posted on 8/2002
Power Metal. Some refer to it as the only true metal. I myself think most of it is rather silly, but am always open to listening to some depending on the vokills. When the lead singer has a fallsetto like his balls are caught in a vice, then nine out of ten times I can't listen to the music at all, with the exception of maybe King Diamond and Rob Halford. Seeing the name Nocturnal Rites I expected black metal but was horribly wrong when front man Jonny Lindqvist began to sing. I always give every band a fair chance when listening though so I proceeded to listen to the CD quite a bit and I have to definitely say it grew on me.
One thing I do give credit to power metal bands for is the fact that they always have some great guitar work on their albums and Nocturnal Rites doesn't break the trend. Nils Norberg does a great job handling the lead guitar work, with great solos, good melodies and great grooves. There are some really crunching riffs on here pounded out by Nils and rhythm guitarist/founding member Fredrick Mannberg. These guys really know their way around their axes. Another thing you'll always see with power metal is great (or annoying, depending on how you look at it) sing-a-long choruses. I had some of the choruses caught in my head for days and still do. Naming some off the top of my head I would have to say Eyes of the Dead (probably my favorite song on the album) and Revelation have been in my head the most. Jonny Lindqvist has a very flowing and smooth sounding voice. The one thing I like about his vokills is the fact that the falsettos used never reach a point where the windows will shatter or make my ears bleed. That's probably the main reason I can still really get into this album despite the fact that with most power metal the lyrics are horribly cheesy. But what would power metal be without the cheez. Luckily it's not too bad with Shadowland. They do have some descent lyrics.
The production on the album is pretty top-notch. Everything is very clear, the drums are crisp, the guitars flow together smoothly making it easy to hear rhythms, and the vokills show off Jonny's excellent voice. So producer, Daniel Bergstrand (Meshuggah, Strapping Young Lad), gets my thumbs up for this one.
My only real complaint with the album is the cheez lyrics and the dorky ballad songs Invincible and Underworld. Other then that I have to say that I really got into this album after a couple listens. Listening to great songs like Eyes of the Dead, Birth of Chaos, and The Watcher made me want to go put on a denim jacket, point to the sky, and let out the best falsetto I could. . . well, maybe not; but the album is still cool and will definitely be given quite a few more spins in my disc player. If you like to occasionally dabble in power metal then I'd have to recommend you check this one out. If power metal's your thing, buy it, you won't be disappointed.
The 8Th Sin
New World Messiah