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Limbonic Art
Ad Noctum - Dynasty of Death
Nocturnal Art

Limbonic Art have always impressed me as being one of the better black metal bands out there, but I still wasn't quite prepared for the sonic assault that is Ad Noctum. This two-man juggernaut manage to walk that fine line of technicality and sheer raw brutality that few others have. The band manage to integrate samples, sequences and drum machines into the mix without losing the real essence of the music and the band's sound wouldn't be the same without them. "The Dark Paranormal Calling" starts off inauspiciously enough, but once the relentless drums kick in, you are swept away in a maelstrom of sonic violence. "As the Bell of Immolation Calls" is a nine-minute epic that truly lives up to that title. After a mood-setting intro, a slow, heavy riff kicks in along with Daemon's grim vocal shrieks. Eventually, the song works its way around to a far more blistering tempo, but the song is incredibly intricate and never loses your attention. "Pits of the Cold Beyond" is a raging track of icy riffing, lighting-fast rhythms, grand keyboards and a huge chorus. "Dynasty of Death," while not as immediately killer as the opening three cuts, features some of the most tortured screams on the albums and a good mix of tempos. The mid-section of this song is also quite amazing, featuring not just great riffing but also some very cool synth-lines and drum programming, courtesy of Morfeus. "The Supreme Sacrifice" veers in more of a primitive, brutal direction, but even here you are treated to a number of different riffs and moods by the end of its 8-minute length. "The Yawning Abyss of Madness" closes out the disc perfectly, in all its 12+ minute glory. Somehow, Limbonic Art manage to transcend the ordinary black metal cliches without doing anything particularly new. Part of it is the amazing array of riffs and complex arrangements, but a big part of it is just the ferocious energy with which the band deliver it all. Like Immortal, there is this sense of raw power surging from the songs that cannot be ignored. The effect is overwhelming and mightily impressive, to say the least. If you fear that elite, Norwegian black metal has disappeared with the coming commercialism of the scene as a whole, one listen to Ad Noctum will change your mind. Destined to be a classic.
[Daniel Hinds]
taken from