|Review: Nightrage - Sweet Vengeance|
Label: Century Media
Year released: 2003
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Review online: September 19, 2003
Reviewed by: Scott Murray
Rated 4.11/5 (82.22%) (9 Votes)
Talk about stacking the deck right up to guaranteed above average reviews, picks of the month and the usual hype hype hype that surrounds something new from the frail old depths of the fading glory of the Gothenburg scene. This supergroup under the moniker Nightrage consists of The Haunted's Jenson on drums, Gus G. (Dream Evil, Firewind, Mystic Prophecy) on lead guitar, Marios Iliopoulos (formerly of the underground doom/death band Exhumation) also on guitars, Tom S. Englund of the recently turned popular Evergrey adding clean vocals sparsely scattered throughout, Nordstrom behind the board. Umm…did I miss anyone? Oh ya, the vocalist. I don't think you need three guesses to figure out who would be fronting this Gothenburg metal style league of extraordinary gentlemen. But just in case you don't get it, it's Linberg of course. Duh.
Actually, Lindberg pulls off one of his better performances in recent years, with his screams of agony and dementia in top form for the band's much-anticipated debut. The good news kinda ends at this point though.
As intense, catchy and hook-laden as this At the Gates throwback can be, it's still just that. Nothing new to hear here, no ground being broken, no boundaries pushed, just straight up and solid thrash/death. I'm not trying to take anything away from the abilities of this fine bunch of players. They're all top notch in their respective positions, but this is a style desperately crying out for something new. Gus G.'s classic metal leanings shine through the samey-ness of Sweet Vengeance but not enough to consider this album a genre-bender.
The explosive first track The Tremor made its way around the net some time before the release of Sweet Vengeance, and as I suspected, the rest of the album doesn't come close to living up to one of the best single songs the genre has produced in a while.
Sure, people are gonna eat this album up and place it high on their top albums for this year, but to me Nightrage is not the saviour of its genre, and there's plenty of other melo-death acts out there that deserve more attention than this camp is garnering.
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