Nocturnal Depression - Reflections of a Sad Soul (2008) - 0.9

This band isn't new to the subgenre of DSBM, although I have to admit I have only listened to this album of theirs from the beginning to the end and a couple of their other songs, I do have a special relationship with this album.

You get what you'd expect from a depressive album: it's painful to listen to. Not in a sense that it's so bad it hurts... no, it hurts you on an emotional level, pounding you deeper and deeper in your depression if you have one. Its structure goes as of regular depressive BM album: it sends you deeper and deeper into emotional hell, and the ending is trying to keep you from staying that way.

I have listened to some of their earlier works, this album is a vast improvement in both songwriting (originality) and in production, the latter being unpolished, but still clear sounding to an extent, guitars over distorted as usual, drums high in the mix. I must give praise to the vocal work of Lord Lokhraed, it's extremely raw and bears pure pain, fitting this album perfectly, giving it another edge to hurt. The songs themselves are long as you could expect it from a release like this.

The intro doesn't give any hints how the rest of the album will sound, it's just a filler, it won't even set the proper mood. The next track, however, is slow (compared to regular black metal anyway) and melancholic. The third song (Fading Away in the Fog) is way faster, typical black metal riffing (sorrowful tremolo picking), even blastbeats, very well written too, making it one of the outstanding songs of the album. After a melancholic interlude comes "Her Ghost Haunts These Walls", the definite best song of the album, and according to many, one of the best by the band. Its clean and distorted guitar work, painful vocals, suicidal lyrics and guitar lines are so perfectly composed and executed it can be a real soundtrack for someone who would end their life by their own hands.* By the end of this song you might even lose you will to live, but as I mentioned earlier, the rest of the album will bring you back to normal, even though you will be changed on the inside forever.

It's not my place to encourage or forbid you to listen to this album if you are depressed and/or suicidal, but you have to know it has its risks, one of the few depressive albums that actually does. For anyone else, if you want to travel to the realm of the mentally fucked up, you should sit down and experience this full-length, purists who hate DSBM won't listen to it anyway, but it's purely their loss.

My hands are caressing the stones
Their coldness piercing my skin and creeping to my heart
The obscurity mixing black and gray
My blinded eyes open theirs
Everything there is full of sorrow
Everything there is crying
Forever lost

I take your hands; I follow you to a better place
I take your hands; let me stay by your side
I take your hands; I follow you to a better place
I take your hands; let me stay with you

Among these ruins of our life
I walk slowly, sufferings tearing me
Flashes hurt my mind
I see you everywhere, I can't forget you
The rain is falling out, the wind is whispering
The world's turning dark, the ambient cold
I feel your presence, your arms around me
Your head on my back
I killed myself to join you

* It's not an outsider's opinion. When I came across this album I was in an overly suicidal mood, at the worst of my depression. This isn't either the place or the time to talk about it, I'm tired of talking about it anyway.

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