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Nocturnal Witch - A Thousand Pyres Award winner

Nocturnal Witch
A Thousand Pyres
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 17 May 2019, 6:51 AM

Clearly, there are two paths into music that every other will collapse to: the way to keep playing the same form of music, what will allow the bands to keep their fans; and the way of evolution, what can bring big distresses to the bands’ members. Sometimes, some bands try to nail themselves to the past, and it doesn’t work. But in the case of the German duo NOCTURNAL WITCH, they made a very good work again on “A Thousand Pyres”, their second album.

They still play a form of Black/Thrash Metal with influences from names of the past like BATHORY, SODOM (on “Obsessed by Cruelty” days), DESTRUCTION and HELLHAMMER, but now, they present some melodies during some parts of guitars (especially on some solos). Of course some can say that their music is old fashioned, but it bears a charm and excellent energy, what makes the difference. And even not being nothing new at all (for this Black/Thrash Metal approach was used many times in the past), they have their value and their own personality. The sound quality used a nasty and crude way for the sonority of “A Thousand Pyres”, but is works in a very good way. It bears the rawness the band wanted the album to bear, but keeping in mind that everyone must understand what they’re playing as well. And it is a very good work of Patrick W. Engel on engineering, mixing and mastering, because he bound together the old days feeling with a very good level of sound clarity.

Musically, the duo created an evolution of “Summoning Hell” (their previous album), but keeping their musical essence untouched. And if you liked them before, will fall in love with songs as the brutal and fast “Downfall of the World” (very good spearhead guitar riffs), the nail that scratches the coffin called “A Thousand Pyres” (their rhythmic session is very good on this song), the slow tempos and funereal reek on be beginning of “Scorn and Wrath” (some melodies can be heard on the guitars, but just to reinforce the aggressiveness), but the song gains some speed after some minutes, bearing thunderous growls (and a melodic guitar solo can be heard, tracing influences from MERCYFUL FATE on it),  the nasty and moldy ambiance of “Eclipsing the Light”, and the brutal and raw feeling presented on “Raise the Swords” are their finest moments. But it’s not easy to trace “best moments” on an album with such excellent set of songs.

“A Thousand Pyres” is an excellent album, because the NOCTURNAL WITCH guys know what they’re doing with their music. And a personal confession: if I lived in Europe, I would have all their releases!

Originality: 7
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Downfall of the World
2. A Thousand Pyres
3. Black Chalice
4. Scorn and Wrath
5. Dark Forces
6. Eclipsing the Light
7. Follow the Call…
8. Raise the Swords
Tyrant - Vocals, Guitars
Baphomet - Drums
Record Label: Evil Spell/Undercover Records


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