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CD Review: Nocturne – Guide to Extinction

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What do you get if you take bands like Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, and the Cure together? Probably something along the lines of Nocturne. A goth-industrial act that is crafting their own sound and style. This is a good album, there is definitely a lot of craft behind the music and great chemistry between the two primary members, Lacey Conner and Chris Telkes.

The album starts off promisingly enough with dark “Shallows.” It is not the best track, but works as an introduction to the edgy guitar riffs and the vocals of Lacey Conner. The gears are temporarily shifted to the mellow, note-picked beginnings of “I Lie” before the guitars kick up for the chorus.

Guide to Extinction starts to pick up steam with “Alibi.” It moves along with chugging guitar riffs, keyboards filling int he background, and the dark singing of Lacey. It chugs along with a certain anthemic quality. The heaviness and raw singing take over with “Passion.” If you made it this far thinking you were safe, those feelings will soon evaporate in the face of the sheer aggression of “Passion”.

The next cut, “Walk Away,” moves into a little more experimentation with samples and the vocals ratcheted back down out of the black metal style. It ebbs and flows with it’s own morose waves of sound. The rest of the album moves through gothic throes of pain and anguish, darkness and love. Then there is the political step with “Dead Man.” Calling for a revolution, the only way to have any progress is to spur it on yourself.

The album closes with a pair of tracks which flow out of the rest of the album, but are also vastly different than what has come before. First is “Cocaine Sex,” a song written and mixed by dub group Renegade Soundwave. Last is “They’ll Never Find Your Body,” a near instrumental NIN inspired track. With that you have successfully navigated the Guide to Extinction.

This is my first experience with the recorded music of Nocturne, who I had previously seen live. They were impressive live, but the CD mixing has given me a better glimpse into the music. Lacey Conner has a great voice, whether she is singing melodically or growling, she has a unique voice and delivery. Her voice is mysterious, creepy, alluring, and dark. Meanwhile there is also Chris Telkes, who handles the vast majority of the instruments, putting his stamp on the music.

Bottomline. There may be other bands they can be compared to, like those I mentioned earlier, but they still stand out from the crowd. At least in my experience anyway, which may be somewhat limited in this genre, but I am definitely intrigued by the sound. There is an intriguing mix of darkness which still feels accessible, and a look into the abyss. What do you see in the darkness?

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