Nocturnal Rites - New World Messiah
Century Media
Melodic True/Power Metal
10 songs (46'55)
Release year: 2004
Nocturnal Rites, Century Media
Reviewed by Danny

New World Messiah succeeds to Shadowland, which was a very strong release from these Swedish true metalers.

The opener - New World Messiah - leaves no doubt about the intention of the band : Nocturnal Rites is back to kick our a** with their typical melodic true/power metal. The trademark of the band - with the bass being in front of the sound - is the same used since Afterlife. Nocturnal Rites alternates the fast tracks (New World Messiah, Nightmare, Breakaway, Awakening, End Of Days, One Nation), the mi-tempo tracks (Against The World, The Flame Will Never Die) and the epic songs (Avalon, Egyptica). I would resume this album as The Sacred Talisman, part II, with power metal elements from Afterlife. Unfortunately, New World Messiah is a step back in Nocturnal Rites' discography.

For the first time since Tales Of Mystery And Imagination, Nocturnal Rites starts to turn in circle. Afterlife was an excellent album considering the replacement of Anders Zackrisson and the arrival of Johnny Lindkvist (new vocalist). Shadowland was a natural follow up of Afterlife - with new elements and full of missiles (killer tracks) - pushing again Nocturnal Rites on the upside. The "secret" of Shadowland was the quality of the songs (catchy, melodic and no fillers). On New World Messiah, the band sounds less inspired : the melodies are less ingenious, all guitar riffs send you back to previous albums and the songs are repetitive. Consequently, I found the song-writing on a step back compare to Afterlife and Shadowland. Except the epic Egyptica - with its arabesque ambiance "à la" Kamelot - and One Nation - "Helloweenish" again - you have the feeling to know these songs by heart. There is no real surprises, no head-banging moment. Nightmare, Egyptica, End Of Days, One Nation and New World Messiah are strong tracks, but is this enough to save the day ? Not really. The track New Word Messiah reminds me Ring Of Steel, Against The World reminds me The Iron Force, and so one ... For someone who never heard before The Sacred Talisman album, New World Messiah might have its effect. For the die-hard like me ? Let me doubt it.

An image equals a thousand words : Nocturnal Rites forget to wrote killer tracks (hymns ... except may be One Nation). You know, the kind of songs that invites you to put the album back in the player, skip to the specific killer track, push the play button .... and head-bang like hell :). I am a huge fan of Nocturnal Rites, from the time when Tales Of Mystery And Imagination saw the light. I was accustomed to fall on my knees with Nocturnal Rites albums. This is not the case this time ... at least not for the same reasons. What the hell is wrong with this New World Messiah ? Why did the band released the "strict minimum" ?

Don't misunderstand me : this album is good (nice cover by the way). It is just toooooo predictive for such a talented band (the chorus of Avalon for example, Nightmare sounds too much like One Nation). Thus, considering the length of the album (only ten songs!), there are too many fillers : a bad habit that was never the case with NR before (Break Away, Avalon, The Flame Will Never Die). After five good albums, Nocturnal Rites should have released a live album and have a rest before returning in studio. This album proves it : they deserved (needed?) that resting time and I can't understand the strategy of the label at this stage. When I see bands releasing live records after two or three studio albums, I am wondering why Nocturnal Rites didn't used this "wild card". It is never too late ...

Nocturnal Rites is on tour with Edguy and Brainstorm. I hope Tobby will explain them why they released strategically Burning Down The Opera ... before Hellfire Club ;)

Killing Songs :
One Nation, Egyptica
Danny quoted 75 / 100
Chris quoted 83 / 100
Mike quoted 75 / 100
Jay quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Nocturnal Rites that we have reviewed:
Nocturnal Rites - The 8th Sin reviewed by Chris and quoted 94 / 100
Nocturnal Rites - Grand Illusion reviewed by Danny and quoted 95 / 100
Nocturnal Rites - Shadowland reviewed by Danny and quoted 97 / 100
Nocturnal Rites - Afterlife reviewed by Danny and quoted 93 / 100
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