Made up by members of Brazilian melodic metal heroes Angra and Shaman, Sao Paulo’s Nocturnall, provide hooks, big meaty catchy power metal hooks! Nocturnall were formed in early 2017, this, their second album sees Nocturnall (who have already made a name for themselves in their home country) according to their bio, have set their sights on world domination. From their bio Nocturnall sound like quite a sight to behold, “incorporating all kinds of zombies interacting with the audience” which would make for a gig well and truly out of the ordinary.
Whilst what Nocturnall are doing is nothing new under the sun, they take the style very seriously and produce some world class melodic metal. They bill themselves as a thrash / Prog band, however I’d say they are closer to a power metal sound with a few “prog” elements thrown for a bit of colour. Vocalist Thiago Bianchi’s powerful voice sours over the top of quite standard guitars (nothing over the top technically, but the upshot of this is they don’t dominate the songs, they provide just what the song needs rather than semi quaver diarrhea) and at times electro inspired synths. These guys would be VERY at home on any European metal festival stage.
Although they list their influences as Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Pantera, Metallica and Alice In Chains it sounds like they have far more in common with Angra, Edguy, Symphony X and I can even hear a bit of Australia’s own Vanishing Point! Having said all of this album opener “Hey!” has shades of Symphony X and Nevermore.
“Mysterious” is an epic in the vein of Blind Guardian with an Edguy style chorus. “Hearts As One” is an obligatory power ballad and just as cheesy as you’d expect from a power ballad (I bet you’d all have your lighters/phones up in the air for it!!). “What You Waiting For?” blasts out of the gate before settling into a mid-tempo fist pumping anthem. The album continues in this vein from start to finish, mixing thrashy power metal with a massive sing along chorus.
However, the thing that brings this album down a little for me is the production, there is something that is just a little off about how everything hangs together, as though the guys in the band didn’t all talk about how their individual instruments would sound, what would otherwise be quite intricate phrasing gets a little lost in the mix. The drum sound is overly processed and the compression levels seem to be WAY over the top. This all combines to give the songs a very squashed sound, claustrophobic even.
In all this is a pretty solid effort which is a little hampered by some sub-par production, there is a lot to be learned by Nocturnall in this respect but I’m keen to see what the future holds as there are some great moments on “9” that deserve better, cleaner production.