Last year saw British metal crew Svalbard make significant waves with their third studio album When I Die, Will I Get Better?, which was notable in part for its incorporation of black metal elements. Now, vocalist Serena Cherry has unveiled a full-on black metal project named Noctule, and has just released the second single from their upcoming album Wretched Abyss, this one titled “Labyrinthian.”
What Noctule are doing well is combining black metal’s two sides — the harsh, medieval aspect of the genre, and the soaring, emotional, gothic side of that sound. The track’s spookiness doesn’t take away from its heaviness, nor do its icy qualities make it impossible to listen to unless you‘re in a bad mood. Fans of both Cradle of Filth and Marduk can find something to love her, and Svalbard fans certainly won’t feel alienated by it either.
“‘Labyrinthian‘ is a song about my favorite dungeon in The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim,” explains Serena of the track. “It is an ode to the ancient Nordic ruin that was originally built by a dragon cult as a temple to the dragons. I love the haunting atmosphere in this dungeon, and the surprising twists and turns of the quest where you follow the group of ghostly mages through the dungeon. With this song I tried to capture the rich history of Laybrinthian, within the context of the overarching glory and sorrows of Winterhold.
“The intertwining guitar leads and the clean choral singing in this track are some of my proudest musical moments I’ve ever composed. The climax of the song is a musical illustration of the rising to the challenge to defeat Morokei and obtain the Staff of Magnus.”
Check out “Labyrinthian” below:
Noctule’s Wretched Abyss comes out on May 28th via Translation Loss Records in North America, Church Road Records in Europe, and Through Love Records in Germany. The album is available for pre-order.
Words by Chris Krovatin