Thursday, June 7, 2012

Nocturnal Rites - Still Alive

I'm back!

It has been a really long time since I added anything to my blog, and I apologize for that; I just have not been too inspired to write. I have had no problems learning new material on the bass, and in fact I have a few videos already made, but when I sit and try to do this written part I just stare at the white screen, the vertical cursor line blinking on and off.

Well that all changed after this weekend. I just came back from playing the Loud Festival in Sofia Bulgaria with Slayer, WASP, Symphony X, and other awesome metal bands. I had an amazing time, both on and off the stage, I can't wait to get back to Bulgaria (hopefully it won't be too long). The great experience from the trip totally inspired me to get back into writing great things about the music that drives me, and to re-start my blogs what better song than Nocturnal Rites' "Still Alive" from their 2005 album Grand Illusion.


I heard this band for the first time in 2008 when a fan of Warmachine's posted a message on our GarageBand.com site saying that our music reminded him of Nocturnal Rites. Having never heard of them I proceeded to find their website and listen to a couple of their songs. I was hooked instantly. Their modern era with vocalist Jonny Lindqvist is full of very catchy songs, killer guitar riffs, and phenomenal vocal performances, as well as solos by Nils Norberg who soon became one of my favorite lead guitar players. "Still Alive" has all of these typical Nocturnal Rites elements.

Nils Eriksson's plays a bass part that is not intrusive, and yet it complements the guitars while accenting certain riffs such as in the verse at 0:50.  I played the song on my 5-string bass, tuned down a half step (Bb-Eb-Ab-Db-Gb) The solo section I had to play up an octave at 2:47 because my low B string is too floppy in this tuning for it to sound like its supposed to.

Jonny's vocals remind me so much of Dio at times, very powerful and with a lot of grit. The guitar solo is great also, Nils builds it up with his different scalar runs but contrasts them by playing slower melodies with bends as well. And he manages to incorporate a little bit of wah effect and some whammy bar at the end. Really tasty.

For me this is a great example of what makes Power Metal so appealing, it pumps me up, it makes me want to raise my fist in the air and sing, and if the situation presented itself this would be a perfect soundtrack to go into battle with. It sounds cheesy, but I know a lot of you know what I'm talking about. Even though Nils Norberg is not in the band anymore, I am still very much looking forward to the next Nocturnal Rites album, and I've heard rumors that it will be coming sometime this year.  

It's good to be back writing for this. Stay tuned for more real soon!


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