|Review: Nocturnal Rites - The Sacred Talisman|
|The Sacred Talisman|
Label: Century Media
Year released: 1999
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: March 10, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:The Sacred Talisman
This is the third release, and the second full-length album from these Swedish guys who play Italian-style power metal. They showed progress with each release, and continue to get better. (The latest "Shadowland" is their best yet.) This was their last album with singer Anders Zackrisson, and a peak of sorts in their early history before the noticeable stylistic change on "Afterlife"
What we have here is light and tuneful euro-power metal in the vein of Angra, Gamma Ray, or even early Rhapsody. There is very little in the way of keyboards on the album, so there are no symphonic arpeggios to snooze through. This is old-fashioned guitar driven power metal with good clear vocals.
This is not terribly heavy, or innovative. But there are some really good songs on here. "Destiny Calls" is firmly in the happy-metal camp with a great chorus you can’t help but sing along with. "The Iron Force" has a great main riff, and "Ride On" is another happy headbanger. "When Fire Comes to Ice" is very cheesy, but you’ll be singing along, mark my words. "Glorious" is another hook laden song that closes out the album.
There are some clinkers here too, though. "Free at Last" is too slow and poppy, "Hold on to the Flame" is even sillier, with lyrics that verge on the sickening, they’re so happy. "The Legend Lives On" is a slow ballad, meant to be epic, but insufferably indulgent and boring. And there are too many tracks like "Eternity Holds", "The King’s Command", and "Unholy Powers" that sound alike and go on too long.
That said, this is a fun album. If you like this sort of Helloweenie stuff. I usually like my metal a bit angrier and heavier, but the melodies on this are sweet enough to keep me rocking along. I hardly ever listen to Freedom Call’s "Crystal Empire", but I still haul this one out pretty regular. If you are a fan of Power Metal, this album won’t disappoint.
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