Seems like one can’t go wrong these days with the psychedelic rock style, with my personal favourite bands nowadays also being of this variant of rock and metal music. On first looks, Nocturnalia (or Nocturnal to some) may seem like a black metal band of sorts, with the occult-themed artwork on their sophomore full length album, Above Below Within. But what is contained on Above Below Within is something much more charming, and much more addictive.
Vandringen opens the album, and the piano-driven track sets a melancholic, almost depressive tone for the album leading one to think of the work of depressive rock bands such as Katatonia. Right from the get go, Nocturnalia doesn’t bother masking their influences, and proudly display inspirations on their sleeves, ranging from the blues rock of bands like Thin Lizzy and Led Zeppelin to early hard rock of Deep Purple and even some doom elements of Black Sabbath.
The songwriting of the band is displayed as the album progresses, with each track on Above Below Within getting better than the previous, and displaying a different flavour from the other tracks. Within His Lies is a track that Ghost fans can easily relate to, The Watchman brings in some nice Deep Purple and Rainbow influences, albeit with a somewhat stoner touch. My personal favourite track, Lady of the Woods, has a nice slow buildup, with the climax of the track seeing guitarists Kalle and Linus engaging in an intriguing guitar duel, with the whole experience screaming out Stairway to Heaven. One is kept constantly enchanted until the final, Pink Floyd-esque closing track Towards the End.
Yet one thing remains constant throughout the album, which is the blues influences that have gone into the musical style of Nocturnalia, in particular the guitar playing of Kalle and Linus. Oftentimes, one finds himself wondering if this were another of Gary Moore‘s masterpieces, showcasing the high level of musicianship that is contained within this 5-piece band.
2. Within His Lies
3. The Watchman
4. Lady of the Woods
5. Sing to Sleep My Soul
6. The Stone
7. Towards the End
Favourite picks: Lady of the Woods