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Nocturnal Depression is a French depressive suicidal black metal band hailing from Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes and If I reckon, one of the first dsbm bands I have ever listened to. I was really intrigued when I gazed my eyes upon “Reflections of a Sad Soul” that arrived in the promo package from Sun and Moon.
As it is kind of different from their last offering, Reflections of a Sad Soul still maintains a Nocturnal Depression vibe while still managing to evolve musicianship-wise. Most of the material is slow-paced, except for the song “The Fading Away in the Fog” that has an overall fast beat.
I really like it when black metal bands (or plain music bands) do not have intro tracks, as most of them consist nothing but a big turn off, but that’s not the case with our “Intro”, as it’s well-placed, setting the overall mood of the album: suicide.
After a gunshot, it all begins. "The Whispering Spectrum" starts Nocturnal Depression’s journey of pure dementia, a path filled with sorrow and reminiscent of suicide. As I stated before, "Reflections of a Sad Soul" is still a Nocturnal Depression album, but better written. Some may say the overall feeling and atmosphere the band managed to produce on earlier albums, such as Nostalgia, is gone, but I have to disagree. It’s still there. "Her Ghost Still Haunts These Walls" is the best example of a counterargument to that assumption and in my opinion is the Nocturnal Depression song. It’s beauty by simplicity; clean passages accompanied by harmonies, never trying to sound too complex, and of course staying true to its black metal origins.
There’s an important aspect that I always tend to bring to a lot in reviews and that’s the audibility of the bass. Most dsbm bands suffer from poor production syndrome (or necro attack in most cases) and tend to just record without any bass and blame its un-audibility on the bad production. Nocturnal Depression manages to deliver both “raw-ish” production and audible bass, which in my case makes a huge difference in appreciation.
In conclusion, Reflections of a Sad Soul is an interesting offering from the French black metal scene, not that far from being Nocturnal Depression’s best, but one thing’s for sure, they’re on the right way of accomplishing it.