NIGHTMARE VISIONS are band with a long history dating back to 1991 but they haven’t released a whole lot of albums. After some line-up changes the band is now a trio who together has released their only third album. “NVIII” is the obvious name and it displays a fine mix of styles woven together to create an interesting and versatile album.
In this mix we find elements of Death Metal, Doom, Prog and Traditional that altogether make an album best described as an epic melancholic Progressive Death Metal work. Guitarist Andy Bernard shows some remarkable song and riff writing ability throughout the disc with his intelligent playing. OPETH and EDGE OF SANITY come to mind except that Bernard’s sound is filled with more depression and sadness while being less extremely technically focused the aforementioned artists. Besides being the axe man he also delivers the vocals on “NVIII”; his voice is in the growling style befitting of a Melo Death band: deep, understandable, emotional and not overtly brutal.
Behind this front-man there is the very decent rhythm section in the form of Reece Brevan on the Bass and Steve Grant on Drums. They add a lot to the sound; especially the drums are a joy to listen to with abundant variety and creativity. Grant can go from a slow Doom style with some Bill Ward touches to fast double bass playing.
Unfortunately the album is pretty short: a small half hour, but then again there are only four songs on there, which get plenty of time to develop and each have there own distinct sound to them. Acoustic parts can be followed by cerebral lead play or heavy riffs with the whole band letting some aggression go. No track specifically stands out as all have their interesting moments and never get boring. “I Am The Sadness” and “Sun Set Forever” are best at showing what the band is about whilst the long closing track “Rainbows End” is a personal favourite for having lots of ideas in their signature sound perfectly executed.
Quite frankly this album must appeal to almost everyone who likes intelligent music and isn’t put off by extreme vocals. They have great creativity and the musicianship is simply outstanding, too bad it’s too short. (Online December 3, 2005)