29 Years Ago: NOCTURNUS release The Key

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29 Years Ago: NOCTURNUS release The Key

It's called The Key and it's on Earache Rec. It was recorded at Morrisound and it was engineered by Tom Morris. It contains 9 tracks and the CD has an extra one.

Mike Browning / Nocturnus interview, Blasphemous #1, 1991

NOCTURNUS released their classic debut, the occult sci-fi death metal masterpiece The Key, on this day in 1990.

...if you listen to the first NOCTURNUS demo there's no science fiction in it at all, the science fiction was added with people like Mike Davis and Lou pretty much and I kind of thought, well if we're gonna mix this stuff together, let's do it from a futuristic point, the actual story that "The Key" is was totally written by me that part and some of the science fiction stuff was thrown in by Davis. But I think in the early part of "The Key", you know writing and everything, I was hoping to, you know, trying to keep everybody happy in the band and therefore putting some science fiction and stuff like that in there because there was really nobody else in the band at that time that was into the occult at all. So I was kind of like alone in that aspect and the only reason it probably came through at all on "The Key" was because I was still singing and writing songs, you know, writing lyrics or else there wouldn't have been probably any occult material on there at all, it would have been a whole different thing so... I don't think it was too much of a problem with what we were writing at, I don't remember too many people getting onto us about stuff like 'Destroying...', I think people thought it was very extreme but I thought it was a great story, you know, just like the bible! It's a story.

Mike Browning / Nocturnus interview, Voices from the Darkside

...when you look at it, yeah recording it today would have sounded much better than recording it back then, so... that's what was going on at the time in fact, by the time we got signed Death Metal was hardly really hitting and we were getting close to be at the end of the wave anyway you know?! We were one of those bands that was right out of the front like MORBID ANGEL was, we're a year behind them with the release and a year is a long time when you're talking about a certain type of music, when things can change within a month almost completely you know?! So I think we weren't totally prepared either but the time was "Let's do it" you know, while we had the opportunity and things are good for everybody and like on the... I still had the same drum set that I had even back with MORBID ANGEL, it was a concert kit which did not have bottom heads on any of the toms so for me everytime I played in the studio, it was a cool kit because it was huge but it just wasn't a recording kit...

As far as mastering, at that time, I don't think there were too many bands that had a say so in mastering, you heard it from the studio and then you heard the first copy pressed and in between point, alot of bands just didn't get to hear the mastered version until it was already printed and packaged so that's what happened there, we never did hear it again you know, it was just like, you know, 'It got mastered, sounds good, you'd get the copies in a month or so' so that's the way it went.

Mike Browning / Nocturnus interview, Voices from the Darkside
Nocturnus rehearsing Lake of Fire, 13 September 1990