Sobre Nocturne - Serpentine Dreamweaver
Loud N' Proud
Doomy Symphonic Metal
11 songs (41'43")
Release year: 2000
Reviewed by Alex
Archive review

I have said on this esteemed forum before that the best things come to you when you expect them the least. So was the case with Sobre Nocturne. I bought a couple of CDs from this source of mine in Puerto Rico. A few decent things, but nothing to write home about. Without any prior info on this band I popped SN in and …

After Mid-Eastern percussive intro and declamation style vocals heavy riffs transition into choral chant; very nice female vocal backed up by a piano alternate with clean male singing atop of a string section. Not fully orchestral, but there are a couple of violins and cello. Meanwhile, heavy riff backdrop does not go away. Such is the opener An Atlantean Ode. I am, at the very least, intrigued. After a quick and moving guitar instrumental my jaw hits the floor with the polyphony masterpiece that is I.A.O. Choral work on this song is nothing short of amazing, wind mid section is soothing, yet the whole structure is very heavy. And when you think it is over, piano or clavier outro leaves you speechless. I am now, officially, a Sobre Nocturne fan.

The paragraph above is a good description for the majority of the album. I don’t think I have encountered such vocal polyphony in heavy metal before. All of this, of course, smacks of Therion who need no introduction. As much as Therion choruses are refined, Sobre Nocturne rivals them in diversity of the voice tracks. Although not as sophisticated in the orchestration department, Sobre Nocturne hands it to Therion in the heavy, metal, sense of their work. Still, their use of flute and bassoon can be so touching as in Crystallizing the Unspoken Truth. Another good reference point might be Haggard, however I think Sobre Nocturne compositions are not as developed.

At times, SN doomdeath roots are flashed out. Very low tone, almost bass like, growls are used about 30% of the time, and Letaraz and Flee Into Eternity have fast drumming and aggressive guitar.

For the lack of the better word I am going to call Sobre Nocturne symphonic metal, although it is quite a cliché. I once copied this album to a friend of mine, who is a die hard death metal fan. He came back with “stunning piece of music” description. I strongly recommend it to any heavy metal fan. You won’t be disappointed.

Killing Songs :
I like the whole album, but I.A.O is heartstopping
Alex quoted 91 / 100
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