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Noenum – Heresiarch

noenum – heresiarch


Form in the mid to late 90’s, release a sensational demo or EP, and then disappear for a few decades only to come back with an unexpected debut album. It seems to be a recurring theme in the Finnish Black Metal scene. And the story for Noenum is fairly similar, with the exception that the band that band was formed in 2001. Who cares about a couple of years. Regardless, the band’s 2004 released 10” EP ‘Black Esoteric Evangelium’ was well-received and has turned into a much sought-after recording, despite a compilation released some 15 years after it originally appeared. Outside a split with Vritra in 2009, nothing was heard from Noenum until Northern Heritage dropped another bombshell on the same day it announced a new Nécropole album: Noenum is back with their debut full-length.

Noenum plays raw Black Metal with a touch of Pagan riffs, much in the style of classic Burzum with a bit of old Satanic Warmaster to give it that typical Finnish flair. Comparing ‘Heresiarch’ directly to the ‘Black Esoteric Evangelium’ EP, not a whole lot has changed. And that’s great, because it also means that the material that Noenum composed still sounds incredibly authentic. The production is simple and bareboned, with plenty of room for the well-written guitar riffs, a bit of bass, analog drums and most of all the tortured reverbed shrieks of vocalist Spell. As so often with Finnish Black Metal, the riffs are catchy, with many of them having a rather distinct folky, Heavy-Metal rooted touch. This appears to go back even further to the 70’s in ‘Blazing Shadows’, with an excellent proggy break contrasting to great effect with the pained Black Metal shrieks. Spell mostly utilizes Varg-like screams but varies his vocal approach from time to time with growls in for instance ‘Witch of the Ancient Night’ and clean chanting in closing track ‘Sanctus Draconis’. These vocals and raw guitar sound set the depressive tone of the album that contrast with the often rocking and melody-focused riffs and the almost frivolous drums and bass courtesy of instrumentalist Adept. The result is nine stunning tracks filled with primitive Black Metal, that decades after the scene evolved still sound incredibly fresh.

‘Heresiarch’ was a much-anticipated debut by Noenum that turns out to be full of regressive raw Finnish Black Metal that more than meets the expectations. The CD version of the album is available already, with the vinyl version coming later in 2023. That seems like a great moment to press the previously released compilation of their old material on vinyl as well.


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