|Review: Nocturnal Rites - The 8th Sin|
|The 8th Sin|
Label: Century Media
Year released: 2007
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: December 15, 2007
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
for:The 8th Sin
A lot has been said about this one already, so I'll just cut to the chase: I don't know what happened to this band after The Grand Illusion, but I'm guessing it started in a bar and had something to do with chloroform, dirty rags and a dark alley, because this drastic of a stylistic change is extremely difficult to undergo between just two albums, especially from such a veteran band. On the surface, this is still Nocturnal Rites, as we have the same modern, polished production, the same vocals, and the same musicians behind him, but the decline in songwriting is akin to the steep decline achieved by shoving an elephant off the Grand Canyon. This is the sound of a band completely bereft and bankrupt of songwriting power and musical integrity, and it's nothing less than sad and pathetic.
The 8th Sin is a pop-rock album with little to no "metal" in it at all, and the band's songwriting is on a very elementary and juvenile level that would ashame and embarrass most bands. This is very pre-processed and sterilized music, with layers upon layers of synths and sampling and vocal distortion to hide how simplistic and banal it really is. This is still easy on the ears and listenable, but so is most contemporary pop music, and when you consider the fact that all of the good parts here are lifted from various Kamelot songs, it really doesn't lend much weight to Nocturnal Rites' side of the argument. All of the songs here are shallow as hell, and eventually they all blur into a faceless mass that will speed by you faster than your baby brother's runny nose on a December afternoon. Not one ounce of emotion is raised here in the entire 40 minutes of the disc's runtime. Every song is more or less a race to get to the chorus; no clever buildup or structuring here, and the choruses are obviously the only parts of this album that the band put any work into. Just look at it - every song reaches its chorus before even a minute of the duration is up. Did I mention that there are almost no songs here longer than 4 minutes?
I'm at a loss for words at this point. I'm not even angry with Nocturnal Rites, because this record is just too pitiful to really have any contempt for its creators. I feel like I've caught the band with their pants down, as this is a desperate band whoring itself out to the mainstream for a quick buck and some attention. As I said, I won't claim this is unlistenable or the worst album ever, but it is certainly a major disappointment. Worst album of the year? No. Disappointment of the year? Definitely. I don't know the story behind this one, label bullshit or not, but Nocturnal Rites are dead. Dead and buried. Skip this one, folks, as it almost unravels every good thing this band ever did.
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