|Review: Nocturnal Rites - Tales Of Mystery And Imagination|
|Tales Of Mystery And Imagination|
Label: Century Media
Year released: 1998
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: June 22, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:Tales Of Mystery And Imagination
This was the follow-up to Nocturnal Rites' debut full-length "In A Time Of Blood And Fire", and while it is not as enjoyable as I was hoping, it's still pretty good. I have read reviews that call this their best CD, but those people are obviously high, as this is pretty much exactly what you would logically expect if you have heard the album that followed this one "The Sacred Talisman".
All the elements of early Nocturnal Rites are here in spades. In other words, this is HelloGammaween worship all the way, with a little Iron Maiden thrown in here and there. This was pretty much state of the art Power Metal in 1998, and it is amazing how much the scene has grown and improved in six years. There is very little actively bad about this disc, and a lot of the guitarwork, as usual, is very good. But the songs overall lack excitement, and the early NR tendency to write really tepid vocal melodies is in full force. The funny thing about this band is that even here, where they were not that good, they remain incredibly catchy and memorable. I was able to type out most of the tracklist here without looking at the CD, and that's after only a half-dozen spins – what does that say? Songs like "Ring Of Steel", "Test Of Time", and "Burn In Hell" may be too happy-sounding by half and be fraught with soggy vocal lines, but you sing along anyway.
So this is not a bad album, and fans of "The Sacred Talisman" will find enough good stuff here to justify the purchase. But if you want aggressive, original Power Metal in line with Nocturnal Rites' later efforts, you will have to look elsewhere, because "Tales" is an album that is mostly enjoyable in spite of itself.
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