Sound — 10
The quality of this album is second to none. The mixing has been done to perfection; the drums do not drown out the guitar, and the bass is not thrown into a box in the corner of the room and told to stay there by the guitar. As a band under the 'power metal' genre Nocturnal Rites have really staked a territory of their own. The riffs are catchy yet complex. They are not too heavy, nor are they sparse and unexciting. The songs are incredibly infectious; for example, the title song 'Shadowland' has a chorus which really stretches the singing talent of Johnny Lindvisk and he pulls it off brilliantly. A great sound produced from these feisty power metallers.
Lyrics — 7
I have analysed these lyrics and tried to find meaning behind them, to find metaphor, allusion or satire. Unfortunately the lyrics are very simple. It's not that much of a bad thing really, considering that they are power metal, but they don't go much deeper than subjects of fantasy and mythology. It's a good job I like that. Although, compared with the albums younger brother 'Grand Illusion', its songs are superficial.
Overall Impression — 9
Nocturnal Rites have a very definitive sound and they have succeeded in creating a beautiful and atmospheric metal album. My personal favourite song is 'Shadowland' as I'm a sucker for catchy choruses that I can sing at work to annoy people. Although it does have it's flaws like the simple lyrics and rhyming, it also has it's very wonderful pro's like the singing, the quality of playing and, not forgetting, the cool artwork, these guys are famous for it. In my very humble opinion I believe that if you were to start listening to Nocturnal Rites you should start with this album. It is catchy enough to get you hooked in like a fish (yeah, nice metaphor) and will get you addicted.