NOCTURNA Album Review: “Of Sorcery And Darkness”

“Of Sorcery And Darkness”
Album Review by Iron Mathew


Nocturna are a Gothic/symphonic power metal band from Italy, formed in 2021, founded by guitarist Federico Mondelli (Frozen Crown, Volturian), and featuring vocalists Grace Darkling and Rehn Stillnight. The bands debut album ‘Daughters Of The Night’ was released in 2022, with sophomore album ‘Of Sorcery And Darkness’ emerging in 2024…

…featuring ten songs blending together the bands Gothic, symphonic and power metal influences, Mondelli’s immaculate song writing skills and the celestial voices of singers Darkling and Stillnight. The result – a dynamic, dramatic, and emphatic sonic barrage of metal that’s infectious and head bang-able to the max! Not to mention the eerie, tense and spine tingling atmosphere throughout, ‘Of Sorcery And Darkness’ exploding into life with the fast paced ‘Burn The Witch’. The instantly recognisable sound of European power metal oozes profusely from ‘Burn The Witch’, but with it comes a sublime Gothic feel and a jaw dropping symphonic swagger! What an opening gambit – and one that’s gonna make the hairs on your neck stand up straighter than a well organized line of metalheads queuing for Nocturna’s new album!

And boy is that queue gonna be long, stretching right from Milan through the seven continents of the world and back again – the album powering on with ‘Sapphire’. And what a wonderful coincidence there is right here, for sapphire just happens to be the birth stone for the month of September! And guess which month I was born in? Yep, you got it! Nocturna increase the heaviness here too, ‘Sapphire’ shuddering the ground with immense force, the dual vocal attack soaring higher than fucking angels, the faultless vocals of Darkling and Stillnight sending shivers all the way down my spine! And causing my knees to go weak too, ‘Noctis Avem’ – Latin for “night bird” – entering the fray at a hundred miles an hour! The band turn the heat way up, pressing the pedal firmly to the metal to deliver head banging heaven to every single metalhead on the planet. The levels of energy and oomph are at an all time high, along with elegance and majesty, Nocturna striding on with shoulders back and head held high. And fuck me, what a sensational increase in speed – again! The band open the throttle all the way to scorch the earth with incredible ferocity, ‘Creatures Of Darkness’ hammering the senses harder than any other song heard up to this point! To say the opening foursome have been sensational, may just be one of the biggest understatements of the year so far – the decade even! ‘Of Sorcery And Darkness’ began on a high, and has just kept on rising higher and higher.

And continues to rise too, ‘Midnight Sun’ cruising in to roar forth with total aplomb – the intensity of the album remaining intact, the band keeping the hammer firmly down. The infectious level of every song on offer is one hundred percent, the attractiveness too, ‘Of Sorcery And Darkness’ one of those “can’t stop listening to albums”. I know I can’t, and I’m damn sure you won’t either, Nocturna a band that deserves a permanent place on every metalheads playlists – ‘First Disobedience’ a one and a half minute eerie, effects laden and highly anticipative instrumental that segues straight into the heavy hitting ‘Seven Sins’. And when I say heavy hitting – I mean heavy with a magical touch of the melodic! For ‘Seven Sins’ not only pounds the ground hard, it fucking destroys it with every influence the band have in their locker – from heavy power metal to soaring symphonic and devilishly delightful Gothic, ‘Seven Sins’ has it all. Every song on offer clocks in at around four minutes apiece, paving the way for a quick moving, fairly breathless non-stop gallop – ‘Through The Maze’ marching on with tip-top majesty! And a fairly weighty does of elegance too, Nocturna proudly delivering a mid paced, mid tempo symphonic power metal thunderstorm.

And oh my fucking God, just how good is this album? Extremely is both the short and long answer, ‘Of Sorcery And Darkness’ still getting better and better, even though there’s only two songs left! The first of which ‘Strangers’, chimes in as the best song on offer – the pace, power and energy levels all at maximum. Not to mention the glorious power metal gallop and the insanely wide infectious nature – so wide in fact, it’s gonna engulf the entire planet. And all eight billion people living on it! And it’s with a sharp pang of sadness that the (albums) final song is appearing large over the horizon, but you know what I always say for albums this good? Use – and reuse, the replay/repeat button to listen to ‘Of Sorcery And Darkness’ over and over again. After all, it’s the least you can do for what may turn out to be this years Album Of The Year – an album that comes to a close with the longest song on offer ‘Last Day On Earth’. Clocking in at over four and a half minutes in length, ‘Last Day On Earth’ is elegance personified, the hymn-like aura that descends upon the album here is simply magnificent! What a superb ending to a superb album.

Overall, an immensely attractive and infectious symphonic power metal album, ‘Of Sorcery And Darkness’ is sensationally divine.


Burn The Witch
Noctis Avem
Creatures Of Darkness
Midnight Sun
First Disobedience
Seven Sins
Through The Maze
Last Day On Earth

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