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Knightmare - Space Nights

Knightmare
Space Nights
by Tiago Masseti at 22 January 2020, 1:09 AM

Fans of old-school Heavy and Power Metal and NWOBHM will definitely appreciate the fun ride that is “Space Nights”. Filled with twin guitar duets and fantasy-driven lyrics, this is a record that seems to feed from the earlier stages of IRON MAIDEN and BLIND GUARDIAN. Taking you back to the 80’s, the album starts with the nearly-instrumental track “The Conqueror”. Synthesizers and guitar duets topped with choirs will get you pumping for the rest of the material. “Heart of Stone” definitely has some Hard Rock vibes thrown in with the old-school Metal, especially due to the AOR backup vocals in the chorus. Right off the bat we can see that the production was overall pretty careful. The album sounds big and well-recorded, especially in the guitar department. The vocals could use some work, since they sound a bit rough and pitchy here and there. The talent is showing and this can become a good singer with time and the proper direction.

“Khazad-Doom” brings the previous references all into one song. The open-string lead riff is very MAIDENesque and The Lord of the Rings reference is reinforced with the more raspy vocals in the likes of GUARDIAN's Hansi Kürsch. Alternate solos and more duets are the icing on the cake. “Flame of the West” follows in the same lane but the vocals get more courageous and we get some high-pitched head voice here and there. The guitar solos on this song are one of the highlights of the album. Even though they are not executed to perfection, the mindset behind them make them sound powerful and truthful and that sometimes shines brighter than flashy technique. “Spellbound” is a beautifully-written and flawlessly-executed acoustic interlude, with some foley of rainfall, fire crackling and church bells that create a great vibe in the album and leaves you wanting more. An entire song like that could be a great contender for best song on the record. “Witchburn” was probably supposed to be a happy, feel-good, song. But the three-part harmony chants that cry “Burn witch, burn!” can sound a bit off-putting, almost like this inquisitional leading character is happy with burning this witch. But it’s a fun song if you try not to over-analyze. Title track “Space Nights” brings some Thrash Metal riffs to the party and some MEGADETH and METALLICA can be heard here for the first time so far. It’s probably the more varied and progressive song as well, ending with applause and cheer from a forged crowd.

There is passion, drive and a good deal of talent shining through KNIGHTMARE’s music. There’s a young, innocent, flow to the songs that make you think of a time when things were simpler and having enough space in your garage was more important than owning the latest guitar plugin. But to stay alive in the current Heavy music industry, they sure need to improve, performance-wise. Once their passion and good taste are aligned with the necessary skill to convey that, there might be a nice place in the sun for this Raleighite quartet.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Conqueror
2. Heart of Stone
3. Khazad-Doom
4. Flame of the West
5. Spellbound
6. Witchburn
7. Space Nights
Lineup:
Anthony Micale - Bass, Lead Vocals
Jared Mountz - Guitars, Vocals
Reid Rogers - Guitars, Vocals
Spencer Hughes - Drums, Vocals
Record Label: Rafchild Records
     


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Edited 17 February 2020
 

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