Non Est Deus – Legacy Review

The last record from Non Est Deus, Impious, impressed me. I’ll admit, not to quite the same degree as Leiþa or Kanonenfieber, the other two projects from Germany’s black metal maestro, Noise. Still, it scored a highly respectable 3.5 and, really, my complaints were minor quibbles. When I recently sat down to interview Noise, he explained to me the concept for the fourth Non Est Deus platter. He took stories from the Old Testament and, essentially, imagined what would happen if you took God or the Holy Spirit, or whatever you want to call it, out of the equation. Answer? Everything goes to shit and people who were saved by angels in the Old Testament, get raped and murdered on Legacy. This may not, of course, be to everyone’s taste but, given the bile and disgust Noise spits into Non Est Deus, I was excited to hear what this concept brought to the party.

When we spoke, Noise pointed out that if you compare Leiþa’s two albums, they almost sound like they were written by two different bands. This is because, as for Non Est Deus, Noise doesn’t overthink things and just writes. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Impious and Legacy sound like different bands, they certainly have very distinct identities. Impious, particularly on tracks like “Burn it Down” and the excellent “Celebrate the Selfdestruct,” had a bouncy, almost upbeat edge to it. Clearly not cheery but maybe, free-flowing? By contrast, Legacy is a darker, more atmospheric affair but still recognizably Non Est Deus. With something of the pulsing ferocity of Vorga’s Striving Toward Oblivion but also the last Malist, this album has a more consistent and cohesive flow, which is important for the storytelling. Insistent and furious, tracks like “Thousand Years of Sand” and “The Last Act” lean closer to the Leiþa stable than they do to Impious, although Noise often alters his snarling rasp into a gravelly semi-spoken word that is reserved for Non Est Deus.

From the repeating riff that launch “Hiob” (Job), to the slow build, doom-filled opening of “The Canon of Nil,” each track has its own character but each coalesces around a storm of tremolos and pummelling drums. Like all of Noise’s projects, however, his work behind the kit is a lot more than blasts, with cute little triplets and progressive fills saturating the spaces left by the guitars. The slow, haunted, and bilious tones of the percussion-free, semi-interlude “Redemption Pt. I” feel like the pitch-black heart of Legacy. As Noise growls “A never-ending cycle, A life in repetition, And the only relief, Can be found in lies,” you hear the dripping venom and cold fury in his tone, which is then released on “Redemption Pt. II.” Despite being the track on the record that probably harks back most to Non Est Deus’ last album, coming off the back of “Pt. I” it feels like a cathartic release.

The delicate beginning to the album closer (and longest cut) “The Last Act” belies the icy gallop that is to follow, as it should for it is here that Jonah is drowned, Lot’s daughters raped and murdered, the Ark sunk. Indeed, across Legacy, the moods swirl and eddy, drawing inspiration from the dark and corrupted tales Noise weaves. As with all of his projects, Non Est Deus’ latest sounds great, with the melodies rising just enough from the tumult to lift the whole and give it a keening note, without detracting from the harsh attack. Here, the drums are slightly higher in the mix than on many of Noise’s past records but it works for the sound on Legacy, giving it a percussive edge.

Superior to the very good Impious in nearly every respect (and without the annoying spoken word pieces), Legacy is Non Est Deus’ strongest album to date. Dark, bleak, and built around a great concept, Noise has once again delivered. I’m starting to think that the point has come where I will, with extreme reluctance, have to pass the reviewing baton for Noise’s projects to some other hack that writes for this site.1 When I scored Leiþa’s Reue a 3.5 back in January, I was so close to giving it the 4.0 it deserved (as AMG duly confirmed, hinting he may even have supported a 4.5), but got into my own head. Having already 3.5ed Impious and gushed about Kanonenfieber, I was so keen to ensure I was being balanced that I underrated Reue. I have similarly gone back and forth on Legacy but ultimately believe it is a Great album, so that’s what I’m rating it.2

Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Noisebringer Records
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: May 12th, 2023

Show 2 footnotes

  1. There are plenty of complete and total hacks to choose from. – Steel
  2. Report to HR for brutal re-education. – Steel
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