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Nightstalker – Dead Rock Commandos (reissue)

Nightstalker
Dead Rock Commandos (reissue)
by Fred “Cage” Bonanno at 04 July 2022, 8:06 PM

The Godfather’s of Greek hard rock was formed in Greece in 1989 by singer/songwriter Argy Galiatsatos (and drummer at that time) released their first EP in 1994, Side FX followed by Use, the first of seven full length albums. Labeled as Grunge and Stoner Rock, NIGHTSTALKER simply prefers to be called a “powerhouse of rock and roll chaos”. A very popular rock and cult following fueled by their live stage shows and appearances in festivals like Freak Valley, Rock Wave, Heavy by the Sea and Street More.
Heavy sound, groovy rhythms with intense bass playing partnered with catchy melodies and Argy’s raw vocals have kept this band going strong for more than 30 years. In 2019, NIGHTSTALKER signed with Heavy Psych Sounds to take their career to new heights. The reissue of Dead Rock Commandos (2019) released in spring 2022, with a box set including a crystal-clear vinyl album and some other goodies.

The album begins with a simple, straight forward number that is bass heavy, “Go Get Some”, but then leaps to a heavy riff with a nifty but all too brief guitar solo giving the song a much-needed boost. “Soma” comes right at you with a catchy and heavy riff mixed nicely with Argy’s narly vocals and sharp guitar hooks. Tight and crisp backing bass and drums add to an overall good song. A true rocker, “Dead Rock Commandos”, has tight, clean melodies and again a nifty, but too brief guitar solo. All songs that bear the album name should be memorable, and this one does not disappoint. A nice passionate vibe starts out “One Million Broken Promises” again with catchy riffs and a nice blend of harmonies and tempo changes but manages to still come in pretty heavy. “Children of the Sun” almost lulled me to sleep with Argy speaking the lyrics and sounding robotic until, WOW, at the 2:00 mark, when it transformed to an early Black Sabbath sound, both vocally and musically. Definitely my favorite song by far. Feels like the band really stretched their wings on this vibrant, hypnotic, and ferocious rocking song.
Trashy is the most accurate word to describe “Keystone”, it has some hard rock elements and some powerful riffs melting together with Argy’s angry tone. This song is a little unbalanced but somehow works.  With a song titled “Rockaine”, you know you’d be taken on a psychedelic trip. This song has the most stoner rock vibe with the somber guitar licks and Argy’s harsh vocals. “The Boogie Man Plan” is pretty straight forward rock with funky rhythms and the best lyrics on the album, “I’m afraid of the dark at night, I’m afraid of what’s gonna be, I’m afraid when the God’s come again”. Edgy and dark that had me looking under my bed for the Boogie man.

This album is a definite cross between Grunge, Stoner Rock and stir in a little psychedelic track to the mixing pot. Sorry, NIGHTSTALKER, I know you hate those labels. Full of catchy riffs and compelling twists, some nice, but all too brief guitar solos (come on, let loose guys). The album is very listener friendly and at times has a heavy feel but always eventually settles back to their familiar grooving and moving electric haze sound. Argy’s vocals are a good fit for this band, even though it sounds like they were recorded in a tin can.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Go Get Some
2. Soma
3. Dead Rock Commandos
4. One Million Broken Promises
5. Children of the Sun
6. Back to Dirt
7. Keystone
8. Rockaine
9. Boogie Man Plan
10. The Underdog
Lineup:
Argy Galiatsatos – vocals
Andreas Lagios – bass
Tolls Motsios – guitar
Dinos Roulos - drums
Record Label: Heavy Psych Sounds Records, Labyrinth of Thoughts records
     


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