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Nightshadow - Strike Them Dead

Strike Them Dead
by Kevin Lewis at 17 May 2021, 1:31 PM

NIGHTSHADOW is an American Power Metal band originally formed in 2012. After a few years of honing their skills and working on original material, they released an EP in 2017. Their debut LP, Strike Them Dead, was self-released on May 7, 2021. With the classic power metal set-up, NIGHTSHADOW have stormed the scene and are ready to dominate the stage.

Unlike many Power Metal albums, this is not an epic tale of going to battle with evil forces. It is a series of stand-alone songs that hit a variety of topics including Jack the Ripper, fantasy themes and Dungeons and Dragons. The speeds are varied and the tones swing from power to death to Heavy Metal.

The record kicks off at warp speed with “Legend,” a song that uses blast beats and a chugging bass rhythm to set the foundation for two high-speed guitar assaults. Whether the guitars are running in sync or dueling through their solos, they are blazing fast. This is an all-around spitfire of a song. It never relents, just powers through from start to finish.

Witch Queen” has some definite melodic and death metal influences throughout the song. The tuning is darker and the vocals rougher. The guitars do less shredding and more atmospheric filling. The song is still nice and fast, the power still present. “Ripper” has a more classically inspired feeling to the guitar work. Classical being one of the bigger influences on power metal, this song makes a lot of sense and really establishes NIGHTSHADOW’s credentials in the genre.

One of the other required elements on a power metal album is the power ballad. “Love And Vengeance” gives us that. Telling the story of a sacrificed maiden, this is the second longest song on the record and is a two-part story. This is another check the box moment for a Power Metal band, and they do it right. The shift in the middle of the song is right on time and fits the theme and feel of the tune. Part two rough and gritty, bringing the song to its’ epic conclusion.

Jumping down, we have the title track, “Strike Them Dead”. The requisite song of going into battle, the guitar riff is fast, furious and frenetic all at once. Everything you expect your power metal to be is right here in one song. Chugging rhythms that hold the guitar riff to task and keep the tempo with excellent precision.

Wrapping the album up is “Mistress Of The Pit,” a song sure to be a fan favorite at live shows. The song starts with some nice chances to get a good running start, then drops partway through into a section that you know is going to give you time to get wound up for the ultimate mosh section, much like ANTHRAX gave with “Indians” when Scott Ian screams “WARDANCE” right before all hell breaks loose.

NIGHTSHADOW knows how to write punishing guitar riffs and pounding rhythms that compel the listener to bang their head. The guitars are guitarists are excellent. The drummer is fantastic and the bassist really handles variable rhythms with ease. They blend their instruments together well, providing a wave of sound that just washes over you. The vocalist goes from raspy to almost full belt and handles himself well in both registers. This is a good album overall and definitely has some songs that will be great live. I look forward to hearing their next record!

Songwriting:  8
Musicianship:  9
Memorability:  8
Production:  8

4 Star Rating

1. Legend
2. Witch Queen
3. Ripper
4. Love & Vengeance
5. Children of The Night
6. False Truths
7. Strike Them Dead
8. Blood Penance
9. Storm Bringer
10. Mistress of The Pit
Brian Dell – Vocals
Chris Bader – Bass
Sean Woodman – Drums
Nick Harrington – Guitar
Danny Fang – Guitar
Record Label: Independent


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