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   NIGHTRAGE
Sweet Vengeance
2003
Century Media
http://www.nightrage.com


rating: 4/5

1. The Tremor
2. The Glow Of The Setting Sun
3. Hero
4. Elusive Emotion
5. Gloomy Daydreams
6. Macabre Apparition
7. In My Heart
8. Ethereal
9. Circle Of Pain
10. At The Ends Of The Earth
11. The Howls Of The Wolves (instr.)
Nightrage's "Sweet Vengeance", a debut album that is getting quite a lot of attention already, thanks to the musicians involved. Mainman and guitarist Marios Iliopoulos (ex-Exhumation) gathered some well known people for this project/band, among them are Tomas Lindberg (ex-At The Gates, e.g. Lock Up) on vocals, Gus G. (e.g. Dream Evil) on guitar and Per Möller Jensen (e.g. The Haunted) on drums. Interesting is also the collaboration with Tom Englund (Evergrey) but more about this later.

The disc is easily classified as (Swedish) melodic death metal, of the more aggressive kind I might add. This is kick ass music, heavy, often almost brutal, yet always remaining melodic. The guitarwork is interesting and with the twin guitar leads some influences from the more traditional side of heavy metal shine through. It would be too easy to say that Nightrage sound like At The Gates, still this is not the worst comparison I can think of. "Hero" and some other tracks remind me a great deal of In Flames though.
The songwriting is versatile, no song sounds just like the other and the outcome is pure energy. Some acoustic guitars colour the album here and there; the same goes for keyboards that aren't of importance for the overall sound but are a nice addition to some tracks. A good example is "Macabre Apparition", a generally pretty fast song with a couple of tempo changes.

Tomas delivers harsh vocals throughout the record, but you can always understand what he growls about. No complains about his contribution as such. Still I think the vocal arrangements need some improvement, for several reasons: first off, some powerful back-up shouting here and there would not have hurt. And secondly, the contribution of Tom Englund. He's one of my all time favourite singers but his parts often seem to be placed into a song just to have them there and not because the song required them. On one track it turned out to work pretty well, "Circle Of Pain" (the song even sounds disturbingly like Evergrey in the beginning) but I just wished Nightrage had done more out of having two so different singers.

Closing the disc you'll find the short instrumental "The Howls Of The Wolves" which is based on acoustic guitars.
The album was produced by the band and Fredrik Nordström at Studio Fredman, no need to further point out the quality production I guess.

All in all, "Sweet Vengeance" is not a groundbreaking album but it's a good and solid record, highly recommened for fans of melodic death metal.

submitted by Cora 10.07.2003

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