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Nightmare - Aeternam Award winner

by John Paul Romero at 07 November 2020, 4:13 PM

NIGHTMARE, being one of the pioneers of the metal scene in Europe, has also been one of the most overlooked bands from the region. Born in 1979, this band has released 10 full length albums since then until 2016. Their 11th offering, “Aeternam”, was released on the 2nd day of October this year. This band is known for their continuous evolution throughout the years, and this album is no different. While there is a clear distinction between the sounds of their previous release “Dead Sun” and this one we have on hand, one thing is constant: their explosiveness.

This band, like many other bands in the industry, has gone through a circus ride throughout their career. It is worth noting that at this point, the only remaining original member of the band is Yves Campion. Regardless, they have successfully maintained that same exciting and explosive energy that they have been known for. The brand new lineup of the band right now is just exactly what 2020 needs. Together, they play a classic, traditional Euro heavy metal sound, injected with new and modern tricks, with top-of-the-class production. Madie’s raspy voice is battle-ready, backed up by the rumbling of Niels’ drums, all the while covered by Yves’ patented fucking rigid bass lines. Axemen Frank and Matt also deliver the goods with their blistering solos and ever-catchy solid riffs.

Throughout the album, it is the colossal rhythms that really kick the energy to the highest level. Every song is stadium-ready, built specifically to blow roofs off. Opener “Temple Of Acheron” kickstarts the album in the proper direction, and the peak moment is apparent in “Downfall Of A Tyrant” with its overall aggressive, yet sophisticatedly melodic, approach. Meanwhile, “Crystal Lake” comes in at a mid-paced approach – somehow slower, yet just as explosive as the other tracks on the album. It couples with “Lights On” to introduce a more adrenaline-driven track in “Aeternam”.

From that point on, just when you thought that their energy is spent, it is only kicked even higher off the charts. “Under The Ice” flirts with a solid groove metal sound maintained by a fast tempo. The remaining two tracks are the most technical and most aggressive in the album – playing along the borderlines of thrash and death metal, with big riffs on “Black September” even showcasing a brief nasty breakdown. For the closing track “Anneliese”, it is best compared to how SLAYER’s “Raining Blood” put a conclusion to “Reign In Blood”, being opened relentlessly by “Angel Of Death”. After the first cycle of playing the album, it will only leave you wanting more.

“Aeternam” is more than just NIGHTMARE’s 11th album. It is a reminder that despite all the lineup changes, NIGHTMARE is still in safe hands with Yves Campion. It is such a sweet treat to receive an album like this in 2020, when everything around you really sucks. It has the sound that we all first fell in love with, but has the assets to compete in the modern scene.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Temple Of Acheron
2. Divine Nemesis
3. The Passenger
4. Downfall Of A Tyrant
5. Crystal Lake
6. Lights On
7. Aeternam
8. Under The Ice
9. Black September
10. Anneliese
Madie – Vocals
Yves Campion – Bass/Vocals
Franck Milleliri – Guitar
Matt Asselberghs – Guitar/Vocals
Niels Quiais – Drums
Record Label: AFM Records


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