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As an avid fan of Nightrage, joining the hoard from A New Disease is Born through Wearing A Martyr's Crown to this, Insidious, a shorter and much appreciated title for typing (makes me happy), it's plain to see they're like a good cheese or wine, maturing with age - and becoming much more of a musical force than anything else currently in the Melodic Death Metal genre, including In Flames' Sounds of a Playground Fading and Dark Tranquillity's We Are the Void, emulating Tomas Lindburg's decade on top of the genre with At the Gates.
As we all know, this album was the work of pretty much every notable member of Nightrage, past and present, excluding Jimmy Strimmel, who left to join Dead by April (his loss and our gain), and wow, this album is 10x the better for it. This album is pretty much Wearing A Martyr's Crown MK.2. Albeit, the opening to this album is a song in itself, which is good for those who aren't so keen on instrumentals making it skippable.
Despite this, the opening reminds you nostalgically of Def Leppard or Dire Straits type guitar piece, followed closely by the first 2 releases off the album; Hate Turns Black and Insidious, both released weeks before the album was released, leaving every avid Nightrage fan frothing at the mouth in anticipation. Then there's tracks such as Delirium of the Fallen and Wrapped in Deceitful Dreams which are very much owned by their choruses. Ensuring they're not quickly forgotten.
The guitar work beats anything prior to this, possibly Gus G et al's finest work. The guitar soloes that alone would make a pretty good instrumental album - Memorable, skilful and enjoyable on the repeat, revealing even more intricate guitar work.
The drum work from Johan doesn't differ any from previous albums in that it remains to the utmost quality, without dulling with age; the beginning of Insidious is a prime example, this being the first song they released off this album, and among the best.
This album is potentially the only album you'll need to buy this year, The greatest release from the Gothenburg scene, musically and skill. The only flaw I could find was the fact that on a CD of 15 tracks, 1/5th of it was instrumentals; Emblem of Light, Solar Eclipse and So Far Away, despite Solar Eclipse being only 35 seconds in length. This fact makes the album lose the 1% off its' perfection.
Nightrage is back with their all start lineup that reminds one of the good ole days of Sweet Vengeance. I have been awaiting this album for a while as SV is an excellent melodic death album and the band's last album, 2009's Wearing A Martyr's Crown, was a decent outing starring their latest growler.
The music style isn't that different from WAMC but maybe a little more in the style of Sweet Vengeance. Of course I have to make mention of guitarist and founder Marios Iliopoulos who seems to do Gothenburg melodic death metal better than most (if not all) of the bands who originated from that scene. I mean the guy has got serious chops on the guitar and he writes more in the aggressive thrashy vein of old Soilwork but with almost a flair of old school metal to it, especially in the soloing.
But that may be thanks in part to the fact that Gus G. contributed to the album as he previously had and these two guys make one of the better guitar duos of the genre. The soloing on this album is outstanding and stands apart from most of the garbage that comes out under the tag of MDM these days.
Just listen to the riff during the chorus of Poignant Memories, or anything out of Hate Turns Black. The guitar harmonies are top notch! Try not to bang your head during Hate Turns Black, I dare you. Some of the tracks have Tom Englund as a guest vocalist making them reminiscent of SV. You have to listen to Solar Corona not just for his great vocal work but for the soloing on the song. Tomas Lindberg also contributes to a number of songs here but I would have to say most strongly on This World Is Coming To An End where near the end of the song he echoes Tom Englund's clean vocals making the second half of the song pretty epic.
Now main vocalist Antony Hämäläinen would have to be the only part of the album I may have issue with. While he doesnt have a terrible growl it seems like a weaker version of what Tomas Lingberg does. It becomes even more obvious when you hear both of them in the same song. The guy still does a decent job though but I wouldn't be upset if they found a new vocalist for the next album.
The drumming is very solid on Insidious. I am happy that Johan Nunez decided to throw blast beats into the mix. I can't say the album is heavy on blast beats but for a melodeath album it sticks out like a sore thumb, but in a good way. And poor bassist Anders Hammer...did you even do anything on the album? Can't really hear his contribution to Insidious for the most part which as always is a shame.
I was sort of surprised by how well this album turned out. It was the one I was looking forward to the most in this genre for the year 2011. After all the hype of having most of the players from the first couple albums back again in one way or another I have to say the band lived up to it. Insidious is a shredding aggressive melodic death album that you can listen to and really appreciate the musicianship and skill present. Whether its the beautiful harmonies, top of the line guest appearances, or crazy drumming, if you love melodic death metal this is the one album you should not miss this year.
Originally review @ http://abaddonsmetalshop.blogspot.com/