Night Mistress - Into the Madness - (9/10)
Published on June 2, 2014
Into the Madness is the sophomore full length album from Polish heavy metal act Night Mistress. The band was known as Nemesis between 2003 and 2006, before changing the name to Night Mistress. Three fifths of the band actually performed as backing musicians for Paul Di’Anno on his April 2014 tour through Poland. It’s actually surprising that the band would back Di’Anno, as the music on Into the Madness emulates another classic voice of Iron Maiden. Either way, Night Mistress brings forth an album full of catchy guitar work and stellar vocals that fans of traditional heavy metal should enjoy.
Indeed, from the first notes of “Until the Day Will Dawn” you’re treated to what could pass for lost tracks from The Chemical Wedding or Accident of Birth. That’s definitely not a bad thing, because I absolutely adore those albums, but this isn’t just a rip off. Into the Night brings forth the same style of rollicking, hook-laden heavy metal as Bruce did with his best two solo albums. Rather than overly technical virtuosity or flowery keyboard driven power metal, Night Mistress takes the high road, opting for heavy metal of the highest caliber, reminding me at times of Black Sun era Primal Fear and other times of the driving, anthemic style of Evilized era Dream Evil. The instrumentation is centered on the catchy, yet forceful riffing of Arek Cieśla and Robert Kazanowski, as they belt out solid, hooky riff and solid, hooky riff.
Sure there are some technical solos and speedy riffing throughout, like the frenzied scales on “Walking on Air”, but the focus is on the forceful and demanding vocal delivery of Chris Sokolowski. Doing his best job to hit the highborn wails of Ralf Scheepers and mixing with it the catchy, hook-laden style of Niklas Isfeldt (Dream Evil), it’s an energetic performance. While his vocals aren’t anything you haven’t heard before, they are polished and exceptionally performed, giving me renewed faith that traditional heavy metal is still thriving.
While the band is solid at hooky riffing, when they drop into melodic rock, ballad territory, the music is not quite as convincing. “Grieving Stars” shows a simplistic melodic intro that builds into dull power chords, but the vocals do keep the band from sinking. Thankfully these melodic detours rarely occur,as the band’s forte is definitely forceful, catchy heavy metal riffing and soaring vocals. This is honestly a refreshing heavy metal album. Full of strong vocals, more hooks than you can imagine and an energetic performance on all fronts. If you’re a fan of Primal Fear, Bruce Dickinson’s solo work or Dream Evil, you’re in for a treat here.