If your last album was released in 2007 is it fair to say that ‘Phoenix’ is a justified CD-title for your newest opus? Like a phoenix Nocturnal Rites rises from the ashes again. After the release of their eight CD ‘The 8th Sin’ some ten years ago things went really quiet and when guitarist Chris Rorland left around 2012 to join Sabaton things did not look very bright. But the band never officially called it a day and in all that time the group was quietly working on new material, added guitarist Per Nilsson to the line-up and waited for the right moment to come back into the arena. Well, here they are and ‘Phoenix’ has been worth the wait. Opener ,,A Heart As Black As Coal’ straight away takes away all doubt you might have. The song has light industrial moves but it is the melodic but powerful and very distinctive voice of Jonny Lindqvist that sets things straight. Nocturnal Rites has combined the aggressiveness of the ‘Afterlife’ CD and mingled that with the melodic power metal that was showcased on the albums ‘New World Messiah’, ‘Grand Illusion’ and ‘The 8th Sin’, staying true to themselves but in the meantime making sure they have grown with the times by securing a solid production and a massive sound where there is room for some monumental orchestral arrangements. ,,A Heart As Black As Coal’’ is the first sizzling example of that style but also ,,Repeat My Sins’’ with its powerful beat and ,,A Song For You’’ are following close behind. Ever since Jonny Lindqvist joined somewhere in the year 2000 Nocturnal Rites changed from a death metal type of band into a power metal outfit with epic songs, sometimes over the top bombastic musical outings and slowly but surely creating a distinctive sound of their own that has been further explored, worked out and deepened on ‘Phoenix’. It took them ten years in the making but who cares about that after hearing this monumental piece of work?! Enjoy the ride!