Artist – Noktis
CD Title – ToteMädchen
Label – Online release
Genre – Gothic Metal, Industrial Metal.
Hmm, this could be interesting. . . Industrial. . .check, Metal. . . check . . German speaking. . . check and now I will pop the cd in and prepare to be satisfied, if not challenged.
What erupts is almost, but not quite what was expected, while the band describe themselves as industrial metal, to me this six track [3 originals, 2 remixes of “Ihr Erstickt Mich” from the last download, and 1 remix of totemadchen] snippet is more like industrial inspired horror/goth metal in the vein of Wednesday 13 or Marilyn Manson, and although the obvious comparisons with Rammstein would not be wholly unfounded, they are, in reality, two quite different beasts.
This is the second mini album (after 2010’s Lichtserlicht) from Passau based cemetery dwellers Noktis. Since the group’s inception in 2009 at the hands of vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Noxxx and his beautiful assistant Sin (partnered singer-songwriter), the band have recently expanded to include bassist, guitarist and drummer.
“Nachterwacht” stitches itself together around a simple Grimm’s fairytale-esque loop over Cradle of Filth style demonic snarls and standard Scandinavian female operatics, backed by orchestral string. The machine-gun kick-drums are also satisfyingly evil. However, while each component is competently realised, the sound as a whole never quite fully comes together. It is enjoyable enough but offers little new or exciting for those seeking the next big industrial-gothic ‘thing’
“Totemadchen” is a little more down-tempo than its predecessor but again centred around a basic creepily, chiming melody, reinforced by Noxxx’s angry demonic hiss. Although it is a solid, gratifying track for those of zombic tastes, it does seem to go on a little too long and, again, never quite seems to find itself.
Despite not being the title track,“ZweiWeltenLos” is, to my mind, the strongest of the three new tracks on this little sample - it just seems to pull itself together a little better than the other two, and the energy is crisper and more natural. It is also by far the most ‘Industrial Metal’ track on the download. This offering will most likely be the one that sticks with you. Sin’s sultrily aggressive refrain of “Hass mich, tote mich, liebe mich, fich Mich” (hate me kill me love me fuck me) is a thoroughly enjoyable hook for the rest of the track to writhe around on, and the pace, drive and chi of the entire track work well. Unlike “Totemadchen” it doesn’t outstay its welcome.
In “Ihr Erstickt Mich” (The Mechanical Moth remix) the flow of Sin’s vocals seem to, surprisingly, owe a great deal to solemn, introspective hip-hop in terms of delivery – the pacing of her morose monologue would not sound out of place next to some underground Turkish beats from a Berlin ghetto, though obviously the lyrical content is waaay darker! While this is an interesting, and some may argue, brave direction to take for a new band so devoutly ‘of-the-crypt’, this rap-like input does lend the track a background of ‘nu-metalism’, which -while I would have lapped it up 15 years ago - doesn’t quite seem to gel in this experimental, forward thinking age. There follows also a remix of this track from Apocryphal.
The reworking of Totemadchen from Stuka 696 is very very Combichrist. If you have heard "Gore Baby Gore", you have heard this remix, and, while it has a stomping, marching potency, I’m not sure it’s presence really adds anything to this release.
There is certainly potential here – at present, this outfit has scope, but lacks focus. I reserve final judgement for after I have heard a full length release or a live performance, for one can never truly have the measure of an artiste or artistes on such a little snippet. They are a new band and are still finding their feet, but if they can get all elements to synthesize, their blend of orchestral, gothic, industrial-cryptography could definitely be worth keeping an eye on.
The group are currently working on new material, performing sporadically in South-East Germany, details of events and times, and downloads of Totemadchen and Lichtserlicht are available from the band’s website at www.noktis.de
Take a listen: Totemadchen Sampler
-Many different influences competently deployed
-Good but not great, scope but not synthesis.
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