NOCTURNAL DEPRESSION, The Cult of Negation (2010, Avantgarde Music)

The skull:
Very bummed, this skull: he’s so sad. You can tell because he’s pointed down in 3/4 view. He’s probably upset to find himself hovering in such a shitty part of town. Look at this dump! Rubble and weeds everywhere, and an obviously empty parking garage in the background. Even the logo, set in some font which must come standard with French versions of Windows, is weepy. I guess we can assume the setting is “nocturnal”, but it’s so hard to tell with this crappy black and white cover, and let’s face it, this neighborhood would be depressing in broad daylight.

The music:
Evidently there’s a branch of black metal called “Depressive Black Metal,” or at least so says Metal Archives. If Nocturnal Depression is a representative sample, then DBM is basically just doom metal with terrible production and raspy vocals, and I guess that’s as good a delineating feature set as any. Historically, black metal was defined by the three ‘S’es: speed, satan, and six/eight, but Nocturnal Depression mostly gets by without any of them, although they do occasionally dial up the tempo. The songs are dull, but what really rankles is the feeling that these guys are trying just SO hard to come off as the saddest sacks in the land, which always rubs me the wrong way. If you’re gonna be black as in evil and darkness, at least sound like you MIGHT shoot a motherfucker.
— Friar Johnsen