NOCTURNAL RITES is getting a severe kicking following the release of this the shameful ‘’8th Sin’’ album. Rarely has a band with so much credibility, talent and passion for the Metal genre lost the plot in favour of over blowing commerciality and limp wrested attempts at some form of Heavy Metal. Lets make no excuses here this is a woefully inept record that fails on just about every level.
Just where is the band that recorded the excellent Power Metal bombast of ‘’Afterlife’’ and ‘’Shadowland’’ albums? They seem to have evolved into a latent Melodic Metal band intent on segregating those fans that have sustained them since 2000 when vocalist Jonny Lindquist joined the group. Don’t get me wrong as I enjoy the broad spectrum of Melodic Metal and all that it holds but NOCTURNAL RITES (the name alone evokes a much more sinister sound) has journeyed far from their inaugural Death Metal roots through Power Metal to now this conglomeration of cheerful upbeat angst-free happy-time Metal.
There is no question that Lindquist is a strong, unique vocalist whilst the guitar pairing of Fredrik Mannberg and Nils Norberg exhibit flashy guitar pyrotechnics but for a band with a relatively strong back catalogue ‘’The 8th Sin’’ suffers from lack of direction and some serious miss-management.
There’s flashes of inspiration most notably from the guitar players but the muddled and at time over processed sound distorts the mix. The drumming and bass playing is rudimentary to say the least and where a couple of songs aren’t that bad ‘’Never Again’’ or ‘’Leave Me Alone’’ for instance the ‘’ The 8th Sin’’ is still notable for some dross in the simply dreadful ballad ‘’ Not The Only ’’, the ineffectual ‘’Till I Come Alive’’ or the pedestrian chug of ‘’Strong Enough’’.
With a sound so far removed from their earlier records NOCTURNAL RITES has shot themselves in the foot as old fans will be turned away in droves and new fans checking out the older releases will genuinely be nothing more than perplexed at what the band hoping to achieve.
(Online August 5, 2007)