Formed in Reykjavík in 2005 and featuring members of several Icelandic bands such as Misþyrming, Árstíðir lífsins and Naðra, Carpe Noctem have earned a reputation as one of Iceland’s leading acts in black metal. The music shows various influences and expresses extreme opposites, forming a raw, chaotic and apocalyptic soundscape combined with Icelandic lyrics referencing Norse mythology, occult writings, apocalyptic prophecies and Icelandic black magic rituals. Although they released their debut through Code666 as long ago as 2013, it is only now that they have returned with the follow-up, perhaps not too surprising given that they are also involved in other bands.

One can’t imagine music like this coming from a warm climate, as it is bleak and uncompromising, as they blast through the frozen wasteland. This is dramatic music which is completely over the top, and completely epic. This is music on a brand scale, a terrible vision of inhumanity and rage, being brought to bear by hordes of riders on black stallions. This is music of swords and shield, fury and vengeance. The promo photo of the band is cinematic, showing the five musicians with their backs to the camera, staring at a mountain in the distance, set within the snowy landscape. That is their quest, their passion, and it comes through this in spades. One of the finest examples of the genre one is ever likely to come across.

Rating: 10/10


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