Non Est Deus – Legacy (Noisebringer Records)

Monday, 5th June 2023
Rating: 8.5 / 10

If Noise doesn’t sound familiar, well, there’s a lot you’ve been missing. That was a confusing statement, wasn’t it? We’re not referring to the word as a noun, but in the form of the artist who goes by said moniker. Currently helming three separate projects, the mysterious German has made a lot of noise – verb form for those keeping score – with these stylistically diverging efforts. Kanonenfieber will excite those who like melodic black metal with a dose of death metal, while Leiþa generally is a bit more of a downtrodden and hypnotic offering, though if you dive into each discography, every album is its own varying monstrosity.

Non Est Deus, being Noise’s longest running venture, first surfaced in 2018 with The Last Supper, and has subsequently gotten bolder and more direct with each album. Last year’s Impious was a nasty, yet at times almost brightly optimistic record tonally, flashing a different view of creative inspiration. Barely a year later, album number 4 is upon us with Legacy. This release takes on a forthright, nastier approach that leans into the sharp and shadowy side of black metal. Opener “Hiob” and “The Canon of Nil” exemplify this path, brimming with tremolo guitars and melodies without sacrificing that spiteful bite that Non Est Deus produces so pointedly.

Gritty chant-inspired bellows drive the mid-paced “Written on Tombstones” to materialize into a methodical pummeling, while the soaring aura that is “Amos the Prophet” could fit within Impious’ open vibe. A memorable two-part entry begins with “Redemption, Pt. I” – a primarily heavy guitar/guttural vocal introductory piece that ominously sets the table for the fierce riff eruption that is “Redemption, Pt. II.” Thunderous drums push “Babylon” to be a standout that meticulously builds forcefully along with brilliantly restrained lead guitar work, combining to stomp upon the listener’s existence. The drum work is the unsung hero of Legacy – as well as other works from this talented enigma – pushing the music to a higher plane of power and poise.

The finale comes in the form of the aptly named “The Last Act,” representative of pure fire and brimstone levels of ferociousness, enhanced by a deft melodic touch along with urgency-filled pace shifts. Impressive is the attention to detail that Noise puts into every note, specifically how each song contains defining elements to distinguish from the others, yet maintain a cohesion with the whole that is quite the tightrope to successfully traverse. Fittingly, Noise also takes care of all of the production duties, and again that meticulousness is evident within the tightly balanced final sound. Every note is clear and concise, but not overdone, hitting the sweet spot of just polished enough with the right measuring of grime.

To say that Noise has done it again is an obvious statement, but it certainly rings true. There have been few missteps within his busy career thus far, and any of such would amount to nitpicking. This writer enjoys all three projects relatively equally dependent on what the mood calls for, and the latest entry in the Non Est Deus lexicon is another tasty slice of black metal supremacy. Legacy will be an album that we revisit plenty, along with Leiþa’s Reue, from this mastermind of all things desolate. Keep up that productivity, as these ears will always want more.

Non Est Deus on Facebook

[fbcomments width="580"]