Nocturnal Rites – “Phoenix”

NR_P-C_1500x1500You couldn’t find a better name for this album! After laying dormant for 10 years, Sweden’s Nocturnal Rites have risen like the “Phoenix.” Lead guitar Nils Norberg left in 2008 which clearly dealt the band a serious blow. Joining them for their return is Per Nilsson of Scar Symmetry which turns out to be a perfect fit for the band.

The rest of the band remains unchanged from their last album, “The 8th Sin.” And to be honest, it sounds like no time has passed, let alone 10 YEARS! Nocturnal Rites have their own sound which mixes power metal with prog metal and they have a vocalist in Jonny Lindqvist, who has a unique voice. When he sings (and he is a great singer), you know it’s him! He has lost nothing in 10 years. Whether it’s on the pounding opener “A Heart As Black As Coal” or the lead single “Before We Waste Away,” the guy sounds amazing.

The band have a defiance to their sound, both lyrically and musically, that has always appealed to me. To this day, “Still Alive” off of “The Grand Illusion” is a personal theme song. On “Phoenix,” there’s what feels like a follow up to it called “Nothing Can Break Me” and that one kicks almost as much ass as “Still Alive.” And that’s what I like about “Phoenix.” It feels like it acknowledges the power of their earlier albums and the melody of the later ones. It’s like the band is re-introducing themselves to their fans and the metal community as well.

If people were worried that the band would be “rusty” or that Norberg took all the great riffs with him when he left, don’t worry! The band prove (with Nilsson on board) that there’s still plenty of life left in them. “Phoenix” is the sound of a band reinvigorated and with something to prove. Nocturnal Rites are still alive.

Rating: 8.5/10


1. A Heart As Black As Coal
2. Before We Waste Away
3. The Poisonous Seed
4. Repent My Sins
5. What’s Killing Me
6. A Song For You
7. The Ghost Inside Me
8. Nothing Can Break Me
9. Flames
10. Used To Be God
11. Welcome To The End

Label: AFM Records
Release Date: October 6, 2017

About Rob

I have been a fan of progressive metal and progressive rock for most of my life. My music collection is insanely large. My passion for life is music!
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