For the layman, the term “Death Metal” is about as descriptive as saying “Wow, these are some really vibrant shades of Magenta and Cyan!” to someone who was born blind. To those who are well-versed in heavy metal’s seemingly countless sub-genres, “This is Death Metal” is sufficient in conveying the fact that an album is full of blast-beats, growled vocals and highly technical guitar riffs played with blinding speed and the precision of a watchmaker. The “Intro” to ‘Behold Almighty Doctrine,’ the third full-length album from South Carolina’s Lecherous Nocturne, opens with a distant thundering that grows louder and more ominous as a creepy acoustic guitar riff plays amid the faint sounds of tortured screams and a crackling inferno. This offers a segue directly into “Ouroboros Chains,” which blasts the listener in the face with all the ferocity one could expect following an intro that sounds like the four horsemen of the apocalypse galloping through your city and heading directly for your doorstep.
“Bring The Void” continues the barrage with more of the same mind-bending speed and aggression that has made Lecherous Nocturne one of the up and coming bands to look out for in the world of Death Metal. Anyone familiar with the band’s previous efforts may notice a slightly more refined approach this time around. While “Behold Almighty Doctrine” offers no lack of speed or intensity, the band seems to have found a suitable balance between lightning-fast and mid-paced riffing. Knowing the right time to let the song (and listener) breathe, the band opts to add an epic closing riff to “Those Having Been Hidden Away,” in the vein of genre legends Immolation, that transitions perfectly into the instrumental piano track “Prelude #2“.
You read that correctly: there is an instrumental piano track in the middle of an excruciatingly heavy Death Metal album, and not only that, it fits perfectly. A “calm before the storm” isn’t even hinted at however, seeing as these are the sounds of ivories being tickled by long, scaly fingers with sharp claws at the ends. Or at least that’s how I picture it, which is way more fun than imagining a guy in a tuxedo playing these particular keys of impending doom. This is Death Metal, remember?
The second half of the album explodes out of the gates (of hell) with “Judgments and Curses,” featuring a salvo of riffs punctuated by tempo changes and a well-placed pause, followed by an eruption of blast-beats and a terrifying wall of sound provided by guitarists Krieshloff and Ethan Lane. In fact, “terrifying wall of sound” is a pretty good way to sum up “Behold Almighty Doctrine”. Every moment is either absolutely punishing or a menacing build-up to something that can best be described as “sonic brutality”.
“Creation Continuum” is the final burst of “Blackened Death Metal” on this album, bringing to mind bands like 1349 and Dark Funeral while still maintaining that certain flair for brutality that fans of 90‘s era Death Metal will certainly appreciate. The album’s “Outro” is reminiscent of its beginning, except this time the thunderous din is fading away, letting you know with no uncertainty that Lecherous Nocturne has just demolished the formerly peaceful village that is your stereo. While “Behold Almighty Doctrine” is highly unlikely to propel the band into stardom (this is Death Metal, remember?) all fans of the more aggressive, “extreme” (read: legitimate) styles of Heavy Metal would do themselves a disservice by not giving this a listen.