5/31/2019

Nocturnus A.D.- Paradox (Album Review)

Musician: Nocturnus A.D.
Album Title: Paradox
Genre/ Subgenre: Atmospheric Sci-fi Death Metal
Label: Profound Lore Records
Release Date: May 24, 2019

Paradox is the long awaited debut album of Noctornus A.D. Birthed from the ashes of Nocturnus, an incredibly important and influential death metal of its old school days, this band is the brainchild of founding member and death metal master, drummer/ vocalist Mike Browning (he also founded Morbid Angel). His desire was to continue to path formed by the band on their classic and highly influential 1990 masterpiece The Key.

The album is, in fact, a direct continuation both musically and story of said classic. Thus, this concept album and sequel tells the tale of Dr, Magnus, a scientist who has been ravaged by a war plague. He is kept alive via a bio-suit, an aftermath of the events in The Key.

Paradox comes pretty damn close to being on the same level as that masterpiece. The music is complex and atmospheric. It changes tempo and evokes feelings of the darkest of science fiction. There is an all encompassing aural assault that is highlighted by the rich and thick production.

Speaking of atmosphere, it's set from right from the get-go with the haunting intro of the opening track, "Seizing the Throne". The song then goes into thundering and pummeling drums. "The Bander Sign" has this beautiful otherworldly intro that goes into a swirling, heavy, and dark sound encompassed by the band's trademark keyboards, combined with blast beats and guitar shredding sound like a brutal laser assault. It results in what might be my favorite track. Speaking of blast beats witness the all out assault of "Precession of the Equinoxes" which sounds and feels like the ultimate attack from beyond our world. "The Antechamber"'s sweeping guitars and keyboards and unrelenting drums feels like a cybernetic hell. "The Return of the Lost Key" would be the perfect song for a cyborg inspired sci-fi/ horror feeling as unrelenting and merciless as the original Terminator, itself was. It's another strong contender for best track. The 9th and final track, "Number 9", is an epic feeling closer to one of the most exciting death metal releases this year.
Paradox is a very worthy follow up to The Key. As such, it is one of the most awe inspiring releases in the world of death metal this year, so far. It is as technically impressive as any science fiction nightmare captured on film. The modern sounding and thick production further augment this otherworldly invader. Admit ably, it might not be for everyone, as the sci-fi feel might turn off some. But, those who are cool or into this should dive right in! I look forward to hearing more from Nocturnus A.D. And, here is hoping they are here to stay around much longer this time around, cause as of right now, death metal has found its ultimate returning, robotic anti-hero!


4 out of 5 

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