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Nightfell - A Sanity Deranged Award winner

A Sanity Deranged
by Louise Brown at 26 August 2019, 9:11 PM

NIGHTFELL got their start during 2012 in Portland, Oregon. At the moment they have a total of three full-length albums to their credit; "The Living Ever Mourn" (2014), "Darkness Evermore" (2015),  and today's review selection, "A Sanity Deranged" (2019).

"No Life Leaves Here" sets the initial tone of the album with a very subtle intro, featuring sparse music mixed with sound effects. After the guitar joins in the entire energy of the song changes, becoming more powerful as well as sinister. The vocals are harsh, completely in keeping with a more traditional Black Metal style. The backing music is driven by strong percussion as well as a solid bass-line combined with just the right amount of guitar riffs added in. It's a great track. "(As Now)We Must Succumb" has a droning start with down-tempo guitar chords along with low-end percussion. Slower-paced than the previous track, and darker, too. I really like the underlying guitar riff that accompanies the vocals. Both add a good level of tension to the song. The pace picks up slightly towards the song's mid-section, adding more power to the track before the speed and volume drop off drastically. My only problem with what I'm hearing is an extended drum solo which appears to be an interlude of some sort. It throws the flow of the composition off a bit, interrupting that continuous energy that makes the music so appealing. Fortunately, a heavy guitar solo quickly gets things back on track. Still a seriously good song so don't skip over it! "To The Flame" is mournful-sounding, establishing a feeling of bleakness and isolation. I adore this song. The tempo and pace bring a great deal of impact, giving the composition an air of hopeless melancholy. All of the things that fans of Black Metal appreciate are present within this song; darkness, doom, despair, sorrow, and underlying rage. All within a span of just over three and a half minutes. Outstanding!

"The Swallowing Of Flies," best described as melodic darkness combined with grim vocals, equals another great song. The bass-line is fantastic, rounding out the backing music perfectly. Some impressive guitar-playing adds an extra level of perfection to mix as well. I am beyond pleased by how everything sounds. It's Black Metal with a slightly different air to it, something that reflects the area that the music was created in- the Pacific Northwest. A grim sort of magic exists within certain parts of the region, inspiring musicians to come up with music similar to that made by Scandinavian bands. "(Holiness Digested)" is a brief interlude with voice samples mixed with eerie background music. It's short and extremely creepy. The final song on the album, "Sanity Deranged," has the heaviest, darkest into out of all the selections featured. Down-tempo as hell, seriously, and soooooo good! The song for the sort of day when you're gloomy from the moment that you wake up. The guitar riffs are excellent, adding a bit of spark to the otherwise darkest of dark backing music. The track reminds me of the late autumn days in western Oregon when the rain never stops while the brooding grey skies overhead glower down at you, puny mortal, with extreme disapproval. Yet, oddly enough, those same days possess a wicked beauty all their own, inspiring all sorts of artists and writers, including me. To have all of that reproduced musically leaves me happy beyond words. If I have to choose only one track from the album to recommend, it's this one.

 You really should get this album if you're a fan of Black Metal from the United States, especially if you're into the band UADA, who also call Portland, Oregon their hometown. You won't be sorry!

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. No Life Leaves Here
2. (As Now) We Must Succumb
3. To the Flame
4. The Swallowing of Flies
5. (Holiness Digested)
6. Sanity Deranged

Todd Burdette -  Vocals, guitars, bass
Tim Call -  Drums, vocals

Record Label: 20 Buck Spin


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