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Nocturnal Rites: New World Messiah

Equal parts power metal and hair metal, the sixth album from Sweden's Nocturnal Rites is a killer disc that deserves to be heard by any self-respecting headbanger. High praise? Yes, indeed. But since the release of 2000's Afterlife (the first disc from this veteran quintet to feature rugged yet dynamic vocalist Jonny Lindqvist), Nocturnal Rites has been building toward something as rousing and memorable as New World Messiah. Sure, you can hear the Iron Maiden and Helloween influences, but whereas other bands simply emulate their heroes and don't take chances, Nocturnal Rites isn't afraid to slow down the tempos, turn up the choruses and play whatever they damn well please. This is finely honed heavy metal that's as refreshing as it is traditional. The title track is a shining example of the band's Blind Guardian-meets-Bonfire style. Elsewhere, you get Middle Eastern flavors ("Egyptica"), majestic hymns ("The Flame Will Never Die"), traditional double-bass thumping ("Awakening") and nothing less than a sweet whiff of power-metal air.

Track Listing:
1) New World Messiah (4:09)
2) Against the World (4:18)
3) Avalon (4:18)
4) Awakening (5:28)
5) Egyptica (5:53)
6) Break Away (4:34)
7) End of Days (4:47)
8) The Flame Will Never Die (4:21)
9) One Nation (4:29)
10) Nightmare (4:37)
Total Time: 46:59

Added: April 7th 2004
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Nocturnal Rites Web Site
Hits: 3448
Language: english

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Nocturnal Rites: New World Messiah
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-03-24 06:53:49
My Score:

When you listen to Nocturnal Rites for the first time you will find that they are the perfect mix of traditional ("Old School") Metal meets the Power Metal that is often released today. They pull this off very effectively on this Century Media release entitled "New World Messiah" and the whole CD is full of killer stuff. You not only get the double-bass drumming thunder as is expected of Power Metal but the songs are also laced with a level of harmony that most usually is found in bands like Blind Guardian and Gamma Ray. It also seemed to be a lot more accessible than some others in this type of genre and I felt this could easily be used to convince you to listen to similar bands. It is the kind of band that makes me realize why I love Power Metal so much. With Nocturnal Rites and Nuclear Blast's Thunderstone you are getting a great idea of what the world of the genre can offer you as the listener. Of the tunes on the record I have particular enjoyment of fine sample of what the world of Power Metal is offering the new listener. There are a lot of great tracks here and of my very favorites was "Avalon" in particular. The song bears one of those choruses that make you sing along with it from the very first listen. "Against The World" is a steady chugging number that one can envision the fists raised high during a performance. With "Egyptica" we get the Rites take on some Middle Eastern melodies and lyrical content that brings you to another place in time. "Break Away" is a solid and quick riffed piece with a classic Helloween feel. The members of the band are very accomplished and with six members are comprised of Jonny Lindqvist (vocals), Fredrik Mannberg (guitar), Nils Norberg (guitar), Nils Erikkson (bass), Owe Lingvall (drums) and Mattias Berhardson (keyboards). I have to raise the horns to drummer Owe who is standout on the record and seems to be playing the same riffs as the guitarists. Not simply holding the time down in his beats but more of a soloist as the songs are thundering by.

The Power Metal genre has a great addition in Nocturnal Rites and if they sound like this in the concert setting there is a strong chance that they will rise in dominance over a lot of their label mates. Fans of Blind Guardian and Kamelot will most definitely get into what they are singing about and they should look into them at their first chance to do so.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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