Nightrage is back with another new lineup.
This album sees the debut of Magnus Söderman on guitar and Lawrence Dinamarca on drums with Nightrage, and an album that jumps between styles from across the band’s 15-year history.
Some songs have the melodic eloquence of Wearing a Martyr’s Crown (2009), some songs are more brutal, as on The Puritan (2015), and some have more of a metalcore vibe, à la A New Disease Is Born (2007). One thing that is consistent are the Tomas Lindberg sound-alike vocals by Ronnie Nyman (who joined the band on 2015’s The Puritan). Not that that’s a bad thing. The old school melodeath sound is part of Nightrage’s charm.
Songs like: “The Venomous” and “Bemoan,” with their expansive choruses and melodic riffs, hearken back to Wearing a Martyr’s Crown. Even the acoustic intro to the first song, “The Venomous,” sounds a lot like the start of that album. “Desolation and Dismay” has a rollicking-groovy energy that will have you dancing or headbanging, or both, with the positive chorus, “Fend for your dreams/ Without them you wither and die,” rather reminiscent of “The Grim Struggle;” my favorite song from Wearing
The songs, meanwhile, are even more aggressive than The Puritan; such as, “Metamorphosis,” with its blast beats and furious riffage and “Catharsis” with its racing guitars and vocals. But, even these have their swelling-melodic choruses and flights of melody in the solos and bridges.
Meanwhile, “Affliction,” the second single from the album, sounds like metalcore played with melodeath guitar and vocal tones. It seems simplistic and not as intense. There are some other metalcore moments, too, like the core-y clean vocals and a quasi-breakdown in “The Blood.”
While some parts of the album feel less intense than the past couple Nightrage efforts, it’s still got a vein of rich me that melodic Nightrage sound, tinged with both joy and sadness running through it. That makes it a satisfying listen for Nightrage fans who are always on the edge of their seat about the fate of the band.