Nocturnus AD - Paradox review




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Band: Nocturnus AD
Album: Paradox
Release date: May 2019


01. Seizing The Throne
02. The Bandar Sign
03. Paleolithic
04. Precession Of The Equinoxes
05. The Antechamber
06. The Return Of The Lost Key
07. Apotheosis
08. Aeon Of The Ancient Ones
09. Number 9


Ah yes, "comeback albums." A rare occasion that almost always results in hit or miss efforts. With the mighty Nocturnus, pioneers of spacey death metal now rebranded as Nocturnus AD, thankfully Paradox is a lot more of the former than the latter.

Nocturnus have long had an odd distinction of being one of the most well respected, yet frequently overlooked of the "old school" death metal bands. Being one of the first death metal bands to incorporate keyboards into their music and thus experiment with a genuine "atmospheric death metal" sound, the band is most often remembered for their landmark 1990 debut The Key, a concept album of sorts about a time traveling cyborg who travels back to the first millennium BC to kill an infant Jesus because religious blasphemy. Recently Nocturnus has struck back in the form of Nocturnus AD, centered around Mike Browning, who contributed drums and vocals on The Key. Nearly 30 years later, the group is tapping back to the legacy of the Nocturnus debut with a debut of their own, 2019's Paradox.

Considering the fact that Browning is the only member of Nocturnus's lineup from The Key still present on Paradox, the group he's assembled under his banner does a pretty damn fine job at recreating the classic Nocturnus sound. While Paradox might not be as keen as its forefather on the spacey, electronic factor, being overall more deserving of the "technical death metal" label than "atmospheric" or "progressive" death metal, it nonetheless does a fantastic job of more or less redelivering The Key and all its glory for a present day audience. Replete with wicked, complex riffage, keyboard interludes that enhance the sci fi vibe, and Mike Browning's raspy vocals that differ very little in sound from his delivery on The Key, with Paradox Nocturnus AD generate a sound sure to please listeners who were looking to see them tap into their legacy, but that may disappoint listeners who were looking for something a little newer and more unexpected.

If there's anything to complain about with Paradox, it's the fact that Nocturnus AD are essentially going for The Key 2.0 with this album, and that overall it's not very high on the originality factor. Additionally, most of the tracks stick around the same upbeat, frantic tempo, meaning that there's little distinction between them, and after a while the sound on Paradox does become a bit repetitive. But in all fairness, Paradox may be more of an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" type of thing than anything else. As The Key was never anything less than an album that received near universal praise among the death metal community, there could certainly be worse examples that Nocturnus AD could be tapping into as a source of inspiration for Paradox. Sure, you could criticize this album for a lack of originality, but you damn sure can't criticize it for a lack of quality.

The time traveling cyborg is still head hunting. Help bid him a warm welcome to 2019.


 



Written on 29.05.2019 by Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable since 2013.


Comments

Comments: 15   Visited by: 155 users
30.05.2019 - 01:55
nikarg
Old Nick
The Key 2.0 was never going to be as good as The Key because the latter was a total masterpiece, but I do enjoy it. It actually grows on me with every listen. Tracks like "The Return Of The Lost Key" and "Number 9" are astonishing.
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30.05.2019 - 02:20
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by nikarg on 30.05.2019 at 01:55

The Key 2.0 was never going to be as good as The Key because the latter was a total masterpiece, but I do enjoy it. It actually grows on me with every listen. Tracks like "The Return Of The Lost Key" and "Number 9" are astonishing.

Yep, my thoughts exactly. And honestly, considering the fact that to this day there still aren't that many death metal bands that really pull off a Nocturnus type sound, even among the really tech-heavy spacey ones, this album is still pretty original when you compare it to the rest of the death metal scene. It's really only unoriginal by Nocturnus's own standards.
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Now who should I call? Should I call Mr. Strawberry?
No, I don't think I'll call Mr. Strawberry. I don't think he's taking calls.
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30.05.2019 - 09:46
Discordant666
Written by Apothecary on 30.05.2019 at 02:20

Written by nikarg on 30.05.2019 at 01:55

The Key 2.0 was never going to be as good as The Key because the latter was a total masterpiece, but I do enjoy it. It actually grows on me with every listen. Tracks like "The Return Of The Lost Key" and "Number 9" are astonishing.

Yep, my thoughts exactly. And honestly, considering the fact that to this day there still aren't that many death metal bands that really pull off a Nocturnus type sound, even among the really tech-heavy spacey ones, this album is still pretty original when you compare it to the rest of the death metal scene. It's really only unoriginal by Nocturnus's own standards.


As I only really care about "The Key" this is exacly what I wanted. Didn't need to be "orignial" IMO, aslong as it was good. And it is more then good, its excellent!
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^Cosmic Black Metal Electronica^
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30.05.2019 - 09:58
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Now that we've had a Nocturnus reunion album can we please please get a Timeghoul reunion album as well
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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30.05.2019 - 13:25
Bad English
Masterchief
Key was masterpiece i doubt it can be re composed.
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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30.05.2019 - 16:38
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by Bad English on 30.05.2019 at 13:25

Key was masterpiece i doubt it can be re composed.

Wrong
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Now who should I call? Should I call Mr. Strawberry?
No, I don't think I'll call Mr. Strawberry. I don't think he's taking calls.
Loading...
31.05.2019 - 04:43
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by RaduP on 30.05.2019 at 09:58

Now that we've had a Nocturnus reunion album can we please please get a Timeghoul reunion album as well

And a Ved Buens Ende one too please
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Now who should I call? Should I call Mr. Strawberry?
No, I don't think I'll call Mr. Strawberry. I don't think he's taking calls.
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31.05.2019 - 10:21
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Apothecary on 31.05.2019 at 04:43

And a Ved Buens Ende one too please

That one's probably coming
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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31.05.2019 - 18:11
The Benighted
Written by RaduP on 30.05.2019 at 09:58

Now that we've had a Nocturnus reunion album can we please please get a Timeghoul reunion album as well

iirc the main guy from Timeghoul is a giant piece of trash and he's been exorcised from the greater metal community. Would love another album but we'll just have to settle for that excellent comp.
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Learn to adapt to the change, or get washed away like tears in the rain.
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31.05.2019 - 18:19
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by The Benighted on 31.05.2019 at 18:11

iirc the main guy from Timeghoul is a giant piece of trash and he's been exorcised from the greater metal community. Would love another album but we'll just have to settle for that excellent comp.

Which one? Jeff?
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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01.06.2019 - 05:22
BitterCOld
waltrsobchakheit
Nice work on the review, rather enjoyed the album. remember hearing one of the tracks off The Key back in the proverbial day but never could find a copy of the album until well after DM peaked, died, was all but buried (and most my interest with metal) until the early 00's US "revival". This album doesn't have the same impact as The Key (or the one track) did 25 years and change ago, but is still a fantastic album.
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get the fuck off my lawn.
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01.06.2019 - 06:34
The Benighted
Written by RaduP on 31.05.2019 at 18:19

Written by The Benighted on 31.05.2019 at 18:11

iirc the main guy from Timeghoul is a giant piece of trash and he's been exorcised from the greater metal community. Would love another album but we'll just have to settle for that excellent comp.

Which one? Jeff?

Nah Mike Stevens. Made a whole bunch of racist and generally repugnant claims for years and years and it finally caught up to him.
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Learn to adapt to the change, or get washed away like tears in the rain.
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01.06.2019 - 07:54
Maco
Carnivore
Written by The Benighted on 01.06.2019 at 06:34

Nah Mike Stevens. Made a whole bunch of racist and generally repugnant claims for years and years and it finally caught up to him.

Hopefully that won't stop him for making new music, if he decides to return ofc. New Timeghoul would be exciting.

As for this, it's definitely a worthy successor for The Key, even more than Thresholds.

EDIT: After looking some info about him it seems he released a DM album last year and it sounds like Timeghoul, maybe worse tho.

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By blood... Resurrection?
By body... Redemption?
By God... Domination?
By Pilate... Crucifixion!
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01.06.2019 - 21:49
terroriser
Hallelujah! Gods of Metal be praised!!!

Finally after, what, almost 3 decades of waiting... I'm browsing new releases on my favourite metal site and what I see NOCTURNUS AD. one look at the cover and I was gone. 10 for art work, 10 for music and 10 for cutting my torment in purgatory. I love every second of it

On a serious note by extremely high standard of The Key this album slightly fades in unavoidable comparison. I agree with the reviewer that it's more tech Death than atmospheric but still it's good 'ol NOCTURNUS.

That is the metal news of the year for me.
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10.06.2019 - 21:38
Baz Anderson
I really enjoy this album! I love both the original Nocturnus albums, and this is pretty much in the same vein as the review says. The Key was unique enough, so how they have managed to recreate the same feeling on this is great to hear!
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