Finnish black metallers Nocturnal Sorcery stream the entirety of their highly anticipated second album, Captive in the Breath of Life, at Inferno magazine’s website: Yöllisen noituuden kourissa – ennakkokuuntelussa Nocturnal Sorceryn uusi albumi – Inferno.fi
Despite forming in 2011, it wasn’t until August 2022 when Nocturnal Sorcery made their full-length debut. Fittingly titled The Holy Law in Total Ruin, Nocturnal Sorcery’s debut album in no uncertain terms laid forth a fiery-yet-freezing path for these Finns: paradigmatic Finnish BLACK METAL, but harkening to the ancient fires of the ’90s rather than more millennial expressions of such. Granted, the band by then were hardly „new“ – prior, they’d done two demos and a split – but The Holy Law in Total Ruin scorched Nocturnal Sorcery’s name into the black metal underground.
Now, a year and a half later, Nocturnal Sorcery return to torch that path once again with Captive in the Breath of Life. As doubtlessly presaged by its throwback cover artwork, Captive in the Breath of Life is about as authentically mid ’90s black metal as you’ll currently find in that clogged underground. The rudiments are largely the same – because, after all, black metal doesn’t need to „be“ anything other than what it already is – but here do Nocturnal Sorcery dial back the melodicism for a quicker-hitting blast of ice-cold, hateful hypnosis. As such, the song lengths aren’t as epic as its predecessor and the ripped-raw execution is even more palpitating, but the sum effect is utterly stultifying: arguably more so than The Holy Law in Total Ruin, Captive in the Breath of Life fully sounds like some unearthed gem from 1995, cryogenic and rotting but boundlessly potent.
Nostalgic ears will paradoxically be warmed by Captive in the Breath of Life, while all others will cower when faced with these filthier spells of Nocturnal Sorcery. The line in the snow has been drawn, deeper than ever! To celebrate this reckoning, the band will perform an album-release show on February 10th in Vantaa, Finland with Poland’s Arkona and fellow Finns Black Beast and White Death.