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Light Of The Morning Star - "Nocta" (CD)

Light Of The Morning Star - "Nocta" CD cover image

"Nocta" track listing:

1. Nocta
2. Coffinwood
3. Serpent Lanterns
4. Grey Carriages
5. Crescentlight
6. Oleander Halo
7. Ophidian
8. Lord of All Graves
9. Five Point Star

Reviewed by on January 25, 2017

"There is great material here – especially for fans of House Of Capricorn or The Devil's Blood – although the album as a whole is in need of little more variety and in places a bit more energy."

The opening advance track to previous EP “Cemetery Glow” immediately grabbed me upon first hearing it last year and strongly it brought to mind House Of Capricorn (a band which coincidentally has an album titled “Morning Star Rise”). A full listen-through to that EP was a let down though, as the mini-album heard in its entirety didn't live up to the expectations created by a single song.

Here we are a year later with Light Of The Morning Star's debut full-length “Nocta,” which does a better job of rising to the occasion and offering occult rock thrills. “Coffinwood” for instance is essentially the epitome of gothic metal, utterly nailing the tone and lyrical content for a gloomy good time.

“Ophidian” meanwhile has an extremely mysterious feel, and both “Crescentlight” and “Oleander Halo” bring out the heaviness for something more like full occult metal rather than the standard occult rock sound. “Crescentlight” in particular evokes some of the style from disturbing black metal groups like Dodecahedron or Deathspell Omega in the guitar work.

On the downside, there's a very clear and specific formula to most of these nine tracks, with intensely similar chorus/bridge segments on every song with the same style of clean singing repeating a phrase over and over. The previously mentioned “Coffinwood” is fantastic on its own, but as you listen through the album and realize nearly every song follows that exact same pattern, the effect is really diminished.

Add in the overly slow pace of “Grey Carriages” and “Lord Of All Graves,” and the result is an album that has a lot of promise and exudes the occult rock feel, but doesn't quite knock it out of the park. There is great material here – especially for fans of House Of Capricorn or The Devil's Blood – although the album as a whole is in need of little more variety and in places a bit more energy.

Highs: The tone and atmosphere are spot on.

Lows: Repetition and a few overly slow tracks drag the album down.

Bottom line: If you love gothic occult rock but still want a metal edge, you'll want to give this one a try.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)