Nocturnal Departure – Clandestine Theurgy (Corrupted Black Metal)


This one surprised me. In many ways it features forms that are quite standard to black metal as a whole, specifically second-wave, yet there are variations that, though they’d at first seem only slightly atypical, are instead strangely unique. Canada’s Nocturnal Departure relies heavily on the old school, but the new school they’re peddling is not easily discerned. Its essence lies in its skewing of tradition. I would say it is best to consider this style “corrupted,” for lack of a better term. But what does that mean exactly?


Nocturnal Departure doesn’t play with expectations, they degrade them. The sound here will, at first listen, sound almost exactly like the second-wave of Norwegian black metal you know too well. An experienced listener will pull out a ton of references in only the first track. But, yet, there’s something much different going on as you actually pay attention instead of lulling yourself into a Darkthrone soundtrack elevator ride. Though there is clearly a classical style to Clandestine Theurgy, the parts that make up the whole are somehow beautifully wrong. The vocals verge on static or suddenly gurgle as though the genre has changed to gore. The riffs tremolo like a hymn to a frost giant and then turn into a fiery mess of blackened thrash seconds later. They somehow found a way to apply blackened to blackened black metal. It’s almost a layering effect of style taken from different bands and artificially forced to comply to their whims. What first sounds a typical listen is anything but, though not in the ways one would anticipate.


Nocturnal Departure Official Bandcamp

Written by Stanley, Devourer of Souls

Nocturnal Departure – Clandestine Theurgy
Hells Headbangers
Cover Art: Abomination Hammer
4.5 / 5