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Nocturna - Daughters of the Night Award winner

Nocturna
Daughters of the Night
by Kevin Lewis at 31 January 2022, 12:26 PM

NOCTURNA is a Symphonic Metal band formed in Milan, Italy in 2021. Slightly different than many, this is a five-piece that uses a single guitarist and two clean female vocalists. The music has influences from power, progressive and melodic metal as well. The vocalists are not covered, but the rest of the band is masked. Looking quite brutal, they add an interesting dimension to the look of the band, part European Symphonic Metal, part SLIPKNOT. Daughters Of the Night, their debut record, was released on January 22nd, 2022, via Scarlet Records.

The disc begins with a two-minute intro, “Spectral Ruins.” Even the title sets the stage for what is to come. Haunting tones, eerie chants and heavy synth sounds build the tension for “New Evil,” a guitar heavy song with a great riff and a killer rhythm. The drummer shifts between a simple pattern during the verses to a quick double bass beat for some of the musical interludes and the chorus. The layered guitars are really catchy, and the bass keeps pace more like a rhythm guitar than a timekeeper.

One of the key things to note about this band is the singers are somewhat the focal point as they are unmasked, but much like BABYMETAL, the backing band cannot be ignored. Like THE KAMI BAND, these are excellent musicians who know how to really propel a song. They have serious skills and are an equal part of what makes this record so good. The whole thing is good, start to finish. Vocals and instruments intertwine and flow together in perfect harmony.

The guitar work in “Daughters of The Night” is exquisite. That intro is pure poetry. The grit added to the vocals at the end of the first verse show another side of the singers. Well placed distortion in a song is one of my favorite things to hear. That added texture in the voice is something to behold. This is another song that just really hooks me. I love the tuning, the tempo and the texture. That a trifecta!

Then we go down “The Sorrow Path,” a song that begins with tender piano and lighter vocals before the guitars kick in and take over the soundscape. This is a song that builds and grows, then tones down and repeats the process, ending with a nice downturn after the crescendo. It also shows a lot more of the range NOCTURNA has at their disposal. Heavy and driving or melodic and temperate, this is a band that can do both equally well.

The longest song on the record clocks in at over six minutes. “In This Tragedy” starts with a cool piano melody that leads to a great guitar riff and some excellent drumming. I love the way the bass drum fits into the pattern of the song. The variable rhythm fits really well into the scheme of the track. The bass is in time with that, making the song have a more progressive feel to its’ rhythm. Completely clean vocals keep the tone light and a bit airy for this tune, easing on a bit of the heaviness without taking away from the power.

Nocturnal Whispers” is a great little instrumental with some excellent string work. It is a fantastic lead up to the final track, “The Trickster.” I love that transition from one to the other. There is no struggle to make the shift from one song to another on this record. Everything flows like it is supposed to, making everything feel like it fits perfectly into the overall theme of the record.

It does not matter if they are going full force or lulling you into a sense of serenity, they take you on a sonic journey that is really pleasing to the ears and the soul. This is a well-written record that has something for everyone. The drums will please a drummer, the guitars and keys will fascinate their respective players, the bass is excellent, and the vocals are both powerful and ethereal. 2022 is looking awesome when it comes to great music!

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship:  10
Memorability:  9
Production:  9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Spectral Ruins
2. New Evil
3. Daughters of The Night
4. The Sorrow Path
5. Sea of Fire
6. Blood of Heaven
7. In This Tragedy
8. Darkest Days
9. Nocturnal Whispers
10. The Trickster
Lineup:
Grace Darkling – Vocals
Rehn Stillnight – Vocals
Antares – Bass
Deimos – Drums
Hedon – Guitar
Record Label: Scarlet Records
     


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