Nocturnal Empire is a new record company that sees its birth through this compilation. It's their first release as a record label and it's limited to 500 copies. Nocturnal Empire are located in Germany and on this release there are only bands from Germany. The fact that every band on this release is new to me, makes it very exciting when we compare it to a compilation like “Death Is Just The Beginning”... In the early days “Death Is Just The Beginning” had something to show the Metal community, but these days 90% of every band found on DIJTB are already known to most people, therefore it's interesting with a release like Nocturnal Empire. This is a label that clearly don't give a fuck if the music are underground Black Metal or more poppy tunes like the ones AFTER DARK are playing.
The main parts of this compilation focus on the more extreme fields of Metal, but there are some surprises found here and there. The CD starts with some ambient sound that I find a bit boring, the song after is a rather weak song and I fear that this will be hard a CD listening through. BLOODSTAINED COFFIN are the first band that does things the way I like them, it's not awesome, but decent Death Metal. ANTHAROS comes right after with a style that fits in the underground realms of Black Metal. On the next two song we find an almost poppy tune which is followed by a traditional Heavy Metal tune. I don't know if this variety of styles is a result of bad focus, or just music lovers trying to cover as much of the music they like. The fact is that, for me at least, for the most parts it works.
The reason why I found this CD to be interesting is the fact that there are some good, or at least promising, bands found on it. I think that Nocturnal Empire Records deserves some words of praise for not caring about trends. This is a compilation that could have something for everyone that is into Metal. The fact that it's limited to 500 copies makes it very hard for everyone to get it, but you should at least try to look up some of the bands that are found on this compilation, some of them are worth the attention. (Online January 23, 2005)