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UNITED STATES, Florida, Tampa

Date Formed Jun/1988

Categories: Death Metal


Tampa Death Metal act NOCTURNUS are widely credited with being one of the prime instigators of keyboard driven technical Death Metal. The group was manifested during June of 1988 by ex-MORBID ANGEL and INCUBUS drummer/ lead vocalist Mike Browning, guitarist Gino Marino, bassist Jeff Estes and eighteen year old guitarist Mike Davis. The addition of keyboard player Louis Panzer in September of that year would undoubtedly succeed in putting the band into the realms of the unique. Their inaugural demo effort, the four song effort 'The Science Of Horror', immediately secured a recording contract with the Nottingham based cutting edge label Earache Records.

For their debut 'The Key' NOCTURNUS, seeing Sean McNenney replacing Gino Marino, plied a unique combination when it came to plying their particular brand of Death Metal unafraid to add the keyboards of Panzer well upfront and with lead vocals being handled by Browning. MASSACRE's Kam Lee adds backing vocals. Meantime bassist Jeff Estes made way for James Sullivan for touring which included dates BOLT-THROWER across the UK capitalised on by the US 'Grindcrusher' tour alongside GODFLESH and NAPALM DEATH. Meantime former member Gino Marino relocated to Atlanta, Georgia to found EUPHORIA.

1992's 'Thresholds' saw the band adopt a more conformist approach by adding former TORTURED SOUL vocalist Dan Izzo to the line up allowing Browning to prioritise the drums. Further changes saw Estes superseded by Chad Anderson. For subsequent touring NOCTURNUS drafted Jim O'Sullivan on bass who was in turn substituted by Emo Mowery for shows in league with CONFESSOR in 1991.

Browning quit to work with ACHERON, appearing on their 1994 albums 'Hail Victory', 'Satanic Victory' and 'Lex Talionis'. In a further change Sullivan lost his place and NOCTURNUS utilised the talents of Chris Anderson in the studio although a more permanent position went to ex FALLEN IDOLS man Emo Mowery. The band toured Europe together with CONFESSOR in 1992. The following year an eponymous two track EP emerged on the Seattle based Moribund label, this seeing dnew drummer James Marcinek of ASTAROTH installed. Although fans acknowledged this EP as being a return to form the group folded shortly after recording.

Ex-drummer Mike Browning would be found pursuing an eclectic range of products such as DEACON SCREECH, ASH, WOLF AND HAWK and DEVINE ESSENCE. Rising out of the ashes of NOCTURNUS during 1999 the former players vocalist / drummer Mike Browning, guitarist Gino Marino and bassist Richard Bateman forged NOCTURNUS A.D. in union with second guitarist Mike Walkowski. During 2000 this band distanced itself from prior connections, re-billing itself as AFTER DEATH. NOCTURNUS resurfaced in 2000 with a fresh vocalist Emo Mowery and a new album 'Ethereal Tomb'. Mowery would also form part of ex-CRIMSON GLORY man Wade Black's SECTOR 9 line up as bass player.

Polish Death Metal band SCEPTIC would offer up their rendition of 'Arctic Crypt' on their 2001 album 'Pathetic Being'. In a surprise move NOCTURNUS disbanded during early May of 2002 as both Mowery and Browning announced their departure. The former NOCTURNUS pairing of guitarist Mike Davis and bassist/vocalist Emo Mowery rapidly enlisted the services of SEVEN WITCHES and ex-CRIMSON GLORY singer Wade Black for a fresh band project.

It was announced that the "classic" NOCTURNUS line-up had re-assembled for UK concerts in October 2008. However, drummer/vocalist Mike Browning subsequently issued a statement "I want to be totally up front and honest with everyone that the original line-up will not be touring. My band AFTER DEATH will be doing the tour as NOCTURNUS, we WILL be playing at least 7 of the 10 songs on 'The Key' as well as a couple of old MORBID ANGEL songs done the way they were originally written on 'Abominations of Desolation'! Mike Davis was asked and he didn't want to do the tour as he and I were the ones who wrote pretty much everything on 'The Key'. Louis Panzer and Sean McNenney were not asked to do this. What people will see will be a show that no one else can faithfully perform containing old NOCTURNUS and MORBID ANGEL material that I either wrote or co-wrote. And it will be done the way it was meant to be written and performed, not some contrived 'rock star' version! The tour will be from October 13-27, 13 shows only to be done in Europe because of these U.S. trademark restrictions from the former members who did indeed steal the name and band I created back in 1988."

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