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4 out of 5 skulls

Nocturnal Torment They Come At Night

Apparently twenty years in the making, the debut effort from Indiana’s Nocturnal Torment (having released a demo under the moniker Termination back in 1989) is as raw, gritty and nasty as death metal can get. They Come at Night delivers frenzied devestation with a throwback vibe, encompassing the likes of those that pioneered the Floridian sound — though these guys deliver with much more ferocity (check out “Alternative Reality”). Throughout the disc your auditory system will be assaulted with quickly shifting tempo changes, cold guitar tones, vicious rhythms and a maniacal, unhinged vocal delivery.

“Vile Affliction” gets the severed heads rolling with barbaric drums and buzzing riffs as the growls come into play. I love the sound of this album. It’s pretty lo-fi, rough and reminds me of all the old school shit I used to listen to growing up. Nocturnal Torment have the sound down perfectly throughout the album as they smoothly jump from rolling rhythms to blasting outbursts of demented mayhem. I love the aggressive and frenzied vocal attack, as well as the sick solos that the band lob about like live hand grenades.

Each track, from the vicious “Cycle of Life” (love the intro bass in this one, by the way) to slower, yet no less evil title track, is delivered powerfully and with a solid intent to cause bodily damage. I love the varied drum work on “Fresh Flesh Fetish,” along with its catchy title, as well. The opening series of riffs on “Bleeding” are memorable and tinged with a cold edge, as well as the solid, chunky riffs that fill the latter half of the song. The martial patterns of “Forever Eternal Darkness” are a nice change of pace from the rest of the album, as the bass rumbles in the background, before the guys get technical with their riffs — it’s one of the more unique songs on the album and one of my favorites.

“Primordial Existence” wraps up They Come at Night quite well with pummeling rhythms, solid guitar work and a slightly slowed tempo (that the guys rip to shreads every now and again). It sums up Nocturnal Torment’s debut effort nicely. This is one of those albums that may not blow you away the first time, but give it a few listens and it will violently burrow itself deep within your skull.

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