NIGHTRAGE has always come to deliver. Even now that the Melodic Death Metal craze is over and out form the mainstream, they continue to deliver thoughtful and ambitious albums of Power Metal melodic furies and Death Metal tinged aggressiveness. Their fifth album, “Insidious," is no different. In fact, it just may have inched up to one of their best albums yet with all of the glorious guest performances.
Proving that a line-up is only as strong as the album’s writing, “Insidious” is one of the catchiest albums from NIGHTRAGE yet. With stellar guitar work that layers an almost non-stop melodic wave of NWOBHM inspired leads and slick soloing (courtesy of NIGHTRAGE mainman Marios and a slew of guests) over catchy riffs, this album highlights itself with dueling guitar work. Acoustic work finds its way into many of the interludes too and partnering all of this with stellar foundations of rhythm performances based on basic bass work and aggressive drum slam kit work and this album is built to destroy the listener with its near perfect balance of aggression and beauty.
This is standard NIGHTRAGE work though and its obvious that their song writing still holds up against the test of time. Songs like “Hate Turns Black” display a band still igniting all cylinders. This isn’t the highlight of “Insidious” though. What makes this fifth album such a great release is the guest performances that add so much flavor to the songs. Returning to the band is both Gus G, who gives some stunning guitar performances on the record, and Tomas Lindberg, whose guttural screams compliment the very similar style of current vocalist Antony on tracks like “Insidious” and “Sham Piety." Also making appearances are the crooning vocalists of FIREWIND and EVERGREY who add some soothing Power Metal somber parts for a great mix.
In all honesty, “Insidious” just might be my favorite NIGHTRAGE album yet. It’s ballsy with how Marios and company utilize their guest performances as key foundations to many of the songs and it only adds a fun new spin to the already stellar musical prowess of the band members and their catchy/aggressive writing. Although Melodic Death Metal may not be in full swing anymore, “Insidious” proves that NIGHTRAGE still is.
Songs to check out: “Insidious," “Hate Turns Black," “Hush Of Night."
(Online September 8, 2011)