Depressive Suicidal Black Metal has always been a subgenre that, in my opinion, is looked at in a sort of way that does not give it the deserved value. Seen, by some of the music fans as a weaker, less serious fringe of the main genre that is Black Metal, and put to shame by musicians, DSBM is a musical expression of Pain, Suffering and an ending Life.
The year 2019 sees the return of a band I always felt actually gave something different and refreshing, to a subgenre that had gotten stuck in a whirlpool many years ago. Nocturnal Depression has released their 9th album and we can truly hear changes in their sounds, the addition of elements that made their sound grow in directions I was not expecting… And it felt delightful.
I always looked at the band as more of a Dark Romantic Black Metal act, then just a DSBM band. Their sound, eventhough it lives in the DSBM sphere, it has always had those almost hidden touches that, without extracting power and strength to the music, add layers and layers, ending with a richer and complete sound. I dare say it is their French heritage and that romanticism – as stated before – that brings al the pieces together.
This album is richer in “luminous” melody, much richer than previous ones. Their overall sound feels much more alive and less depressive. In my opinion this is where the Nocturnal Depression true identity lays: the Romantic Melody, the almost Victorian Tune that is almost a lullaby. “Tides Of Despair” encapsulates all those elements I described previously: it has melody, it has that slow and mid-paced rhythm that we gotten used to, but it also has this groove I have never heard in Nocturnal Depression’s music. Did I enjoy it? Strangely, I did. It fits the song quite well. A very, very refreshing guitar work, especially for a DSBM musical creation. A steady drum pace carries the song quite well. “Living In A Mass Grave”, again, a superb guitar riff, with a twist!
“Tides Of Despair” is a damn good record, full of the old ND elements, to which were added more “luminous” ones, and Life… It has Life, rather then just Death.