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jools green
Jools Green
29th May 2017

somnium nox

Australian duo Somnium Nox epitomise perfectly the concept of atmospheric Black Metal with their debut full length 'Terra Inanis', which means "empty land", a compact release of just three tracks spanning twenty eight minutes but it's what they pack into those minutes that is the crucial factor.

It's a haunting and atmospheric journey that engages and torments the listener simultaneously, this will have the hair on the back of your neck standing on edge, such is the unnerving ambience of this release.

somnium nox

The depth of sound is unusually enhanced quite broadly by the haunting underlying tones of the digeridoo, adding an interesting Australian element. I love how the tracks rise and fall dramatically and suddenly, ranging from reflectively beautiful acoustic segments one moment to oppressive blackened riffing, sometimes crushing and plodding, other times frantic and intense and tortuous rasping vocal delivery of broad ranging screams that at times verge on the edge of vitriolic and although they are set back in the sound slightly they still manage to tear through the guitar work adding to the heady atmosphere.

The drum work, courtesy of guest drummer Forge from Australian blackened Death Metal outfit Norse is superb, a powerful and exacting delivery that enhances the guitar work. The duo; Nocturnal on guitars, bass and didgeridoo and Ashahalasin covering vocal duties are also joined by guest musicians Olkoth on keyboards, which add a slightly psychedelic edge, J.A.H on guitar and John Lodding adding additional vocals on the final track 'Transcendental Dysphoria'.

somnium nox

If you like one of the tracks, you'll like them all but I was rather enamoured by that didgeridoo.

Soliloquy Of Lament
The Alnwick Apotheosis
Transcendental Dysphoria

'Terra Inanis' is a hugely immersive, utterly compelling and emotive listening experience that draws the listener in, helped by the way the tracks flow into each other in a very fluid manner. I recommend putting the whole thing on repeat and just losing yourself within it as the sound rises up and envelops you.

A hugely rewarding album and it is available from Transcending Obscurity Records (India) as CD or 12" vinyl or from the bands Bandcamp page as a digital download.




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