Of Sourcery And Darkness

Nocturna

NOCTURNA have the potential to become a serious Power Metal force and “Of Sourcery And Darkness” is a big step to achieving it
April 1, 2024

NOCTURNA were formed in 2021 in Milan, Italy. They are a symphonic Power Metal band and release their sophomore album “Of Sourcery And Darkness”. It was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Andrea Fusini (DELAIN; FROZEN CROWN; VOLTURIAN). The album has a length of more than 37 minutes, and it was released via Italian Thrash, Power, and Heavy Metal specialists Scarlet Records.

The album starts with the typical epic Power Metal sound, meaning tight guitar riffing with a lot of double-bass drumming at fast pace, and catchy melodies. There are orchestral arrangements in the background, supporting the melodic framework of the track. The female vocals are between the medium to higher end of the vocal range with many higher notes included, in particular during the chorus part. The chorus melodies are epic with a slight melancholic touch. “Burn The Witch” is a very good album opening. “Sapphire” is a mid-tempo track, and it is more a symphonic Metal driven track. The riffing is sharp and powerful. The verse parts are very heavy, and the vocals are lower, compared to the higher to partially operatic vocals during the chorus parts. The choruses are following melodies and tonal shifts often present in symphonic Metal. “Noctis Avem” is one of the faster and dynamic album songs. It is a mixture of Power Metal and symphonic Metal, where the arrangements are mainly driven by the background choir. The riffing is tight and the melodies during the bridge and the choruses are catchy. Highlight is the very contributing lead guitar solo. “Creatures Of Darkness” follows the classical Power Metal textures. It is a fast track, driven by the double-bass drumming. The chorus melodies are anthemic. The vocals include many lower notes with a few tonal shifts towards higher pitched notes. The chorus melodies are epic once again and are intensified by the background choir. “Creatures Of Darkness” is in my opinion surely an album highlight.

Midnight Sun” continues with the fast epic Power Metal attack of sharp and powerful guitar riffing accompanied by the background choir. The vocals are again mainly deeper-lying, and the chorus lines are sing-alongs. FROZEN CROWN and VOLTURIAN shredder Frederico Mondelli (Hedon) does a great job on the guitars, and delivers once again an excellent lead guitar solo. “First Disobedience” is an orchestral tension-building pre-lude mainly driven by the strings, while the end of it introduces the main melody of arguably the heaviest and darkest track “Seven Sins”. The riffing is crushing and thunderous, the melodies are grim and include neo-classical features at times, and the double-bass drumming is relentless. The chilling melodies are perfectly intensified by the background choir. The vocals contain mainly deeper-lying notes once again. “Seven Sins” has been released as video, and the YouTube link is provided below.

Speaking of neo-classical features, “Through The Maze” starts with those guitar melodies, leading into another epic track at a measured tempo. It is one of the very few slower songs, and the verse parts contain some ballad-esque features. The vocals are driven entirely by higher notes. The epic sounding melodies are again intensified by the choir in the background. It should be noted that the background choir it is often very prominent during each track, in particular during the choruses. A good example is “Strangers”, where the choir adds an extra layer to the track. “Strangers” is a bit of a mixture between mid-tempo symphonic Metal and fast Power Metal parts. Highlight is the piano-driven break, where the vocals grab the opportunity to shine. The album finishes with “Last Days On Earth” and this is a track for all lovers of ballads. I do not think that Metal albums need ballads, but they are a recurring feature. It is a good one, written to the strengths of both vocalists and they stamp their vocal authority on to the track. NOCTURNA do not go out with a bang, but surely it is an emotional end to the album.

NOCTURNA deliver a good symphonic Power Metal album. “Of Sourcery And Darkness” has all ingredients that Power Metal fans love so much: the tight riffing, a good balance of fast shredding and mid-tempo, epic melodies, and on top of it well-composed arrangements that always add something extra to the tracks. Both vocalists shine throughout, although the star in the background is Hedon, as the guitars on the album are second to none. The album is well produced. NOCTURNA have the potential to become a serious Power Metal force as much as FROZEN CROWN are and “Of Sourcery And Darkness” is a big step to achieving it.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect

Songwritting

9

Musicianship

8

Memorability

9

Production

8
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"Of Sourcery And Darkness" Track-listing:
  1. Burn The Witch
  2. Sapphire
  3. Noctis Avem
  4. Creatures Of Darkness
  5. Midnight Sun
  6. First Disobedience
  7. Seven Sins
  8. Through The Maze
  9. Strangers
  10. Last Days On Earth
Nocturna Lineup:

Rehn Stillnight Vocals

Grace Darkling Vocals

Hedon Guitars, Bass, Drums, Keyboards

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