This duo from Columbus, Ohio bring a nimble, complicated twist to the black/death style of extreme metal. On first appearances, little more than a homage to the same old Incantation-derived school of basement death, this has far more in common with the innovative Morbid Angel-inspired songwriting of the early Angelcorpse albums, Dawn Of Possession, and the general thrash aesthetic that spilled over into the creation of death metal as we know it. Intensely riff-driven, replete with time signatures more adventurous than is considered orthodox for this style, Noctambulous Jaws Within Sempiternal Night is a genuine triumph of substance and will to create over cheap imitation, and should be celebrated as such by all death metal fans.
Twin guitar tracking juxtaposes a rhythm held back in the lower registers against the lead guitar which is the chief instrument of dark melody here. Slivers of repeatedly played 4-5 dissonant notes in the higher octaves frequently pierce through, adding a faux brightness to the proceedings, but in reality being mockery of the darkest kind. Rhythm and lead constantly transpose upon each other, each assuming the others’ traditional roles to create a seamless fabric, one that extends uniformly in all directions with a steady hue and tactile sense. Riffs are a free-flowing organism, completely renouncing verse-chorus practices for a more expansive, ambitious ideal.
As up front as the guitars are on Noctambulous Jaws Within Sempiternal Night, the drums have a very individual melodic sense themselves, creating appropriate crests and troughs around the music’s topography . Performed with great dexterity, without indulging in excess, this is an Old School Death Metal Drumming 101 of sorts. Carefully attuned to the music’s demands, it is as one with the guitars, achieving a homogeneity with the songs rarely seen in this style. The production is immaculate for the music, retaining a lush, decidedly mid-ranged analog sound that seems to have been forgotten as we march farther into the new millennium; while there is a case to be made for a ground-moving low end in death metal, this album would be far the poorer for it. Prosanctus Inferi may parade the garb of clones but are refreshingly original and inspiring in their own right.