Released: 2007, Lifeforce Records
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Many members have come and gone in the Greek/Swedish act Nightrage since the release of the masterpiece SWEET VENGEANCE in 2003. The only remaining members are band-leader and guitarist Marios and bass player Henric Carlsson who joined on the second album. Jimmie Strimell (Deathdestruction) has taken over lead vocals and Alex Svenningson now plays the drums. Besides the member changes, the band has also been signed to a new label, Lifeforce Records.
Nightrage has switched musical direction with this album. Today I’d say that the band plays a more melodic death metal in the veins of In Flames, where Strimell shifts between singing clean and aggressive vocals. The more obvious Arch Enemy influences are gone and now that they only have one guitarist I think they have lost a lot of the aggression and edge they had before. One remaining element is the single instrumental track that Marios features on all of his Nightrage albums. I had really high hopes for Nightrage because I thought the previous albums was totally brilliant, but now after listening to the album several times I find myself not so blown away, unfortunately.
To be honest, I don’t think the material is that good. Singer Strimell has nothing to provide to the band; he can’t pull off the clean vocals parts. It really feels like Marios misses his former band mate Gus G and his amazing guitar playing which really lifted the previous albums. Some of the songs are too alike and they blend into a blur of music. The album awakes when “Spiral”, “Death-like Silence”, “De-Fame”, “Scathing”, “Encircle”, and “Drone” are played, but 6 songs out of 12 doesn’t make an album. It sounds like Nightrage are going through a serious identity crisis at the moment and the material that was so hot and edgy before is now just In Flames; leftovers.
Even though this album isn’t anything like I expected and frankly disappointed me a bit, Marios should get credit for continuing the struggle with Nightrage. On the next Nightrage album I’d really like to hear a new singer, edgier material, and another guitarist; then we can start talking Nightrage.