NON EST DEUS — Legacy (Album Review)

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Non Est Deus’ fourth album, “Legacy,” delivers modern black metal that is geared toward mainstream audiences. As such, it proves a fairly accessible offering to those willing to give the genre a chance. Founded in 2017, Non Est Deus is the one-man project of Noise, who hails from Bavaria. Noise has had success with Kanonenfieber. Listeners might also know him from Leiþa. “Legacy” proves a solid offering. It exudes power, rebellion, and aggression. Yet, this record is also a very mixed bag.

“Legacy” hooks listeners with its gripping melodies. Beauty and brutality are both accorded their proper place. Killer riffs persist throughout the album. The drums, which were provided by Hans Kanonenfieber, are equally strong. Noise succeeds in crafting attractive atmospheres. The intense harsh vocals demonstrate Noise’s skill as a performer. Yet, his phrasing could be improved. It often feels simplistic. In addition, the anguish expressed does not feel genuine. The English-language lyrics, which reimagine the Old Testament, could be described as lacking. Yes, Non Est Deus is known to be purposely silly, but “Legacy” misses its mark. Black metal can be highly amusing, but a certain amount of cleverness and heart are required. “Legacy” comes across as bland, as opposed to dangerous, high-stakes, and engaging. 

That said, “Legacy” quickly catches your attention with the confident and fiery ‘Hiob.’ Although this song provides a fun experience, it sets the tone of utter hopelessness. The musical repetition present on this song may strike some listeners as annoying. The bleak ‘Written on Tombstones’ begins with shouted words of despair and serves as a bit of a change with its different kind of grimness. ‘Amos the Prophet’ is an especially pleasing upbeat number with a lot of character. This just might be a song that listeners can dance to. ‘The Canon of Nil,’ a tank of a track, charms and bulldozes audiences. ‘Babylon,’ the penultimate number, may be viewed as an album highlight. The finale, ‘The Last Act,’ begins on a gentle note with some spoken vocals before exploding with a display of ferocity. The soaring melodies threaten to transport listeners to another realm.


Indeed, all of “Legacy”’s tracks boast a certain amount of charisma. Nevertheless, the nine compositions sound much better in isolation than as a whole. Despite its wicked energy, “Legacy” ultimately turns out to be a tedious, generic, and predictable experience. “Legacy” was recorded, produced, mixed, and mastered by Noise. The production lends a professional sound. Granted, it might not be raw enough for some black metal ears that crave organic feeling.  

Overall, “Legacy” is bound to be perceived as a spellbinding triumph by many listeners. Yet, the degree to which audiences enjoy this record will partially depend on their familiarity with black metal. If you are just a casual visitor to the wonderful and hellish world of black metal, you will probably adore “Legacy.” However, if you are a well-studied black metal freak, your opinion of “Legacy” will most likely be on the low end. Although words like “true,” “truth,” “elitist,” and “pure,” can be misused in black metal circles, in this case, no one will misunderstand me if I say that “Legacy” is not true to the spirit of the movement. If you want to hear what black metallic authenticity sounds like in 2023, check out Høstsol’s “Länge Leve Döden” and Manii’s “Innerst i Mørket.” “Legacy,” however, feels like a modern studio product, unoriginal and not very inspired.

Released By: Noisebringer Records
Release Date: May 12
Genre: Black metal

“Legacy” Track-List:

  1. Hiob
  2. Written on Tombstones
  3. Amos the Prophet
  4. The Canon of Nil
  5. Redemption I
  6. Redemption II
  7. Thousand Years of Sand
  8. Babylon
  9. The Last Act

Musicians:

Noise / Everything

Guests:

Hans Kanonenfieber / Drums

Order “Legacy” HERE.

7.4 Very Good

Although Non Est Deus’ “Legacy” is sure to win over many listeners at first, its charm soon wears off. Noise is a skilled performer, but “Legacy” may be viewed as a superficial offering that lacks artistic truth and originality. In many respects, Noise is simply imitating the work of those who have come before him.

  • Songwriting 7
  • Musicianship 8
  • Originality 6
  • Production 8.5
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