Chuck Schuldiner Project

Monday, July 19, 2021

Noltem - Illusions In The Wake

Noltem is a band treading in the path of a great American black metal tradition that is only just starting to get the respect and love it so richly deserves. These visionaries craft a massive sound that is full of melody and post black metal beauty. Their latest offering, Illusions In The Wake is an absolutely monumental statement where the band move interlocking waves of sound with a vision and professionalism that few of their peers can match. Angular guitars interlock with thudding bass lines to craft music you an get lost in. 

Illusions In The Wake is exciting because of the waves of sound that the band so effortlessly command. The title track is a perfect example, ebbing and flowing with undulating guitar riffs and then finally a triumphant clean vocal that comes in over the growl to really impress the listener. There is something wonderfully epic about this band and the bombast that they so clearly cultivate. It's a delight to lose yourself in the layered poetry and larger than life magic of a band like this. They are very clearly the sonic heirs to bands like Agalloch, even if what they are doing is heavier and a bit more out of the box than one might expect. 

While this isn't a record that necessarily breathes new life in the genre, it definitely is cool to hear a group taking the influence of bands like Obsequiae and pushing them into new generations. Illusions In The Wake is a really interesting effort. While there are places the production could get cleaned up or ways that I think this record could be tweaked and optimized, as a general whole the album remains exciting and the sort of thing that devotees to the underground are going to really love a chance to revisit.

Pre-order the album!

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