Nocturnal Torment - They Come at Night

Posted on Thursday, March 01, 2012

There was a time when I eagerly sought out every Death Metal album I could find. I’ve seen and heard it all multiple times. To this day, I still have a soft spot in my blackened heart for Death Metal. I still feel that sense of darkness and frenzy that I felt the very first time I heard Altars of Madness or Left Hand Path whenever I throw those albums on. When I hear a new band, my first thought is to compare the feelings I get to those old-school classics to see how the new kids stack up (not that the NT guys are “new kids,” having all been in many other bands over the years). That being said, They Come at Night punishes me the way I like it. The production on this is fucking sick. If Death Metal had a set of templates for how to produce an album the right way, this would be one of them. Musically, Nocturnal Torment brutalizes you from the opening second and really doesn’t stop until the last song is over. There aren’t any acoustic interludes, atmospheric keyboards or female vocals to be found here. What you get is Death Metal reminiscent of older Swedish Death Metal music with an American Death Metal sound. The formulation is especially apparent on the last track, “Primordial Existence.” The name that keeps popping up in comparison is old Hypocrisy, because they were very much like that. Peter Tagtgren spent time in Florida and when he went back to Sweden to form his band, he took the American Death Metal sound and applied it to the Swedish style and got something of a hybrid. They Come at Night reminds me a lot of that sound. If you listen to this and Osculum Obscenum side by side, they have a lot of the same qualities. If any improvement is to be made, I think what this band needs is to include a strong hook or a strong chorus part to their songs. If there is an Achilles Heel to They Come at Night, it’s in the memorability department. Every song kicks your ass, but there isn’t something that sticks in your head long after you’re done listening to the CD. This is something that takes a lot of work to develop. If these guys can get that aspect covered and maintain their brutality, they’ll be turning heads and snapping necks with the top tier bands in the genre. Even without the strong hook or chorus, They Come at Night holds up well after repeated plays. I’ve listened to this twelve times as of this writing and I’ve yet to get tired or bored of it. When you can say that about an album, it’s got to be good.

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