Nokturnal Mortum - _Twilightfall_
by: Quentin Kalis (
_Twilightfall_ is the re-release of Nokturnal Mortum's 1995 demo, which was originally released only on cassette format. This re-release follows reissues of all their full-lengths and a reissue of _Return of the Dragon Lord_ / _Marble Moon_ and will be followed with a double CD "rarities / best of" compilation shortly. One can only hope that the next step will be the release of their long-awaited full-length -- which will be their first since 1999's _Nechrist_. I'm tempted to consider this rash of reissues a cash in, except that Oriana is far too small for this to be considered a cash in. In addition, given that Oriana is headed by vocalist Knjaz Varggoth, a more nuanced interpretation is that this process of reissuing virtually every note recorded by Nokturnal Mortum can be more accurately considered as a labour of love (one look at the beautifully redesigned CD booklet for _Nechrist_ should serve as sufficient proof) than as a desperate money grabbing venture.The _Twilightfall_ reissue is the latest stage of this process. The music has been remastered and is, surprisingly enough, romanticised doom metal in the vein of early My Dying Bride or Anathema. Granted, this is hardly going to give _Turn Loose the Swans_ a run for its money, but for a first demo by a band who obviously had not found their sound, this is far from shabby. There are sufficient similarities with later material for this to be recognisable as Nokturnal Mortum; in particular, the guitar sound and leads display noticeable similarities with later albums, especially _Lunar Poetry_. Varggoth's vocals are recognisable for the most part, except for when he performs (competent, but otherwise unassuming) death growls. Folk elements, an important component of later songs, are also featured; however, it is a more conventional and familiar folk style that is embraced rather than the Slavonic folk tendencies that pepper their newer material.If, like me, you are a fan of the band or are interested in the origins of one of the underground giants, then you will want to hear this no matter what. For those unfamiliar with the band, this is the worst CD to serve as an introduction.
(article published 11/29/2004)
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