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Nightstryke - Power Shall Prevail

Power Shall Prevail
by Jon Conant at 17 January 2018, 9:07 AM

I truly love Finland. Some of the greatest bands to ever exist have come out of that beautiful nation, and they have the highest level of metal bands per capita of any country in the world. Truly, their dedication to the metal genre is unrelenting and undying. Case in point? A young band by the name of NIGHTSTRYKE releasing a debut full length album, “Power Shall Prevail” in 2017 that is decidedly 2003 era power metal. This is a bad idea from a marketing/making it to the big time standpoint, but what this means is NIGHTSTRYKE is making music they truly want to make, which makes it passionate art. When it’s all said and done? It’s pretty good. The sound is overall rather generic, they don’t introduce a whole lot of new concepts or ideas we haven’t heard before, but it’s performed well and it’s fun enough.

The lyrical themes are about as textbook as power metal gets. Magic, warriors, epic beasts and animals, you get the idea. Not too much dragon slaying going on, but we do get a hawk cry at the end of aptly named track three, “Hawk of the Night.” The instrumentation is speedy and melodic, not a lot of heavy rhythmic work or bassy feel, it stays very DRAGONFORCE/BLIND GUARDIAN more upbeat “happy” metal. We do get some more grunting heavy guitar work on track two, but by and large it’s based on power chords and keeping the songs moving as quickly as possible. The bass, rhythm guitar, and drums are all unrelenting.

99.9%of the time I commend bands for instrumental opener tracks to start an album, I think that it can be an important segue. Sadly, in this case, 1:37 opening instrumental track “Powerture” is a bit too generic, uninteresting, and the guitar solo is shaky from a performance standpoint. But to their credit, it’s a hell of solo to be attempting right off the bat. The album would have been improved opening up on a different footing. “The Story Of The Fourty Seven Ronin,” track five, was overall a bit too boring to listen to, but the last minute provide a interesting change of pace. It breaks into a slower more borderline jazzy type of groove, that slowly leads into the next and much, much speedier track (“Witches Night.” It’s nice to see them do something a little bit different to elevate the style, it is mature songwriting. I wish the rest of the song had been as interesting to match, but what can you do.

“Take You Away” stands alone on the album as having terrible production value. I don’t know what went wrong here, but it is noticeably worse than the rest of the album. No band is immune to having production issues, even the veterans. IN FLAMES’ latest album was a production disaster. But, it’s something to take note of and actively strive to improve. The album attempts to close on a familiar power metal note with a 9 ½ minute long “epic,” as I like to call them. However, when writing this kind of track, the scope of the songwriting needs to match the ambition of the song. Instead, we just get more of the repetitive and borderline generic riffs we’ve heard all album, but stuffed into 9 ½ minutes. It’s sadly a forgettable closer capping off an album that is ultimately well done but fails to impress.

If you’re a fan of power metal, you might get a kick out of “Power Shall Prevail.” But in the end, it doesn’t have much appeal, and is very obviously a first full-length release from a young band. It’s not particularly heavy, not particularly clever in the melody department, and it relies on overplayed concepts both in terms of lyrics and songwriting. What it does have going for it is solid instrumentation and a consistent concept that is performed well, for the most part. But, power metal is not dead yet, and this is only NIGHTSTRYE’s first album. Take it for what it is, and look forward to seeing what they do on their next release.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Memorability: 5
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Powerture
2. Power Shall Prevail
3. Hawk Of The Night
4. Steel Thunder
5. The Story Of The Fourty Seven Ronin
6. Witches’ Night
7. Neon Killer
8. Take You Away
9. Mist In The Valley
Rami Hermunen - Guitars, Vocals
Juho Karppinen - Guitars
Vilppu Nurminen - Bass
Antti Selenius - Drums
Record Label: Stormspell Records


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