Artist/ Band: Nocturnal Rites
Title: Grand Illusion
Label: Century Media
Year of Release: 2005
Artist/ Band Link (click for details/ ordering)

The Review:

I’ll be totally honest with you and will confess you with a bit of shame that I never knew the excellent Swedish band “Nocturnal Rites” till very recently !! I will also tell you, still with some shame, that I didn’t like it from the first hearing. In fact, their “Grand Illusion” album took me a few spins before enjoying it completely, but I really learnt to appreciate it with time. I really think this cool band from Umeå has an unbelievable talent and I can’t believe I spent so long in ignorance. Today, I regret not having known them before and even though I don’t know any of their former albums yet, which are quite numerous, I’d like to listen to them too. “Nocturnal Rites” is the kind of band as enjoyable to listen as Gamma Ray, Edguy, Hammerfall and I really wish to see them live one day !! That must be very exhausting, hehe. ;-) Every single song is great and just perfect for head bangers, haha ! For those who love power and strong albums filled with explosive rhythms and melodies, with entertaining and catchy (I don’t say it in a bad way) choruses and musical parts and elements, you won’t be disappointed !! Don’t expect to relax with them, not even a tiny little second. You really won’t be able to stay on your chair if you listen to this. ;-)

Singer Jonny Lindkvist has very powerful and awesome vocals which fits perfectly with their kick ass and hard rocking music and I couldn’t imagine someone else there. Same for guitarists Nils Norberg and Fredrik Mannberg, bassist Nils Eriksson and drummer Owe Lingvall ! They play with an impressive speed and for sure, the album would never sound as good without them ! Double bass and drums are blasting all along the CD, which gives the songs a very special dimension and mood. Just the same with Lindkvist’s warm and resonant vocals. Sometimes power, melodic and even progressive metal (especially with “Deliverance”), “Grand Illusion” has a lot to offer. The best songs are, in my opinion: “Fools Never Die”, “Still Alive” (my favourite one), “Never Ending”, “One By One” and “Deliverance” but as I said, EVERY song is ultra good and entrancing for being very deep, speedy, heavy, catchy !! While the keys added on “End of our Rope” gives the song a little “dramatic” tone…which fits really good and I love that ! Honestly, everything is good to listen to, no matter if it’s the beat, the vocals, the lines, the amazing and burning solos…all rocks !!! Not very surprising to see why the band reached that far on the metal scene…their reputation is well-built and is there to stay !!

To make it short, true metal lovers will absolutely enjoy “Grand Illusion” and I give it 10/10. To see live absolutely !

Reviewed by Vikie Martel on June 8th, 2006


1- Fools Never Die
2- Never Trust
3- Still Alive
4- Something Undefined
5- Our Wasted Days
6- Cuts Like A Knife
7- End of our Rope
8- Never Ending
9- One By One
10- Deliverance

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