Nokturnal Mortum
[The End]

You know, with most bands more often than not it works the other way around, but Nokturnal Mortum are getting better and better with each album. "Nechrist," however, is a two-edged sword. It is undeniably Nokturnal Mortum's best work to date, but it is also their most difficult. Dense, layered production of their previous effort "To The Gates Of Blasphemous Fire" was rubbed raw, stripped to its bare essentials and given quite an unsettling feel, making it difficult to perceive the music right away. The guitar sound in particular is very rugged and obscure. The songs themselves are not any easier to get into either. Nonetheless, once it sinks in, it works amazingly well. The guitars rage, rattle and sizzle with cold, abrasive riffs, the lightning keyboards weave a web of hauntingly melodic scores, and the catapulting drums burst out from beneath. The band finally came to terms with their own roots, which resulted in an accomplished integration of their culture's folk tradition into the music by the means of real folk instruments, including fiddles, pipes, domra, flute, sopilkas and whole lot of other stuff.

Fusion of folk music and raw black metal was tried before by the likes of, for example, Graveland or, to a lesser extent, early Satyricon. But despite any possible comparisons or parallels, Nokturnal Mortum were able to hit on something pretty special. The level of immersion into Slavic culture and expression of national pride is deep and realized. On the down side, though, their newly acquired NS/WP stance seems to be nothing more than a gimmick and jumping the band wagon, probably in order to attract more attention and sell more records. Too often bands, from Darkthrone to Graveland and beyond, pronounced themselves as unbending adherents of such ideologies only to drop them sooner or later at their own convenience. In this respect, Nokturnal Mortum don't seem to be much different from the rest of the pack, especially given the band's history. While the BMB affiliation is supposedly intact, I, for instance, heard stories about the band's past association with Thron, whose members are neither of Aryan nor of Slavic origin. But ideology aside, the music is the most important thing here, and you can bet you sorry ass that Nokturnal Mortum delivered the goods, and plenty of them. The funeral wind is blowing, jesus' blood is flowing, the black raven is crying, and Perun's celestial silver is shining. Slava!

2000 boris