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Nightblade - Closer To The Threshold

Closer To The Threshold
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 05 August 2013, 3:57 PM

The rise of yet another blade, a moderately new and unfamiliar cutter, aimed to enthuse of the old ways of Metal music, back into the kingdom of glory, heading backwards to the realms of NWOBHM. In an age where there has been a sea of bands learning to muster the new arts of Heavy Metal while upgrading late 70s Hard Rock, roaring with louder twin guitars efforts, assorted melodies and various harmonized passages and an overall sense that tomorrow is going to be quite heavy. NIGHTBLADE, hailing from the UK, Metal’s birth’s place, might be veteran by age, but was actually formed only three years ago, by a foursome crew that has been around the underground of their time, appreciating and attaining experience, readying themselves for the big heyday. Basing their musical delivery upon their country’s greatest product, NIGHTBLADE, currently presenting their sophomore “Closer To The Threshold”, have been running the roundabout of various NWOBHM turnouts, which gave me the impression of BLITZKRIEG and DIAMOND HEAD, though there are a few BLACK SABBATH blazes here and there.

I have to hand it for these gents upon making sure that their sound would resemble and live up to the qualities of early 80s British Metal methods and modes. I am sure that there was a digital involvement, but I must commend on the effort of attributing this end result of appearing analogue. On the other hand, I wish I could state the same for this album’s material. But before I will come to that, I did contract a positive note on what I listening on “Closer To The Threshold”. As NWOBHM fan it was hard for me to resist the general atmosphere that this album generated, virtually listening to songs without a shred of modern trending or any kind of electronic engrossment that might overcast its burden on pure old school exhibition. Furthermore, for a riff based tracklist, NIGHTBLADE’ sole guitarist, Dave Parrish, as no doubt this band’s pillar of hope, shines with a variety of crunchy, spiking rhythm guitar outbursts of true British nature. With the absence of a second guitarist, as a confident twin guitar attack, Parrish’s harmonized guitar did the trick as he presented a few customary ventures according to tradition. In addition, and that is a certain keep alive chip, the soloing showcases were exquisite, true class. Other than Parrish, there were several of songs that aided this release to remain above the deep cold waters of the icy sea. “Shadow Of Doubt” and “Out Of Commission” are two great catchy numbers, the former being a song to rely on, though both suffer what this entire release endures from the first chord to the last echo, and that is continuous reprising passages and verses, thus adding the songs supplementary minutes that aren’t needed. I can argue the same on the epic “You'll Always Remain”, which was at least a tad more assorted, not far from being a crown achievement, and somewhat better when it comes to its arrangement without overdoing it or tiring. Remorsefully, this isn’t the only letdown I had with this album.

It started with the songs’ length, and that is mainly connected to the fact that NIGHTBLADE, instead of composing a little energetic passages or at least interesting inducements, chose to systematically recycle the same riffing. Thankfully that there were C parts and solo sections. It progressed with new drummer, Rich Jones, poor drum lines, mainly keeping the pace in check while only seldom contributing of something solidly out of the ordinary, rather boring. And it ends with Mark Crosby. In overall he sounds close in voice to Brian Ross (SATAN / BLITZKRIEG), at least his younger self, but barely has a range, singing in mid / low tones, sometimes fitting the occasion, but on most cases, the opposite, thus resulting in strenuous singing, which sometimes made me almost pull hairs off my head just for him to shift a different tone. Summing this up, for a veteran band, “Closer To The Threshold” should have been a NWOBHM fan’s reverie. NIGHTBLADE maybe have the right sound engineer, and a hell of a guitar player, now they need better song formulas while not misusing their riffing and begin spreading fiery segments onto their tunes.   

3 Star Rating

1. Over My Dead Body
2. Closer to the Threshold
3. Devil's Advocate
4. You'll Always Remain
5. It's All About You
6. Out of Commission
7. Your Soul, Right of Way
8. Shadow of Doubt
9. Tongue Tied and Broken
10. On Blackened Days
Mark Crosby - Vocals
Dave Parrish - Guitar
Rich Jones - Drums
Bill Fitzsimmons - Bass
Record Label: Independent


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