It’s been a while since the last physical release of NOCTURNAL BLOODLUST (since they did release a digital only single called “Live to Die” in August of 2017), but in March of 2018 the five guys dropped a single that has been given the name “WHITEOUT”.
The single comes in two types, of which the regular edition is a CD only version with four songs, and the limited edition contains the same CD as the regular one as well as a live DVD with five songs.
“WHITEOUT” is the band’s first original release since the European tour in 2016 (“THE BEST 09-17” doesn’t really count as an original release when most of it are previously released songs combined to a “best of” compilation does it?), but the main question is, has this tour influenced their work at all? Since it was the first time touring through Europe for them, and fans here are quite different than the fans in Japan…
NOCTURNAL BLOODLUST are probably quite well known for having an introduction track on pretty much all of their releases to date, and “WHITEOUT” doesn’t change this formula. This introduction has been composed by Cazqui, and follows the general theme of their introduction tracks: building up anticipation for the main event of the release that’s coming next.
(Words: 尋 (Hiro) / Music: Cazqui)
“WHITEOUT” is not only the title track for this release, but it’s also a composition by Cazqui as a tribute to a long time friend who has recently passed away. Some of the influence we heard on the previous mini-album “ZeTeS” makes it’s return in this song, like the saxophone which played a huge role on the previous release hasn’t left the instrumental lineup entirely just yet.
NOCTURNAL BLOODLUST’s powerful style is combined with both familiar scream-like vocals as well as a clean verse to create a unique approach to a song with such a powerful reason behind it. While the song has familiar elements that will immediately make you recognize it as the works of NOCTURNAL BLOODLUST, it’s also a different type of sound that we haven’t heard from the band in this style yet.
Live to Die -Rearrange Ver.-
(Words: 尋 (Hiro) / Music: Masa)
“Live to Die” was previously released as an iTunes only download in August of 2017, and if you have heard the original version that came out back then, you can immediately tell that this version has been rearranged, like the title already implies. “Live to Die” is a clear example of the typical sound that NOCTURNAL BLOODLUST has presented throughout the years, combining lyrics from a devastated battlefield with the powerful sound created by the drums and bass before the guitars come in to show their skills. All in all, another powerful song in their discography.
無義道 (Mu Yoshimichi)
(Words: 尋 (Hiro) / Music: Daichi)
While NOCTURNAL BLOODLUST are known as a band who fits in the heavier style of the scene, they’re no strangers to the occasional ballad here and there. So it’s no surprise that one made it onto this single as well. This ballad is a composition made by Daichi, and you can tell that his style is a lot closer to regular rock than the other members. His compositions sound friendly, while the compositions from Masa and Cazqui have a powerful core or a center stage position for the guitars. While there is a center stage for the guitars in “無義道” (Mu Yoshimichi) it’s not your typical NOCTURNAL BLOODLUST song and it feels like this song is trying to reach out to a wider audience than their general work.
Live DVD: BREAK THIS FAKE / Calamity of Victims / GENESIS / Malice against / V.I.P
For the sake of convenience I’m going to push all of these songs together in one and the same section. Not just because fans of the group will probably know these songs (well, with the exception of “Calamity of Victims”, maybe), but also because there is only so much to say about them as a whole.
While the video footage undoubtedly is that of a live performance, the audio has been replaced with the studio version of each song, much like we’ve seen in the music video for “銃創” (Juusou) in the past. Whether this decision was made due to the original audio being a bad recording or if it was a personal preference remains up for debate, but it is definitely a shame that this choice was made. NOCTURNAL BLOODLUST have proven time and again that they are a band who is even more enjoyable on a live stage than in the studio, so this bonus DVD is going to be a miss for quite a number of fans.
“WHITEOUT” is a single that shows three entirely different songs that are created by the same band, ranging from the more unique to the typical sound they produce with the overwhelming majority of their discography so far and a ballad to top it off. The reason behind the title track is one people can probably relate to, but was it a good choice to combine these three songs as a full single rather than releasing all three as their own separate works? In my opinion no, it feels like “WHITEOUT” has been created from scraps rather than being created with a clear goal in mind. While all three songs are enjoyable in their own way it doesn’t feel like they belong on this single together as a group.
Are you interested in supporting the band by getting your own copy of the release? Here is something to get you started:
Artist: NOCTURNAL BLOODLUST
Release: WHITEOUT (single)
Release date: March 7, 2018
CD number: NCBL-22 (limited edition) / NCBL-23 (regular edition)
Note: Normally the music video for “WHITEOUT” would have been included in this review, but due to events that happened at a later point in time the group decided to pull this music video from their YouTube channel. Rather than pulling it from another channel I have decided to respect this decision and thus not include it in this review.