Nightrage – Descent into Chaos Review

“Descent into Chaos”
Century Media Records

What is there not to love about the Swedish metal supergroup, Nightrage? The group features a veritable who’s who from the European metal scene in it’s ranks: ex-Exhumation axe-slinger Marios Iliopoulos handling lead, rhythm and acoustic guitars; lead guitarist Gus G. who has previously worked with Firewind and Dream Evil; bassist Henric Carlsson who worked with Cipher System; ex-Septic Flesh drummer Fotis Benardo; and most notably, vocalist Tomas Lindberg formerly of At the Gates, The Crown and The Great Deceiver.

The combined force of the members allows the band to craft sick, melodic metal, heavy on the epic riffs and twisted back beat with the perfect twist of death metal vocals.

It would almost seem as if it was the duty of any fan of heavy metal to seek out the latest Nightrage album, “Descent into Chaos.”

The disc, the band’s second offering, explodes out the gate with “Being Nothing,” complete with machine-gun drumming and Lindberg’s comfortable growl. Gus G. and Iliopoulos run rings around each other with each riff, making even the simplest structures seem like epics.

From the opening notes the band sounds tight-as-hell and never lets up. From the choking riffs of “Phantasma” or the intricate guitar-play in “Drug,” to the old-school metal feel of “Poems,” there isn’t a weak link in this set. Even the haunting instrumental “Solus” swings from beauty to brutality in its short couple of minutes.

Of particular note, “Frozen” features Dark Tranquillity’s Mikael Stanne contributing some cleaner vocals to juxtapose Lindberg’s intense guttural howls. Coupled with that, the song (like most of the others) is chock-full of solos. And speaking of solos, it doesn’t get much better than the crushing “outro” guitar work on “Omen” (and I particularly enjoy the ethereal undercurrent throughout the track).

Everyone shines on this album. The guitars are thick, the drumming is spot-on, the vocals are killer and the bass work, though subtle, pretty much holds the package together.

Nightrage might be flying under most people’s radar and that’s a shame. You have no idea what you are missing and owe it to yourself to check this album out. There is no reason this band isn’t being pointed to as leaders in the genre, in the same fashion as The Haunted or In Flames.

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