Drama Noir
Nightfall Upon the Asylum

So two solid classic-sounding symphonic black metal albums have got my attention this summer. First the debut of Sweden’s Avdagata, The Faceless One, and Nightfall Upon the Asylum, the third album from Greece’s Drama Noir.

While slightly different approaches, Drama Noir, bad moniker aside, is a solid, pure, mid-era (the classic three-word albums) Dimmu Borgir-and Cradle of Filth/Mystic Circle-and a touch of SepticFlesh styled band with a heavy theatrical atmosphere and some really decent, enjoyable moments amid the fairly cliched sound.

The album has a big, bombastic production with an emphasis on the bombastic with ample choirs and heavy orchestral elements throughout, while the music has a solid base of enjoyable songs with the above-named bands as a clear reference. Vocalist Tenevris has a similar throaty roar as SepticFlesh‘s Spiros Antoniou, and adds a few clean spoken words here and there, and they are just as thickly accented.

Want proof? Go to “Vultu Tenebrarum” and check out the little orchestral bridge and main riff and keys of “The Quest of the Unknown Kaddath” that could have come directly from Abrahadabra. Or the opening riff of “Risen to Avenge” which could be any of Cradle of Filth‘s slower songs. But at least the homage is well done, and not lazy, as most of the songs have some enjoyable elements that made me revisit the album quite a bit.

Songs like “Blood Wedding”, the brooding “Shepherd of the Lost”, my urgently dramatic favorite “The Ghost Ship” and the epic closing title track should hold fans of the genre over until their peers or even a band like Carach Angren drop new albums, as it checks all the symphonic black metal boxes confidently.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
July 12th, 2023


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