Anyone else suffering through finals week? I’ve been so up to my eyeballs this past month in case studies and research papers that I’ve really only had the time and energy to focus on my end of year list for the Vault. Winter break could not come soon enough, especially since this is my favorite time of year. Not just because I’m a total slut for Christmas (kvlt card revoked), but also because this is when I trade in my west coast IPA’s and punk rock for heavy stouts and icy black metal (kvlt card reinstated). And even though I’m still working on my last couple projects for finals, I felt compelled to take a little me-time and talk about this new Noctem Aeternus record.
I’m a sucker for albums covers such as the one that adorns Winter Spells. You’d think I’d be big into Skyrim (never played it). Nature-based album covers can definitely hit an oversaturation point at times, but something about this one whispered softly in my ear “check me out, I’m worth it.” And yes, the snow-capped mountains and freezing waters shown here are a good representation of the music therein, that’s for damn sure.
Noctem Aeternus have pretty much everything you’d expect and not much more. But it’s really how you use it, right ladies? Blast beats, tremolo picking, high-pitched black metal screams, all that jazz is here. What this one-man project from Argentina is able to meld all of those elements into, however, is what caused me to procrastinate on my school work. After the atmospheric opening track, Winter Spells shows its hand in the game immediately, and it’s a royal flush of haunting, beautiful melodies.
“Crushing” is a word I typically reserve for aggressive, death/grind/thrash riffs, but I feel it is appropriate here as well. The riffs and melodies on this album soar high and crash like an avalanche. The gorgeously terrifying power of nature is plastered all throughout this album, and as Boston temperatures took an absolutely merciless nosedive today, I find myself coping with a healthy dose of Winter Spells.
This bad boy sends 2017 off with a bang. It’s a perfectly solid December release, the kind that isn’t going to make you regret not being able to include it on a best of the year list, but still the kind that you will want to make sure no one glosses over. Again, this is pretty powerful metal. It may not blow your mind, but it sure as hell blows like the winds of winter.
Winter Spells was released digitally December 1st, 2017 and is available for purchase through Noctem Aeternus’ Bandcamp page.