I purchased ‘Noctambulous Jaws Within Sempiternal Night’ with a confidence bordering on arrogance. Having read some great things about Prosanctus Inferi online (how naïve of me!) and having fully digested the associated label blurb, I fully expected the album to blow me the fuck away. Alas, it doesn’t come close to achieving such an unlikely feat.
While this is certainly not the worst album you’ll ever hear – far from it, in fact – and it comes in a classy gatefold cover with sumptuous artwork and lyrics included, it definitely falls foul of my unreasonably high expectations. Musically, I find ‘Noctambulous Jaws Within Sempiternal Night’ to be bland, derivative and utterly aimless. While the LP is unquestionably heavier than a rhino’s balls, I just fail to see the merit of it.
I know music doesn’t have to be new to be interesting, but this is neither. You know you are in trouble when a 34-minute album seems to last for closer to an-hour-and-a-half… The kind of pounding, pummelling racket that’s been belted out by thousands of bands before, with varying degrees of success, the main thing this album serves to accomplish is in highlighting just how unique and awesome labelmates Antediluvian are.
The line that separates greatness from mediocrity is often a thin one. Finer than a thread, perhaps. Not in this case, however.