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Nightfall - Cassiopeia Award winner

Nightfall
Cassiopeia
by Vasilis Odontidis at 28 January 2013, 6:00 PM

After a small break the Greek veterans NIGHTFALL are back with their ninth work “Cassiopeia”, follower of “Astron Black and Thirty Tyrants” and second after their much awaited reunion. Having defined their new music direction in “Astron Black”, they expand that infrastructure in “Cassiopeia” but with a straight riff based approach yet being able to create much more mature compositions. According to Greek mythology “Cassiopeia” was a woman that was famous of her astonishing beauty and in the same time quite arrogant about that (a “habit” of women not totally lost even so many centuries afterwards). Also if you are to the northern hemisphere and look to the sky at night if you see five stars forming a “W” that is the “Cassiopeia” constellation one of the earliest spotted constellations. Both of those interpretations are key parts in the lyric concept of the record.

“Cassiopeia” includes a total of eleven songs with a duration of fifty minutes approximately. The cover reminds of a planet with its outer atmosphere etc., though the image is abstract. Throughout the record the band unfolds their talented playing and songwriting. Album opener “Phaethon” properly demonstrates the band’s composing direction in “Cassiopeia”. Lots of changes in the music, riffs that stick to your head, raging vocals, occasional blast beats, furious solos and keyboards here and there that add the final touches to a dark and eerie atmosphere. The lyrical concept of the song presents the myth of “Phaethon” from the twisted point of view of NIGHTFALL. As the general theme of the record, arrogance is backbone plot in each of the songs. And as such happens in the Shakespearean themed song “Oberron & Titania” from the "Midsummer’s Night Dream". The songs music wise could hardly fall in a category as they have all the elements that I described above in abundance in each and every one. So, they are quite diverse and the arouse the listener’s interest constantly. While the main theme in each song is arrogance the songs are inspired from Greek Mythology (“Hubris”, “Hyperion”), Egyptian Mythology “Akhenaton the 9th Pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty” (was that a very BAL SAGGOTH title?) and “The Sand Reckoner” or astral themes like “The Nightwatch”, “Stellar Parallax” and “Astropolis”.

It is really impressive that after so many years the unholy trinity of Greek metal that includes ROTTING CHRIST, SEPTICFLESH and NIGHTFALL is stronger than ever releasing tremendous albums. “Cassiopeia” bears no exception. NIGHTFALL under the leadership of the founding member Efthimis Karadimas appear as determined as ever having created a record that goes beyond any expectation. From the top notch performance, the merciless drumming, the exceptional guitar work, the malevolent keyboard symphonies and the brutal vocals (no clean vocals this time!) to the excellent production, amazing songwriting and dark or even occasionally gothic lyricism. Indeed after so many years of existence and various incarnations of musical directions they seem not only to have found their way, but by building on their legacy and harvesting from their many-year experience they have created a true masterpiece. “Cassiopeia” is indeed that arrogant creature of unaccounted beauty that puny mortals might have the chance to peek through the music of NIGHTFALL but like the Holy Grail many desired it but none eventually acquired.

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Phaethon
2. Oberon & Titania
3. Colonize Cultures
4. The Nightwatch
5. Stellar Parallax
6. Hubris
7. The Reptile Gods
8. Hyperion
9. Akhenaton, the 9th Pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty
10. The Sand Reckoner
11. Astropolis
Lineup:
Efthimis Karadimas - Vocals
Evan Hensley - Guitar
Constantine - Guitar
Stathis Ridis - Bass
Stathis Kassios - Keyboards
Jörg Uken – Drums
Record Label: Metal Blade Records
     


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