Nocturnal Graves, hailing from Australia, are set to release their newest record, Titan, in May. Their first release in the past five years, the band brings the listener a thicker sound and a further move away from their early thrash roots. There’s a great deal of feeling and affect in this record and the first few tracks make an extremely bold statement on the band’s progression towards more blackened and death-oriented sonics. This is a great record and a great sounding record.
The band features current and former members of both Destroyer 666 and Denouncement Pyre. Current lineup:
J. – Bass/Vocals
Shrapnel – Lead/Rhythm Guitar
Decaylust – Lead/Rhythm Guitar
L.W. – Drums
I recently caught up with J. and asked him a few questions about Titan:
One of the first things that struck me as early at the first track on this record is that the mixing is really spot on and there isn’t a lot of competition for sound. There is also a much thicker sound than previous releases. Can you tell us who produced and mixed this and what approach were you all trying to take in terms of the sound of Titan?
Thanks a lot. We needed this album to have a powerful, full sound hence the reason we took all the time we needed to make that happen. Given the development of the material, like you said, the instruments shouldn’t be fighting each other to be heard so that’s what we went for. An overly noisy, indecipherable sound just would not have worked. We didn’t want the riffs to be buried under a wall of noise, we want them to be heard and to be felt by the listener. The album was recorded and mixed by myself in my studio, I-HQ Recordings.
I’m going to through the gauntlet down right here and now and say that the first cut “Resistance” is one of the best extreme metal songs I’ve listened to in 2018. You have a polyrhythms going at many points, time changes and yet lots of room for the bass and the vocals. This is a fairly complex song when you put it all together. Can you tell us bit as to how this song came about?
That song was a bit of an anomaly. It was one of the earlier pieces I started with when we began working on Titan, but for a long while it seemed like it wouldn’t make it onto the album. That track took time for everyone to digest, it was only when the album recordings were complete that we decided it should in fact open the record. The song itself came about in the same way all of our material does; I start writing and once I’ve taken things as far as I can on my own I share it with the others and we dissect and develop it from there, back and forth until we agree the track is complete.
I noticed a lot of unique riffs and rather novel guitar parts integrated into many of these songs and it seems like your music continues to move away from some of its more thrash-oriented roots from years back. Is this a deliberate turn or just something that naturally progressed on its own?
Definitely. Moving away from the most obvious Black/Thrash elements of our earlier material was something we wanted from the outset. The “Sharpen the Knives” EP from 2016 was when we decided to take this step towards something darker and less predictable and we took that approach to a deeper level on Titan. The reason for this is because we, as a band, want to create music that we find not only interesting to write and record but also to listen to. We don’t see any point in rehashing what we’ve already done.
Do you have any upcoming tour plans to feature this new material? Any US East Coast dates (full disclosure: I’m interested because I really want to go myself)?
We are in the process of getting ready for live shows and are in discussions about upcoming European and US dates. It’s too early to say when such will happen but it’s in the works.
Titan releases on May 18 and can be ordered here from Season of Mist.