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On disc: Nocturnal Rites



- Afterlife - Amir Djawadi - 5 stars
- Afterlife - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars
- Shadowland - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars
- Shadowland - Volker Raabe - 8 stars
- New World Messiah - Anika Peterson - 9 stars
- Grand Illusion - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars
- The 8th Sin - Jörg Petersen - 7 stars


www.nocturnalrites.com







The 8th Sin

The 8th Sin
(Century Media - 2007)


Well, I'm listening to Nocturnal Rites for several years now and they never really disappointed me, but this album is not what I expected. I'm a bit disappointed, even if this is a good album, I thought this one would be stronger. The production is good and they still have catchy hooks, so it's enjoyable.
With their 8th studio album the Swedish present the typical stuff and sounds, but they can't really surprise me. Most songs are mid-tempo and more hard rock elements then in the past. My favorites are Call Out To The World - the opener - and Not Like You which is the most catchy one. The ballad Me is showing best Jonny Lindkvist's vocal skills.
The album isn't a total waste, but if you have the predecessors you might be disappointed. I hope that next time the Swedish will improve and deliver a new killer album!


7 stars

Jörg Petersen
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)
 

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Grand Illusion

Grand Illusion
(Century Media - 2005)


The Swedish power metallers are around for 10 years and this is their 7th studio album. And again Nocturnal Rites been able to top their last album with Grand lllusion.
The Swedish kick off the album with Fools Never Die - a hymn-like fast one which some might know from some magazine sampler. It's also their choice for a video clip. A melodic rocker which is catchy and surprises the listener with an unexpected slow part. This song will soon be a must play in their set list! A good choice to catch the attention for this album. They speed up a little with Never Trust. Fast double bass drumming and shredding guitar riffs make the second song more aggressive, but still very melodic due to the powerful vocals of Jonny Lindqvist. HammerFall guitarist Stefan Elmgren added some guitar riffs to this one. But he's not the only guest on Grand Illusion! Still Alive is more aggressive and shredding guitars dominate this one, but fast drumming is driving this one. Only during the catchy chorus they slow down a bit and it sneaks into your mind and stays. Surprisingly different is Something Undefined, but is still melodic power metal, but darker.... And with Our Wasted Days they push the limits a bit more. Singer Jonny Lindqvist partly sounds a bit mean... Then after a break back to his powerful melodic voice. At some parts I have to think of Stratovarius, but only for a second or two. Guitarists Nils Norberg and Frederik Mannberg show again that they are a great team, but the team wouldn't be complete without bassist Nils Erickson and drummer Owe Lingvall. Heavy and dark comes Cuts Like A Knife off the speakers. Here Nocturnal Rites got joined by Evergrey's Henrik Danhage who contributes a solo and by Jens Johansson (Stratovarius) who adds the keyboard parts. Most unexpected are the growls / screams of Naglfar's Kristoffer Olivius. This is probably the darkest song Nocturnal Rites ever written / played. And it shows that this band has more to offer then just happy melodic power metal. If there will be more songs like this in future, well, time will tell. Songs like End Of Our Rope have all the trademarks of their sound, here I have to think of Masterplan and Jorn Lande a bit... Perhaps it would be a good idea to leave behind the happy metal a bit... The last track - called Deliverance - is another hymn-like mid-tempo song. Nocturnal Rites released a good album after another, but couldn't really step out of the shadow of bands like Gamma Ray and Edguy. If they would do more songs like Cuts Like A Knife they might finally get into the premier league... Even if Never Ending is heavier as they use to be, but still to close to the main bands of the genre. Anyway, a great album which you won't get tired of soon!
Check out: Fools Never Die, Still Alive, One By One and Cuts Like A Knife, even if this isn't a typical song. But all other songs will give a good impression, too.


9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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New World Messiah

New World Messiah
(Century Media - 2004)


For years the Swedish band Nocturnal Rites delivers one good album after another. On tours with bands like Saxon and Hammerfall they showed that they are a great live band, but it seems that they are still an insider band... A band like Sonata Arctica is more known and is presenting itself on the same level. Now Nocturnal Rites are back with New World Messiah and will try to make more friends on the coming Edguy / Brainstorm tour. A good example for their melodic power metal is the title track which offers great guitar riffing and after a balladesque part the brutality powerful sound is back. Singer Jonny Lindqvist is unique and makes the Nocturnal Rites sound recognizable. The track Awakening is a real groover. On the mid-tempo track Egyptica they included oriental sounds. Great idea. The guitar duo Mannberg / Norberg is delivering great guitar riffing and great solos. This album is a killer and I hope that more metal fans will discover the band. If you listen to bands like Sonata Arctica, Edguy, Stratovarius, Lefay and Gamma Ray, then you should listen to Nocturnal Rites latest opus. Fans of the band will buy this anyway and it ain't a waste of money!


9 stars

Anika Peterson
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)
 

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Shadowland

Shadowland
(Century Media - 2002)


With Shadowland the Swedish sextet released their 5th studio album, but it's different. The last albums were recorded in their hometown Umeå, but after the European tour with Iron Savior the band was hot to write new material and decided to take a step ahead. They decided to record in a different studio and so they recorded in Dec. 2001 / Jan. 2002 at the Dug-Out Studio in Uppsala with producer Daniel Bergstrand which is known for his work with Strapping Young Lad and Stuck Mojo. A good decision!
These days the Swedish sextet is more straight. No longer the kind of happy power metal they did in the past and with make people compare them with Gamma Ray... Some tracks like Underworld have a darker sound, but are kind a epic at the same time. Underworld is one of my personal favorites on this album. But tracks like the fast Vengeance show them from another, a harder side. The Swed­ish youngsters made a huge step ahead with this release and proof all wrong who called them Helloween / Gamma Ray clones.
The band is a tight unit and lead guitarist Nils Norberg can show his talent one more time. With this album the Swedish sextet should get their chance to play at a bigger tour and some more festivals to present themselves to the masses which soon will give them the opportunity to headline some clubs on their own. Good luck, guys!


9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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Shadowland

Shadowland
(Century Media - 2002)


If someone is asking what kind of band Nocturnal Rites is, then you are ignorant or just discovered metal a few days ago. Anyway, with Shadowland the Swedish release their 5th studio album. I wouldn't expect that the sextet choose another way then the one they chose with Afterlife. The band with singer Jonny Lindqvist delivered a striking album and especially the vocal performance is brilliant. Power metal with keyboards, this time more mature, more powerful then the previous album, perhaps the change of the recording facility is part of this...
Songs like Underworld or the killer track Faceless God are just 2 of the many great tunes on this album. An album full of melodic power metal with a large variety and well-done. So, guys and girls, get yourself a copy of Nocturnal Rites latest output, they deserve it!


8 stars

Volker Raabe
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)
 

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Afterlife

Afterlife
(Century Media - 2000)


Any news from Nocturnal Rites?!? Yes, they have a new singer. Their former singer Anders Zackrisson wanted to go a different way and left the band and got replaced by Jonny Lindkvist. Mr. Lindkvist is able to compete with his predecessor. On the 10 tracks on Afterlife he shows his talent and vocal range.
With this album the sympathetic Swedish are on their way to the top of the melodic speed metal scene which they started with the albums Tales Of Mystery And Imagination (1998) and The Sacred Talisman (1999), even if the had some problems in their early days (1995; distribution problems).
The consequently developed their style during studio recordings and touring which hopefully will pay them. The guitarists Fredrik Mannberg and Nils Norberg offer heavy riffs and catchy solos. Bassist Nils Eriksson and Drummer Owe Lingvall are responsible for the rhythm of the Swedish sextet. On keyboards Matthias Bernhardsson is adding some more melodies. So they develop classical metal with certain catchiness. Songs like The Sinners Cross, Hell And Back or The Devil's Child will soon put the metal fans in Europe under a spell. And they will never let you go again. Hope they will tour to present their new and well as their old material live!


5 stars

Amir Djawadi
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)
 

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Afterlife

Afterlife
(Century Media - 2000)


Sweden's melodic speedsters return with their 4th album and a new singer! When Nocturnal Rites started playing this kind of music, nobody recognized the debut due to a weak distribution. The Swedish mates Hammerfall came and everyone thought that they started the new wave of melodic speed metal....
But Nocturnal Rites continued and offered one good album after another. The touring helped to made them sound tighter and know with a new singer who has a larger vocal range they offer a killer album! From the first spin songs like Wake Up Dead made me sing along. This song is a new anthem for metal heads! Even if some of you will hate me for this statement, but in my opinion Nocturnal Rites are a lot better than Hammerfall! Dont send hate mails, you won't change my mind! I like Hammerfall, but I prefer Nocturnal Rites...
This 10 track album is the best release so far of the Swedish who had the luck to find Jonny Lindkvist! Damn good!


8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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           2008-2010 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail: contact@ice-vajal.com


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