Together with SEPTIC FLESH, ROTTING CHRIST and ON THORNS I LAY, NIGHTFALL are among the few acknowledged Greek Metal bands who have gained praise and recognition from fans, music supporters, magazines and medias alike. If not the oldest of the four, the Athenian quintet certainly have established themselves as the premier cult moniker since they started in 91 (they were also the first Greek Metal band to sign a deal with a foreign record label), always staying true to their extreme dark arts and coping with the people who share a common vision.
They’ve succeeded well in filtering their frustration and philosophical thoughts through their latest album “Lyssa – Rural Gods & Astonishing Punishments”. The music is a collision of gothic sounds, haunting atmospheres, Death Rock tempos, melodic lead guitars and ancient lyrical concepts, placing NIGHTFALL in the darker spectrums of Metal. The arranging and layering of the individual songs lead my thoughts to SEPTIC FLESH’s brilliant swansong “Sumerian Daemons” although there’s more melodic keyboard twirling instead of digital coldness.
NIGHTFALL have organised a 40 minute up-tempo Dark Metal marathon fully armoured with occasional blast beats and ominous atmospheres, sometimes they slow down for a quick breather, then it’s back into the unending abyss that’s not for the weak at heart. The first five tracks contain all the ingredients mentioned above with the vocals alternating from impressive harsh screaming to less fortunate clean singing. Parts of “The End Times” nod to HYPOCRISY’s blackened Death Metal sound that took place on “The Fourth Dimension”, this track works very well musically and would’ve been a sheer stunner if they’d dismissed the clean vocals.
Despite the album’s convincing character, there’s also a rushed feel to the overall intrusive delivery and some of the more intricate arrangements, I feel there’s something missing, don’t get me wrong, there’s much to investigate in every track but it’s as if the ride’s over before you know it. What I mean to say is that the album is lacking stability here and there, probably because it was intentional, don’t know if it’s customary NIGHTFALL work ethics to rush things, but it does make it more cult than anything right? The dirty yet audible sound was conceived at Tico Tico Studios, among the rawer sound pollutions to come out of one of many first rate Finnish Studios.
An atmospheric, interesting and powerful album that has its ups and downs, the writing and delivery could’ve been more focused at times to aid the song with more fluid structures while the absence of clean vocals would’ve made the whole thing just plain better. (Online January 30, 2005)