Per Aspera

Tartarean Desire (Sweden)

Slovenia may now add its name to the list of nations with capable extreme metal bands, though it would not be a surprise to hear that there are even more lesser-known bands lurking there. The music here is akin to newer Morbid Angel, both in its dark overtones and occasional meandering structure. Guitarists Gianni and Igor collaborate well for the mouth-watering "Fond of Lies", and again on the asphyxiating breakdown of "Aught Against Thee". The beast that is Noctiferia only really becomes a threat on "Never Rue", when it bares its claws and fangs to show you a lethal possibility which the other tracks fail to do. Silky liner notes are reinforced by the able lyrics printed upon them, an element often lacking in bands which write in English yet do not speak it as their mother tongue. "Per Aspera" is a moderately impressive effort which shows potential. 7/10 - Josh Ngolls

Walls of Fire (Germany)

Noctiferia hail from Slovenia and this is their official debut - in the sense that it's their first work released under a contract with a record label. Two "self made" live CDs and one live cassette, as well as one self-released album ("Baptism at Savica Fall", 1998, produced by long-time Laibach producer Toni Jurij) preceded it, selling rates getting as high as 3000 copies, which should give some food for thought to everyone doubting the power of the underground... But this is also an indirect proof of what becomes obvious at the latest with this album - Noctiferia are worth your full attention!

And not only that - with "Per Aspera" they unleash upon us one of the very best extreme metal releases in a damn long time! Gianni Popski (vocals and guitar), Igor Nardin (guitar), Uros Lipovec (bass) and Robert Steblovnik (drums) have created a work of exceptional black/death metal intensity. The musicianship is quite supreme, the compositions bear no criticism whatsoever, and the darkness will claim your soul forever! Mixing influences of (later) Emperor and Satyricon with slow to mid-tempo (early) death metal, Noctiferia also incorporate very successfully progressive guitar solos and doomy passages; the general picture is heavy, dark and aggressive to the maximum, but without losing the elements of melody and variety. The sound is very rich and dense, the vocals remind of the best traditions in the Norwegian black metal scene (Satyricon, for example), the effects used now and then are perfectly appropriate, and the headbanging riffs will blow you away! Maybe the Emperor element is a bit too much at times - but as many would say, it doesn't matter if you copy a tune or two, as long as you do it well. And Noctiferia have more than enough own ideas, so that certain similarities are really nothing but similarities. A monumental work that many "bigger" bands would have been proud to call their own - this album is a must! 5/5 - Deni

Brutalism (Sweden)

Yes! What a great debut from this band. Noctiferia pack a combination of black and death and is doing it the right way. Long songs, aggressive vocals, tempo changes and the very good and sometimes original guitarriffs and leads. The songs are full of emotion but yet very powerful. This band could climb the stairs so make sure you are debt to it.

Flesh Rites

Noctiferia review: difficult. This is an adjetive that describes my work on reviewing the new album from Sloveniaīs Noctiferia, a dark conceptual band that sucessfully sold their previous two works.

And why is difficult?. Well, this band is not like others out there. Apart from having a complex feeling and knwoledge of extreme music, they are used not to have typical riffs or melodies, but all their tunes are surrounded by an aura of dark malevolence and mistery. From the fastest beats of Morbid Angel, to the majestic occult black symphonies of Thy Grief, Enslavement Of Beauty or early Emperor, Noctiferia enter the listener to their mystic own underworld, a place where all the notes created by their hands on the instruments must be on the right place at the correct time and on perfect pitch.

Donīt expect brutality. Donīt expect harsh black metal, but an evilish dark music. The music from Noctiferia, one of the most brilliant bands from Europe. - JM

Ad Noctum (Germany)

Wow, the next highlight is "by Aspera" from Noctiferia! The volume already financed and could in the apron two CDs themselves on the route with Malevolent Creation a name make itself and believes one to the label, then this volume pulls already to crowds of fans behind itself ago. It would not surprise me, because that Noctiferia highly gifted Newcomer are make "by Aspera" more than only clearly. As main comparison I would consult Morbid fishing rod here, because knows to convince Noctiferia just as skillfully as the morbiden angels, whereby with the Slovenes of the Black Metal influence come still somewhat more clearly more rueber. The volume is still somewhat more darkly angehaucht according to my opinion than the Amis and concentrates also rather on the atmospheric parts than on wild Highspeed Geknueppel. Nevertheless completely clear parallels between both formations are to be constituted, which should be understood however as absolute praise. At some places the volume reminds me also to old Master's hammer, which applies to certain of reef. The Songs on "by Aspera" is prepared in the smallest detail and works from the front to in the back professionally durchdacht, which applies to the whole album. Occasionally key board is used, which is very suitably used however and which Songs the correct spice gives. On this album practically everything is represented at speed, which one can convince in the Metal category introduce itself and in all interests can those volume. The voice of the singer is correctly beautiful low and sounds very darkly, like also the whole album. The sound is super and leaves untouched the ingenious Songs correctly in the gloss. But the best the Songs is simple, all the same one alludes which Song, 100%ig a hit concerns. In my opinion Songs are absolutely goettlich like "rear OF read", "God's debris", "Seething eye" and "Realms burns on". Most Songs has something excess length, which does not constitute however nothing at all, since there is sufficient ingenious of reef and melodies to hear. I practically still so far could over this album swarms, since it already blocks my CD Player since a small eternity, but then I to the end would never come. For me belonged "by Aspera" with absolute security to the absolute check point of the last Death Metal tide and I it cannot imagine that Death Metal fan see that differently. One must have! Highly recommended!!

Metal Observer (Germany)

Arctic Music Group so far, I think, hasn't had a single release that really interested me, and when I read in an info that a band has been inspired by MORBID ANGEL, then the odds are pretty good that that CD is as "non-Alex" as it could get. Normally this results in me sending the CD off to someone, who is more into that style than I am. Now, for some strange reason I did not do the same with NOCTIFERIA. Why? I don't know, maybe because they are from Slovenia? Who am I to tell, my liking for bands from countries like that is well-known, but it has resulted in less than pleasing results more than once… Anyway, this quartet from the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana (ok, the management is from there, but I just love this name, especially when other people try to pronounce it, hehe) offers us quite technical Death Metal, which in most cases means that I cannot listen to over a longer stretch, i.e. a complete album. But with NOCTIFERIA I somehow seem to encounter what I by now call the ESQARIAL effect, because similar to the album of this Polish band, "Per Aspera" managed to capture me with its song structures and melodies and the technical proficiency, of course, plays a part too, as well as the interesting arrangements, and that in a style that definitely is not my own at all.

Despite at times pummelling double bass, the gentlemen Nardin, Poposki, Lipovec and Steblovnik only rarely go into speed mode, but rather act in the mid-paced to sluggish tempos, which makes the compositions very intense indeed. By the use of keyboards NOCTIFERIA create at times very eerie atmospheres behind their guitars, without taking over the song, as opener "Grief To Master" (in disregard of the instrumental title track that acts as an intro) shows, while "Fond Of Lies" also brings us some speedy outbursts of anger, entwined with the atmospheric elements, which give NOCTIFERIA a quite original feel.

Apart from the already mentioned tracks, I really should also name "God's Debris" with its acoustic guitars inlaid into the heavy structure and also further enhanced by great keyboards, a really outstanding track in my opinion! Also the following "Seething Eye" should be put here.

Congratulations, gentlemen, when an album of this style manages to capture me, then you have achieved quite something! And congratulations also to be the first ever Slovenian band to be featured on our pages. Strange, there should be more of you out there, or not? Anyways, go out and get this CD, folks! (Online March 7, 2003)

Metal Messsage (Germany)

After two CD publications posed in self-direction on the legs these four Rabauken announce themselves now with a new Albumbollwerk back. "by Aspera "proves as very interesting converted Arbeitsmischung from the famous work of old Morbid Angel and creatively advanced Emperor - flows thus into very atmospheric Death Metal with jet black and high-technical painting of sound. Already that the tendencyful Intro ` by Aspera` the following and very well succeeded Opener ` Grief ton of Master` rings out to wabernden key board sounds with doomig pressing basic tendency and gespenstisch spukend. The Slovenian quartet proceeding with very clearly audibly large instrumental consideringness prepared itself a completely own and unmistakable style there. More packing and lastingly in consciousness more penetrating Alptraumsound more oppressively Anmut. Apokalyptisch seeming pleasure choirs in the background "morbiden" happening do a remaining, in order to produce perfect musical oppressingness. The third TRACK ` rear OF Lies` draws then directly different, noticeably faster guitar strings up - and shows the successfully with it successful effort of the beflissenen quartet around balanced kompositorische Abwechslung in clear way up. Most harmoniously erschallende Gitarrensoli relating to crafts of without exception perfect presentation belongs likewise to the complex framed klanglichen appearance of "by Aspera "as around high-contrast Phrasierung endeavored corpse singing. The deeply abgruendige and lastingly consciousness-changing tendency level of this high intensive Albums is of drastic Penetranz. And those impressing to the schau high musical power placed of the Slovenes of apparently time and more spaceless, coming up certainly perfectly in their songs Aura.