Of Sorcery And Darkness

It always makes me particularly proud when I review a record from a band that shares my same nationality. And this time, I’ll tell you all about NOCTURNA‘s sophomore release Of Sorcery And Darkness.

The record is a sure step forward from their debut album, showing a bold shift from the gothic undertones of Daughters Of The Night to the more present sounds of power metal, and sometimes even pushing even further to the melodic subgenre. The transformation is palpable, revealing a group that is unafraid to explore new territories.

One of the aspects of this album is its homogeneity. The tracks are woven together with similar melodies and patterns, creating a cohesive listening experience that takes the audience on a seamless journey. Some may argue that this uniformity could be a potential drawback, and they wouldn’t be totally wrong. For example, it’s most of the times that Grace Darkling begins each song, while I was expecting at least half with Rehn Stillnight taking the lead. Was perhaps this all along the intention? We’ll see!

The melodies throughout the album are undeniably catchy – all written by Federico Mondelli, who we know has a particular prowess in crafting memorable hooks. The same can be said about the well-written lyrics that enhance the album’s appeal. NOCTURNA has managed to maintain the poetic depth and thematic richness that characterized their debut, ensuring that each song is not only a melodic delight but also a narrative journey. The lyrics create several connections through the tracks, and that is something that I enjoy finding. This relationship elevates the overall impact of the album.

Honestly, I have to say that I miss the gothic nuances of their previous work – the evolution shows growth and experimentation, but my heart is longing for melancholic and darker tunes. Which is why my favorite part is the transition from the almost instrumental First Disobedience (a much needed gothic track) to the first single Seven Sins, one of the best songs contained in Of Sorcery And Darkness. Another track worth mentioning is Strangers, that highlights both singers’ vocals ability.

Old habits die hard, and while listening I couldn’t help but yearn for a ballad amidst the powerful tracks. Last Day On Earth comes very close, but imagine the combination of Rehn‘s evocative vocals and Grace‘s richer tone in a slower, more introspective setting. The potential for a ballad by NOCTURNA is tantalizing, as it could unveil a whole new dimension of their artistic expression. It’s just a dream and prospect though, but it holds the promise of something truly spectacular and would undoubtedly be a welcome addition to their future endeavors.

In conclusion, NOCTURNA‘s second album is a commendable effort that solidifies their place in the metal world. Of Sorcery And Darkness convinces and it makes us wonder if the evolution of the Italian group will continue. The road is paved, and they are walking the right track.

Benedetta Baldin