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Deathbell - A Nocturnal Crossing review

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Band: Deathbell
Album: A Nocturnal Crossing
Release date: February 2022

01. The Stronghold And The Archer
02. Devoured On The Peak
03. The Ladder
04. Silent She Comes
05. Shifting Sands
06. A Nocturnal Crossing

A clear example of the subgenre, but very much by the numbers...

You know, if there’s one thing that I’ve learned over all the years I have been active on these forums, is that (sub-)genre can be a big point of discussion. One person says a new release is clearly death metal, whereas another person is fully convinced it’s the latest and greatest glam metal release.

Let me be straight here, A Nocturnal Crossing is not one of those albums that leaves any room for discussion about what kind of subgenre it is. This is without a doubt a folk metal album. Now, I’m obviously just being silly. This is doom metal, no possible discussion about it.

And honestly, there isn’t a lot to say about this Deathbell record. It feels like your typical very slow doom metal piece. Perfectly serviceable, but also quite boring and uneventful if I’m honest. Production wise, I can’t complain. Vocals are mixed in well, drums are prominent enough to give that classic extra impact in slower parts, and guitars have the gritty distortion you would expect from this type of album.

That’s probably the biggest issue of A Nocturnal Crossing. It’s extremely predictable. The flow and pace is solid, performances from the band are good, and the production is really well done here. But does all of that really matter, when you don’t feel in any way engaged? I don’t know, I guess it does. However, the reality is that this record won’t get any more re-listens, not because it has more flaws or is completely flawed, but because it’s just not memorable enough, unfortunately. The thing is, I feel like an album in most other subgenres suffers less from being a bit generic. In the case of doom metal though, there is that emphasis on atmosphere. Often it’s dark, gloomy, a bit haunting, sad, unsettling and mysterious. A Nocturnal Crossing has these elements, but they feel (too) familiar. Which leads to the previously mentioned aspects of being a lot less impactful.

And that’s a shame, because I feel like these guys have potential. Like I have already said, the performances are very good, so there’s potential here. They seem to really understand what doom metal is all about. Now I’m just hoping that in the future they will mix a little bit of extra creativity and personality in their sound. Giving it its own unique voice.

As it stands though, do I recommend listening to this one? Maybe for diehard fans of doom metal. For others, I don’t feel like this is going to leave any big impression on you whatsoever. All in all, it’s fine for what it is, but unfortunately there’s this lingering feel of missed potential in my head. Hopefully, with their next album, they will find that extra spark of creativity I crave for. A Nocturnal Crossing isn’t bad by any means, but it’s kind of like a 3-month relationship anniversary. You’ve probably forgotten about it, but is it important to remember anyway?

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Production: 8

Written on 02.05.2022 by You know I'm right, you just haven't realised it yet...


Comments: 3   Visited by: 82 users
02.05.2022 - 19:41
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Good written review, no this is French metal supgenre, and this is not a suxer metal. No Valdo
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03.05.2022 - 12:37
I saw this in the promo pool and gave it a listen... did not click. I tried it a second time... nothing excited me. This is the type of stoner-like doom that just bores me to death. Nothing is overtly bad, but nothing stands out either. Your review is spot on.
03.05.2022 - 12:53
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Shots fired....
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing

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