The night holds many terrors, and the black-clad Floridian quartet The Noctambulant are chief among them. Returning to the realms of original material after knocking out a few covers during quarantine, their new Hellrazor EP shows a take on melodic black metal that wades into swampy, darkened black-n'-roll as well. They've tightened the screws, turned off all the lights, and sharpened their bladed assault into a gloomy, death-dealing affair. We're streaming the EP in full now, plus a track-by-track rundown of it from the band.

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The title track highlights what caught my attention about this release: the driving black metal here isn't just theatrical and inventive, it's hook-laden and catchy as well. Unforgiving riffs, delivered with a well-calibrated mix of oppressive atmosphere and impactful punch, hit just right while the pitched growls of frontman E. Helvete make for scream-along-ready choruses. It's memorable (and a little bit nostalgic), and it shows off an unusual variant of melodic black metal that leans on the "rock" side of black-n'-roll a lot more other explorations generally do.

Hellrazor even touches on death metal at times, dropping into guttural vocals and letting some festering rot drip into their lethal riffs on occasion. It feels like a counterbalance to the rock-tinged sides of their sound, shaping up into a multi-layered attack like poison on the band's blade. With rarely a wasted second in sight, this tightly-packed EP offers a snapshot of the band's mythology-laced black metal that's as shadow-clad as it is serrated.

While you listen to the EP, read the band's comments on each track below—but check out this mood-setting promo pic first.

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Devils in the Dirt: I wanted the intro to evoke specific feelings and sensations of unease and dread. With Franko Carino, we were able to craft a track that conveys exactly that. It's creepy. It's ominous. And it leans into the occult folklore trope we are going for. The title is from 'Southern cunning: Folkloric Witchcraft in the American South' by Aaron Oberon. When I saw that phrase, it really stuck with me as something that's powerful and uniquely southern.

Hellrazor: The inspiration for Hellrazor was twofold. Growing up in the almost puritanical section of the deep south, and within walking distance of a Strict Baptist church, I grew up with the daily hypocrisy of the community. But also, the almost contradictory folk beliefs of many in the family and surrounding areas. Stories of dark spirits in the swamps, and murder straight razor, or as my great grandfather would call it, the Hell Razor.

Blackened Swords of Satan: This track is an homage to the things we loved growing up. Loud rock n roll, wizards, epic metal and clanging of steel. Featuring Mr. Damage of the incredible Chrome Division, let Blackened Swords of Satan take you to a time of knights and demons.

G.H.B.M: This song is our take on the apocalyptic hellfire and brimstone sermons of the Strict Baptists I grew up with. Hopeless, impending doom that could only be staved off by one's constant effort at salvation. It reflects the harsh environment of the land. The Florida Swamps, the southern Appalachian mountains. Unforgiving, hopeless, and without remorse, just like their God.

Troll Crusher: Another throwback song that is about one of my favorite pastimes, Dungeons and Dragons. I was running a classic and particularly grueling dungeon for my players called the Tomb of Horrors (Gary Gygax, 1978) And after talking to Darin (drums) about how famously difficult it is, he suggested I write a song about it, because what's more authentic then writing a metal song about the nerdiest thing imaginable?

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The Hellrazor EP will be self-released on March 19th. Preorders available via the band's Bandcamp page.