kraalenmars’. This record successfully maps out a journey and, predictably, that is exactly what I wanted it to do. Furthermore, it took me with it.

So, ‘if ‘post’ anything means that music can become novellas and guitars can become paint brushes, then I am fully on board. Strap me in and off we go. In 2021, it’s records like this, along with whisky and dimly lit rooms, that remind us all of just how beautiful this life of ours is, or maybe was.

9/10

https://noctambulist-northernsilence.bandcamp.com/album/noctambulist-i-elegie-n

https://northernsilenceproductions.bandcamp.com/

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