|Review: Nightmare - Dead Sun|
Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2016
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal
Review online: December 9, 2016
Reviewed by: Bruno Medeiros
Rated 3.17/5 (63.33%) (6 Votes)
Last year, longtime (ex-)drummer and vocalist Jo Amore left the frontman post of Nightmare and Marta Luyten (Beyond the Bridge, Frameshift) filled the spot, forcing another change in their sound. Dead Sun, 10th full length effort by these guys, doesn't completely revamp the somewhat consolidated sound Nightmare has been playing for some time now and will definitely see the fans needing to adapt a little bit again.
The main formulas here are heavy and galloping riffs, loud bass mix – which is a constant in Nightmare's albums – and equally loud drumming. The hooks and choruses are somewhat constructed to be commercial, kind of like in that 'this is modern European Heavy Metal, we are badass' atmosphere that I don't quite get, but works well with Marta's partially generic ripped vocal lines; Songs like "Tangled in the Roots" and "Ikarus" illustrate well this atmosphere. There are decent to good tracks and a few mediocre ones which at the end of the day make for a forgettable album. Tracks such as "Of Sleepless Mind", "Red, Marble & Gold" and "Indifference" are all sort of intertwined with one another and fall in the common place; better tunes like "Dead Sun" and "Seeds of Agony" deliver a refreshing and competent approach to the genre, as they offer good bridges, decent solos and worthy songwriting.
It feels to me that the instruments were mixed to fit Marta's voice timbre, and not the other way around. This is, more often than not, dangerous and unnecessary, especially when we're talking about a first timer in a band that already has a considerable history. The fact is that this turns out to be extremely harmful since it shows a lack of personality by Yves, who definitely sacrifices a lot to deliver the most easy to digest and commercial experience possible. Nevertheless, there are ace instrumental moments in the album, thanks primarily to the great twin-guitar work by Frank and Matt and a crystalline production job. Yves' bass also provides a good amount of aggressiveness and Olivier was a good addition to the drum kit.
Dead Sun was most likely designed to go after a slice of the mainstream pie. The main problem is, like I said above, sacrificing some of the originality and feeling in order to make mechanical and accessible music. Personally, I don't like the album and definitely wouldn't buy it, but it most definitely has a lot of quality despite all these little bumps. Your mileage may vary, so if you are looking for top-notch albums in the genre, you will not be amused. But if you're only looking to have a good time, listen to some radio-friendly tunes and forget about your problems, this could work fine.
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