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Offensive Ground - Nightmare King

Offensive Ground
Nightmare King
by Bradley Karr at 16 January 2018, 4:50 AM

OFFENSIVE GROUND is a groove metal band from Sweden. The band was formed in 2011, but has been through many member changes over the years. Tian Mammola being the only original member on their new album. “Nightmare King” was produced by Jakob Herrmann. As I push play on the album and the first track “Salvage Dump” kicks in I get a taste of what this band has to offer. The song has some very catchy distorted guitar melodies, with a steady beat.  The vocals vary between screaming and melodic. Overall the song is good, and it is one of those songs that stays with you and you find yourself humming or singing days later.

“Letter from the Sea” slows it down a bit to be more of a ballad type song. The musical arrangement is very good, with some excellent guitar work. The song ramps up and gets a little bit heavier for the chorus lines. It is a little disjointed how quickly it goes from slow and soft to heavy and screaming but the OFFENSIVE GROUND pulls it off.  By the time I get around to “Lost in the Hollow” I am all in with this band. It is a quick paced almost thrash metal type song. It shows that the band can diversify their sound even within the metal genre. “Lost in the Hollow” is a straight up headbanging song from beginning to end. You will want to find your way to the pit when this song hits at any of their live performances.

OFFENSIVE GROUND slows it way down for “Ride out the Storm”. For most of the track it is just an acoustic guitar and the vocals. Even when the guitars, bass and drums hit they don’t kick in as hard as the other songs on this album. It is an interesting choice to put the slowest song on the album right after the hardest song. Even though it is a good song its placement pulls down the energy I have built over the course of the album.  “Villian” is probably my favorite song on the album. It is a slow burn song, ramping up a little bit at a time. I think the payoff is worth it. The vocals are on point, and at the end of the song when it is more spoken word than signing makes the song hit home.

I really enjoyed this album from OFFENSIVE GROUND. Their sound is reminiscent of what I grew up with, so it takes me back, but also lets me experience something new. There is a bright future for this band, I am excited to see if they get to do a U.S. tour so that I can watch the pit swell during “Lost in the Hollow”

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Salvage Dump
2. All Your Problems
3. Nightmare King
4. Letter from the Sea
5. Agent of Chaos
6. Take You Back
7. Lost in the Hollow
8. Ride out the Storm
9. Fallen Ones
10. Villain
11. Yet Abysmal
12. Predator Demise
Tian Mammola – Guitars/Vocals
Markus Kristofferson – Vocals
Krit Hernesten – Drums
Anton Hansson – Bass/Vocals
Kj Melgoza – Guitars/Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 29 February 2020

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