Nocte Obducta - _Galgendammerung, Von Nebel, Blut und Totgeburten_
(Grind Syndicate Media, 2002)
by: Matthias Noll (7.5 out of 10)
Nocte Obducta is a German black metal band featuring two Agathodaimon members. Although _Galgendammerung_ (the full title translates to "Dawn of the Gallows. of Fog, Blood and Stillborn Children") is Nocte Obducta's fourth album, it is also my first encounter with the band. Their previous album _Schwarz Metall_ (literally "Black Metal") is said to be in the primitive and raw, early Darkthrone direction, but on _Galgendammerung_ Nocte Obducta's main strength lies in their ability to incorporate excellent melancholic melodies into a somewhat old-school style. Melody is indeed used brilliantly on this record, and we're not talking about the "hey, I have this four note kindergarten melody, let's play it on 500 bpm and we'll have a cool black metal tune" approach which sadly applies to 80% of the current black metal output. In addition, a good dose of blasting, constant shrill and frostbitten shrieking and the absence of any gothic elements and clean male or female vocals ensures that this release might be able to please the grim black metal crowd as well. Although the line-up includes a keyboard player, Nocte Obducta does not fall into the overcrowded category of "symphonic" black metal. The keys are carefully integrated into the overall sound and add additional melodic textures here and there without ever becoming cheesy or dominant. In all nine songs, which range from 3:40 to a length of over 10 minutes, _Nocte Obducta_ use the full range of possible tempi and moods -- from slow atmospheric sections, to mid-tempo, and on to frequent blasting. Breaks are generally well incorporated, different sections seamlessly blending into each other, and even the longest tracks remain focussed and interesting at the same time. Technically this band is quite OK, but certainly leagues away from the Emperors of this world. A positive effect of this is the absence of any technical gimmickry which might detract from the quality of the tunes. The production on _Galgendammerung_ is a bit weak and trebly without sounding truly necro or grim. Fortunately, the overall quality does not really suffer from this; I can strongly recommend _Galgendammerung_, and not only to black metal purists.

(article published 3/7/2002)

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