Nocturnal Rites - Grand Illusion

luigiluigi NZ
edited April 3 in year-2005

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ARTIST: Nocturnal Rites
ALBUM: Grand Illusion
LABEL: Century Media
SERIAL: 8292-2
YEAR: 2005

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image
LINEUP: Jonny Lindkvist - vocals * Fredrik Mannberg - guitars * Nils Norberg - lead and rhythm guitars * Nils Eriksson - bass * Owe Lingvall - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Fools Never Die * 02 Never Trust * 03 Still Alive * 04 Something Undefined * 05 Our Wasted Days * 06 Cuts Like A Knife * 07 End Of Our Rope * 08 Never Ending * 09 One By One * 10 Deliverance

RATING: image
WEBLINKS: Site Link

Background

I can remember vividly the first time I encountered Nocturnal Rites. I came across 'Tales Of Mystery And Imagination' in my local cd shop, and despite the dark name I gave it a go. That album is now one of my favourites, a fabulous Iron Maiden inspired work.

The follow-up 'Sacred Talisman' didn't quite meet the standard of 'Tales of..', but was still a good, solid album. With the release of 'Afterlife', the band lost me. A darker sound, a new vocalist, less melody and a horrible production. I gave 'Shadowland' a miss believing that Nocturnal Rites had left their best in the past.

Reading positive comments about 'New World Messiah' and the band's more melodic approach I investigated and was very pleasantly surprised. With my faith somewhat restored I was looking forward to 'Grand Illusion'. Now that I've heard it I can safely say it is the best Nocturnal Rites album with vocalist Jonny Lindkvist.

The overall sound adopted on 'Afterlife' still prevails, but as with 'New World Messiah' the melodies have been increased ten-fold, as have the choruses. Guitarists Nils Norberg and Fredrik Mannberg have conjured up a bunch of pounding riffs and a number of scorching solos. Lindkvist improves on each album and now ranks in the upper echelons of metal vocalists.

The Songs

There are a stack of instantly memorable tracks, no more so than opener 'Fools Never Die', the most commercial track the band have done and a song that should get them some airplay. Track 2, 'Never Trust', is one of the speedier tracks that utilises keyboards and a very catchy chorus.

Though the band's sound is reasonably distinctive, 'Cuts Like A Knife' hints strongly at Tad Morose, with a touch of Kamelot and it is just as good as anything the TM boys could come up with. Even the inclusion of some extreme vocals didn't put me off. Heavy, intimidating and bloody good.

In Summary

I've mentioned a couple of tracks that really get the blood pumping, but finding a filler on 'Grand Illusion' is difficult. If anything lacks on this album it is once again the production.

The bottom end is a little thin, so you need to turn the volume up a bit to get the full impact. Regardless, the quality shines through and the production soon becomes a minor issue. Keep it coming guys.


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