Over Halloween week we got to enjoy the devilish stylings of Swedish dark-rockers Noctum, who had just released their old-school horror concept album Final Sacrifice in the States (check out the review here). I recently got a chance to circle back and chat with the band about the creation of the album, their creative influences (some of which may surprise you), and the process of tapping into classic horror tales to capture the enigmatic backstory which links it all together.
FEARnet: What kind of response have you been getting on Final Sacrifice so far?
NOCTUM: All good, thanks!
The concept that links songs is still something of a mystery. Can you reveal the story behind it?
Well, there is a fictional horror story behind the album, and it's about death... but we won't reveal any specific details.
How did the concept come to you?
We've spent the last two years creating the story, and I've taken influences mainly from books and movies.
Do you turn to specific stories and films for creative ideas, or to get in a certain mood when writing?
It's different... sometimes we might be sitting in a car and just get a snap idea from looking out the window and have to write it down; another time we might sit down a couple of hours thinking about life.
Did you find lyrical ideas in the stories of Poe or Lovecraft?
Poe mainly, but Lovecraft will always be Lovecraft.
In what ways was your approach to this record different from that of your previous album, The Séance?
We had a lot more time with Final Sacrifice, compared to The Séance. This time around, we also had a great producer, Lawrence of [Swedish thrash band] FKU.
You've cited bands like Black Sabbath and Pentagram as your main influences, but your themes also remind me a lot of Mercyful Fate. Did you draw inspiration from them as well?
We have a wide range of influences between the members of the band; there's everything from ABBA and the Beatles to Venom and Morbid Angel. Even if David writes the riffs, the influences might be shown in other ways, like a guitar/bass lick or a certain drum fill or a vocal line, or whatever.
I'm sure you've seen some reviewers comparing you guys to the band Ghost.
Yeah, I'm not surprised. Ghost is the biggest band playing a kind of hard rock with dark theme, and they're from Sweden, so people compare us.
Personally I think your style feels heavier, more ominous.
There might be a similarity or two, but I don't think either of us sound like one another, if you look at it with a bigger perspective.
Do you have a tour in the works yet? We'd love to see you in the US.
Nothing specific; we're just waiting. We really want to hit the States!
For more on Noctum's horror movie inspirations, visit our colleagues at Bloody Disgusting for a cool track-by-track comparison between Final Sacrifice and the band's favorite horror movies!