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Nightrage - The Puritan Award winner

Nightrage
The Puritan
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 15 April 2015, 11:03 PM

It sure took them long enough, but I guess that it is worth waiting for just that golden chip that would make your day. It has been almost five years since the last time the world of Metal heard something new out of the studio from the guys of NIGHTRAGE. As you probably heard, it started from Greece and along the way relocated to Sweden, to the city of Gothenburg was the essence of Melodic Death Metal was founded and cultivated. To that early 90’s heritage this band, led by guitarist, Marios Iliopoulos, has been paying a constant tribute without showing any signs of weariness. NIGHTRAGE recently signed to the Swedish Despotz Records, along with the recruiting of a freshly new Hardcore vocalist, Ronnie Nyman from the band ALWAYS WAR. It didn’t take while for announcement that the pack is back with a new album called “The Puritan”, running yet again on the fast lane of divine heaviness and crispy melodic ensemble of greatness.

One of the things that I truly enjoyed about “The Puritan” was the fact that it was immensely sleek and quite polished. Even better pronounced as an easy to listen for a Death Metal album of course as it is not your average friendly AOR I assure you. Iliopoulos performed his magic by composing the traditional Swedish Death Metal kind of riffery, consumed with British steel melodies, inflaming soloing passages and a few blinks of modernity that may or may not appear Metalcore oriented. Talking about the riffery, honestly I was a sucker for it; such great rhythm guitaring that really slashed me right through, and I guess that the album’s overall sound took its toll on that aspect for the better. I just wanted more and more bombastic, yet simplistic, riffs. Furthermore, the ease pouring out of the song arrangements is admirable, proving that NIGHTRAGE rooted out a few of its technical traits to come up with a kind of flow that would easily attract more listeners. This is beyond being trendy or heading towards Pop, as I can hardly see any Pop musician playing what NIGHTRAGE showcased on this album.

I was immediately caught by the massiveness of “Desperate Vows”, surging with the feeling of desolation and dismay, it proved that NIGHTRAGE fished for a great vocalist and they found one indeed. Furthermore, Lawrence Mackrory (DARKANE) added that so much needed raspy / clean tone on the chorus that made it a giant. “Kiss of a Sycophant” is what Melodic Death Metal needed nowadays, catchy straightforwardness at its best with, rhythm guitar based but with enough melodies to keep you attached if the riffs aren’t sufficient and a hearty growl display of high quality. I would also recommend on “Fathomless”, “With a Blade of a Knife”, “Endless Night”, “Stare into Infinity“ and “When Gold Turns to Rust”.

When the majority of the icons of the genre aren’t really playing the same thing as they did years ago, there will be always that band that shall remain true to the letter, NIGHTRAGE is one of those bands. “The Puritan”, which right from the start reminded me of IN FLAMES’s amazing “Clayman” era, right before the beginning of their fall to Core or whatever they are playing right now, may be one of the best Melodic Death Metal albums that aren’t truly into a technical show off but more referring to the heart of the songs, letting the listener get into the groove while having a go on the lyrics. One of the best of 2015, and it will be entering my top 10 I am sure.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Puritan
2. With a Blade of a Knife
3. Desperate Vows
4. Endless Night
5. Foul Vile Life
6. Stare into Infinity
7. Lone Lake
8. Son of Sorrow
9. When Gold Turns to Rust
10. Fathomless
11. Kiss of a Sycophant
Lineup:
Marios Iliopoulos - Guitars
Anders Hammer - Bass
Ronnie Nyman – Vocals
Johan Nunez – Drums

Guest:
Lawrence Mackrory – Vocals (“Desperate Vows”)
Record Label: Despotz Records
     


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