"When Fires Breed Blood" (Lost Disciple; 2000) 

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

California natives Noctuary are one of the few American bands that dare to tread black metal waters. For that alone this band should get some recognition. However, if Noctuary have anything to do with it they'll let their music do the talking. The underground buzz on Noctuary should tell you one thing that you need to know - the fans of the extreme scene are flocking to Noctuary in droves.

"When Fires Breed Blood" is an expansive foray into the breadth of what black metal can sound like without losing its intensity and cruelty.

Noctuary aren't like stereotypical early European black metal - the production values are quite good and the music is very diverse.  Additionally, the rhythms are grounded in the great American thrash tradition and there are extended guitar solos, mandolin, flamenco guitar, piano interludes, and male tenor vocals all adding up to an intriguing effort. The guitar solos stand out for me - the solos are as expressive as they are frighteningly dark. 

The scorched earth vocals remind me of the raspiness of Dani Filth (Cradle Of Filth) which isn't surprising since "When Fires Breed Blood" is a concept that tells the tale of war against organized religions.  "At Journey's End" is the disc's highlight. 

"When Fires Breed Blood" is an immediately likable CD if you're into the extreme music scene. While not nearly as symphonic as Sanctus' "Aeon Sky," "When Fires Breed Blood" does give the American black metal scene a solid kick in the ass.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2001 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 06 Mar 2022 14:38:31 -0500 .