Noctumbre have been around since 1996, though line up changes have swept through their history and made sure that less than half of their original fold remain on their full-length debut on Steelworks, "Embraced by the Dark".

They call themselves dark metal, and they combine screamy/thrashy vocals not unlike black metal bands with high-pitched screaming reminiscent of Elend. These vocals will make sure you either love or loathe the band. Added to that there's the complex variety of music that will pose quite a challenge to the open-minded listener, with many changes of rhythm and innovative songwriting in general.

Unfortunately, the album is marred by a rather bland production. Also, vocalist Roy Veenstra sometimes takes the extremes of his voice too far - especially in "Their Cries Will be Heard" and the closer, "Last Days". I am not to pleased with the vocals in the Deep Purple cover "Black Night" either, but this is compensated by the cool use of Hammond organ sounds.

"Embraced by the Dark" is a promising debut that will no doubt raise eyebrows all over the place. I'm just not too sure about some of the vocals.



Written November 2000


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