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Nocturnal Rites - The 8th Sin Review

by Matt Hensch

There are many famous chronicles in the Christian Bible about life and how one should live it, but the concept of the seven deadly sins remains one of the most famous biblical teachings in modern society. As the Flying Spaghetti Monster most accurately put it, the seven I'd Really Rather You Didn'ts describe what each of these internal hurdles are, and how they can bring an individual down the wrong path. All these sins seem to reflect human characteristics and how each one is actually within one's own mind set, which makes me wonder about all the other personal thoughts that could be considered somewhat negative. In other words, could there be something like an eight sin? And if so, what would it be? I'm no Holy Joe, but I'd let temptation slither its way up to that eighth slot if I could.

For those with a deprived vocabulary, temptation is a deed that seems like it will benefit an individual greatly, but actually has negative consequences in the end, which are unbeknownst to the person at hindsight. Temptation can be applied in several normal circumstances in life, but it is also very common in many musical genres, including metal. Every now and then, a decent metal group will alter their sound to become more popular, but temptation usually gets the best of them when the day ends. In recent times, we've witnessed the fall of many great groups, but one of the most disappointing mainstream attempts has been Nocturnal Rites' swing at popularity with The 8th Sin. Nocturnal Rites established themselves as one of power metal's top acts throughout a grand decade of excellence, but everything they worked for was simply destroyed by their poor throb for fame on The 8th Sin.

After hearing the opening minutes of this record, it becomes very clear that Nocturnal Rites have totally transformed their style, attitude, and appearance into a radio-friendly power grab. This claim is justified by the repetitive song writing along with a poor selection of redundant riffs, and the lack of heaviness in the music's soul. Any kind of proper song structure has vanished, and there's nothing left but a verse, a chorus, a solo, and a big repetition formula for each tune. And that's not even mentioning the annoying backing vocals, the production that sounds too clean, the lack of drum fills, and the uber-happy atmosphere that screams, "TURN THAT FROWN UPSIDE DOWN!!!" Temptation has truly taken control over everything Nocturnal Rites has ever known.

I found it impossible to ignore the constant similarities and repetition patterns placed into each song. When listening to the first few tracks, I noticed the choruses appeared somewhat identical to each other, but this texture of repetition continued throughout the whole record. When you get to the choruses, pay attention to the riffs and the drum patterns; you'll find that each tune lacks any kind of diverse chord progression, and has the exact same drum pattern with an identical cymbal coordination design. A few of the tracks even have some electronic influences that peak in small intervals, but the fact remains Nocturnal Rites have gone straight to hell with all this junk. It's actually amazing to compare the change they've made in only a few years, and I mean that in the worst way possible.

The 8th Sin is unquestionably bad, but there are some good moments worth mentioning. Jonny Lindqvist steps up his game and out performs the rest of Nocturnal Rites with ease, which really comes as a surprise considering how much substance this record lacks. Lindqvist does everything you could expect him to do, meaning he nails high notes, sounds emotional during the ballad songs, and makes some choruses appear somewhat energetic. I'm also impressed with some of the solos on the first few tracks, but everything isn't worth a second of anyone's time.

Nocturnal Rites' mainstream attempt ends in a very disappointing way, but this isn't a surprise considering previous errors by many metal groups wishing to become modernized. The temptation of becoming a popular band was clearly the driving force behind The 8th Sin, hence the terrible material within. Unless you enjoy spending your money on trivial items, I suggest you leave this one for the vultures.

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Nocturnal Rites - The 8th Sin


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