This band has changed their line-up so many times, I can’t recall seeing an extreme case like this. Nightrage exist since the beginning of the zeroes, with its debut album ‘Sweet Vengeance’ released in 2003. But ever since then the band has shifted almost constantly, with an amazing list of previous, session and touring musicians. And then I don’t even mention the Guest musicians! But Nightrage is back with another line-up and a new album: ‘The Puritan’.
You might think that I am jokingly talking about the line-up’s, but you should check out the Wikipedia page of Nightrage. Only founding member Marios Iliopoulos is still in the band, which held a lot of great musicians in the past. This Greek/Swedish band once had the great Gus G., now guitarist of Firewind and Ozzy Osbourne, in its ranks. Only after six years he decided to move on, leaving Nightrage with one guitarist.
On to the music! The current line-up has made a very solid and heavy metal album. Opener and title track ‘The Puritan’ has great resemblances with Children Of Bodom. There are no keyboards, but mostly the refrain has some fantastic, almost symphonic, guitar play. Don’t let this track fool you, because this is no melodic death metal album!
‘The Puritan’ is mostly a mix between death metal and metalcore. Ronnie Nyman’s voice is comparable with Soilwork’s Björn “Speed” Strid and Children Of Bodom’s Alexi Laiho. Full power, no mercy and give it all you got, that seems to be the motto. Only one song contains some clean vocals, ‘Desperate Vows’, my personal favorite.
Eleven songs and only one track that seems to be out of line. The instrumental ‘Lone Lake’ is a complete stranger on this heavy album. It feels like the band decided that they had to add a relaxed and simple song to show their skills. They could have better added a little more melody to the other songs, but this is a terrible idea. A failed effort at slowing the pace a bit.
With the amazing ‘Foul Vile Life’ sounding a bit like Soilwork’s ‘Final Fatal Force’, complete with melodic elements in the refrain. Also the solid ‘Fathomless’ leaves an impression at the closing of the album. One small flaw is that the album isn’t really different, if you compare the individual songs. Put on the record while doing something different and you might miss a lot of the songs. Only a couple of individual moments are absolutely incredible.
In the end this is a very solid and heavy record. Nightrage has done a great job at combining heavy riffs and melodic elements. There could even be some more melody throughout the songs itself, but it’s fine the way it is now. The only thing these guys need to let go is the little in-between track ‘Lone Lake’. With this new line-up the band has released a very solid sixth record!
- The Puritan
- With A Blade Of A Knife
- Desperate Vows
- Endless Night
- Foul Vile Life
- Stare Into Infinity
- Lone Lake (Instrumental)
- Son Of Sorrow
- When Gold Turns To Rust
- Kiss Of A Sycophant