Nocturnus – Ethereal Tomb (1999)

Cool, calm and clean, Ethereal Tomb first comes on like a fucking Symphony X record or something, until you quickly realise that you are listening to a death metal record, just recorded and presented with a prog-style production. It is a far cry from the muddy yet gratifying CHONK of albums like The Key or Thresholds, but I found Ethereal Tomb to be a very rewarding listen, especially with repeat visits. The drumming in particular, by Rick Bizarro, is fantastic.

This is the core of the original band sans Browning and the bassist (whose name I forget), and it’s funny because nobody who is in the current Nocturnus “AD” is on this album – it’s like a completely new band, but one that is closer IMO to the original Nocturnus that Nocturnus “AD” can hope to be, Browning or no Browning. Anyway, this odd outlier in the catalog is well worth checking out. Please do not be put off by the clean sound or the absolutely pants album cover.