MetalBite Review by Alex on 1/29/2019 6:45:06 PM
The devastating reverb coming from Noctambulist’s debut Atmosphere’s of Desolation rarely lets up, it carries through as it clings to the crushing vocals, This debut enters with a brief instrumental then begins the barbaric and technical onslaught on the listener. Yes its technical, but don’t be turned-off by that, it doesn't go beyond the boundary to where the death/black metal aspects are drowned. Consider Atmosphere’s of Desolation a claustrophobic yet intricate piece of work similar to what the likes of Portal tend to create, but is amplified in volume and overall heaviness. This is the result of co-mingling the ugly side of death metal with the complexity of technical death metal, some black metal and a pinch of melody; a chaotic sound emerges from an orderly assorted collection of styles.
There is no holding back on Atmospheres of Desolation, the title says it all, its fast, ridiculously-heavy and combatant. Just take for example Abnegation, it’s played intensely quick and perplexedly when accounting for both drum and guitar work; the distortion generated gives the music a sound that is just bananas, all the while sheltering audible contortions. From here on it’s only multiplied as songs begin to display even higher levels of chaos, intricacy and even melody at times. What’s delighting to hear amongst the madness is some old school death metal riffing that show up regularly during this 27 minute release of fury. Also one is able to identify the impact deathcore has on the record, particularly on the song Denial of Autonomy. Though not introducing a ‘breakdown’, it was indeed heading in that territory.
There are moments of pure atmospheric bliss that takes a break from the crazy sound of instruments clashing against each other in a war-like fashion. Atmospheres of Desolation offers one significant example of that somewhere between the middle and end. Noctambulist completely slows the tide here and showers the listener in pure atmospheric bliss. This is perhaps the most furious and yet most beautiful track on the record. It’s a total assault on the senses as it goes from beast to beauty and back hence giving the music a soft and soothing touch that treats your wounds before you're battered again by technically flamboyant drumming, monolithic vocals and wrathful guitar riffs.
Atmospheres of Desolation is an essential piece of work, it should not be taken for granted particularly in a time where underground metal is at its strongest with so many challenging records being released; yes the competition is high. You NEED this record if you're a fan of underground death metal, Noctambulist deserves much support for their efforts in manufacturing something this extraordinary. More has to come from this American outfit; it would be unfair to deliver this work of genius and not try to follow it up with something that pushes its boundaries.
Rating: 8.7 out of 10