Extreme, raw, intricate, malevolent, these are just a few adjectives I could use to describe the latest release from Nocturnes Mist. “Diabolical Baptism” is the 4th full length release by this sextet from Australia, amidst a barrage of demos and EP’s.

Opening track “Barbs of sadism” unlocks the release with wind howling and growls, which are reminiscent of something delivered straight from the bowels of hell, the vocals then kick in and Deceiver sounds more demonic than ever.

“Out and Out” continues in the same vain with a blistering pace which has been laid down by the band, but it then slows down mid song, just enough to give you a short respite, before throwing you straight back into the demons’ pit.

“Tears of misery” opens with a grand entrance, usually reserved for the no one but the supreme lord himself, and it continues to take the listener on a winding path, flanked by rousing guitars which build the structure and then Deceiver Kicks in again with his signature screams.

“Domina Noctus” is the penultimate track and there is still no letting up. As the rest of the opus has stuck to the tried and tested method of all out blasting, this one opens with screaming, wailing guitar screeches which lay waste to everything before it and arranges the path for Deceiver to bring it back together with some of the stripped back, hellish vocals you will hear this year. The band have toned it down on this one in relation to the other tracks, it is a slower pace, yet this just enables the track to plod along and is a lot heavier and thunderous than the rest of the release. It is heads down and steady throughout, and this is a welcome relief from the break neck speed of the rest of the album and is almost refreshing in its delivery.

“Ave Satani”, the final track to be unleashed on us, opens with a grandiose orchestral intro, with Nocturnes Mist almost summoning us to the cause, with chanting which eventually leads into the guitars which grab us by the neck and pull us straight into lucifer’s underworld, and unleashes a tyrant of beautiful vocal work amidst a back drop of an intricate and demonic soundtrack.

Any fan of Raw, extreme black metal, needs to own a copy of this, and then look to secure themselves, the entire Nocturnes Mist back catalogue.

(8/10 Phil Pountney)