Good music, regardless of genre, tells a story. Sometimes that story is unintentional, other times it is poignantly deliberate. These albums are somewhere between cinematic and dramatic, having a grand scope and deep imagination. There are many types of literature as we understand it, not just written word. Literature is storytelling, no matter the medium. Television is literature, movies are literature, music is literature. Noctilucant’s latest opus “Oblivion to You All” is a cold, grim example of storytelling, literature in one of it’s newly recognized forms.
So what is the story Noctilucant tells in “Oblivion to You All”? It’s a post apocalyptic world, the kind you would find in Cormac McCarthy or Richard Matheson, a place where society as we know it has been destroyed. The album never tells us exactly what caused the catastrophe or what it was but that’s immaterial to the story, the story lies in what happens after. Through the use of soundscapes (some of the eeriest and disturbing I’ve ever listened to by the way) and spoken word, Noctilucant paints a bleak, hopeless, terrifying picture. Not only has society broken down but so has humanity’s… well humanity. We have become a race of desperate, sadistic, lonely people each attempting to climb over the others to catch a glimpse of sunlight. But the sunlight isn’t sunlight, it’s not anything. Even in this new world, we strive towards something that doesn’t exist. Despair is commodity in the decrepit world, traded upon and used as a means to control and suppress but at the same time it is all we have, all that drives us unward. It has value beyond measure to us, but to others, it is worthless. We stare into the maw of emptiness and terror and we no longer fear what we see, we have become so numb to existence and life that terror and oblivion are utterly without power.
Of all the dark ambient I have heard, Noctilucant is one of the most unique; utilizing soundscapes, field recordings, vocal samples, and industrial noise. It’s wholly unique and I’m at a loss as to how Noctilucant has gone unnoticed. This album is wonderfully cinematic, more so than any album I’ve heard, it feels almost like an audiobook, but the listener fills in the story based on the sounds. I highly recommend this album, listen to it carefully, without any interference; every detail is important.