Neoclassical metal, a term to strike fear in the heart of any metaller. Will it be pretentious unlistenable piss or a thrilling flurry of shredding guitars and virtuoso keyboards? To be fair, it’s a fine line and Noctura are the latest act to tread it!
Frankly, we’re incapable of describing the technical aspect of this kind of neoclassical power metal so we’ll dive into the overall vibe presented throughout. Unsurprisingly, Noctura are suitably epic in stature but more importantly the intricacies of their playing are not lost in a sea of showboating. There are songs here, head-banging monsters propelled by the growls of vocalist/guitarist Consti D (you were expecting clean singing? You won’t find that here).
A myriad of sub-genres rear their head throughout, “Henoch” cross-references classic heavy metal with a black metal vibe à la modern day Satyricon – it’s a belter of a track incidentally – while parts of “Legatum Serpentis” bring to mind a neoclassical version of vintage speed/thrash metal; think Cacophony with a more streamlined approach.
Mixed and mastered by Charles Graywolf (Powerwolf), the production on Requiem is suitably bombastic and full-throated and while this is an album that comes saddled with the ‘neoclassical’ tag, it’s surprisingly heavy, refreshingly varied and rather accomplished. 7/10