NOCTISDARK is a Spanish Melodic Death/Doom Metal band, formed in 1999. It is said that the band began to work with two different themes: the astral one, influenced by SAMAEL’s “Passage” album, and the vampiric one, influenced by e.g.g CRADLE OF FILTH. But that was before NOCTISDARK really took shape. The music obviously also changed enormously: Death/Doom with atmospheric keyboards. In 2007 the band released a first MCD, “The Four Songs…”. Since February 2011 and via Lugga Music Productions on the 31st July a new demo is out under the title “The Roots Of Dreamers”. On this demo, for which the review is largely overdue (mea culpa), you can find 4 new tracks as well as 3 tracks from the previous demo. The total playtime is around 47 minutes.
This third demo starts with “Broken Dreams In Poppy Fields”. As we’re dealing with a Doom band, you can imagine it’s not happy Power Metal. Hence the sad guitar intro followed by the drums playing a steady beat. Vocals come in different variants: spoken, screams, growls. The song is nicely divided into several parts, for after this first sad one, the next sounds more like a mix of Heavy Metal and Doom. The guitar provides power, while the piano plays the leads. Keyboards are a key instrument, not just for melody, but also atmosphere. All in all, a decent song. However, the production is not top and that affects the end result. Streaming water lets “The Waterpath” seep in. A clean guitar melody comes in. Calm and serene. Beautiful. No Metal so far, but you do get speech. When drums and distortion are added, the melody remains, however sad and gloomy. The speech is then replaced by growls. Clean vocals dominate in the chorus. In se not bad, but nothing super either. But the idea is good. During the solo moment drums are played with fast double bass, as if the guy is having a seizure. Or was it indeed a drumcomputer? I don’t see the point in this. Was this for the sake of contrast or to make the music more spicy? The growls, too, aren’t always fitting, mostly due to being too slow.
“The Touch Of The Morning Sun” also begins with the guitar and gets assistance from the drums. The clean hymnic vocals in combination with the music make it sound a bit like (old) CANDLEMASS. Piano touches are there for the melodic aspect, though the guitar also contributes in that department. The singing remains in the chorus, but changes to growls too. Not a bad song, all in all. You do have to give the guys credit for doing their songtitles justice: water sounds in “The Waterpath” and sounds of wind in “The Wind Brings Me Cries”. Again the clean guitar is present and the whole sounds like something from the Chilean Doom band MAR DE GRISES. Or maybe the Danish SATURNUS. The building occurs slowly with drums adding accents. The singing is clean, then rough to crate a nice distinction. Gradually the song grows in power as the chorus nears. If that’s the chorus, for this particular piece sounds quite long. The piano is used for the melodic touches. At some point the music reminded me of SATURNUS or even DEPRESSED MODE. But this song too is not that great. The production could use tweaks, but the guys themselves haven’t yet perfected their skills. I do amit that they have good ideas.
This brings us to the three bonus tracks then, starting with “Lady Lake”. Of course the production is different. Atmospheric keyboards in vein of (old) NIGHTWISH are the at the base with the piano providing the melodic line. You could think of SATURNUS or maybe FUNERAL, as the music is slow, melancholic and has growls. The latter change to cleans in the chorus. An ok song, nothing more. “In Bloom” sounds more epic/hymnic, as if you’ll get Power Metal in a next instant. But no, it remains slow and very melodic. But when the verses kick in, with growls, the tempo also increases. The melodic chorus contrasts with clean vocals, which are – sorry to say, toe-curling. Yes, that sounds extreme. The clean vocals just aren’t good here. “El Funeral De Los Ocultos” is another Doomy track with low, clean vocals. Atmosphere prevails, even if the entire band plays. In general, another ok song.
NOCTISDARK plays thus melodic Death/Doom Metal. The music definitely isn’t happy, the vocals swtich between cleans and growls and from time to time you can detect similarities with other Doom bands like SATURNUS, MAR DE GRISES, SWALLOW THE SUN, old PARADISE LOST, … However, as much time and effort the Spanish put into this new demo, they’re still far removed from those bigger names. Mind you, they have good ideas, but those are hampered by a undersized (if that word fits here) production and vocal accents.
Broken Dreams In Poppy Fields
The Touch Of The Morning Sun
The Wind Brings Me Cries
Lady Lake (bonus track)
In Bloom (bonus track)
El Funeral De Los Ocultos (bonus track)
Dani Cano – vocals, guitar
Hyban Sparda – guitar
Alex – bass
Albert Nadal – drums
[xrr rating=2/5 =”Rating: “]