Nightrage seems to have made the transition from supergroup to “just a group” as smoothly as possible. While replacing a vocalist is never an easy task, replacing someone as renowned and respected as Tomas Lindberg could have been a deathknell. Instead, bassist Henric Carlsson recruited Jimmie Strimell for vocal duties and then built an entire new unit around the two (Marios Iliopouos on guitar and Alex Svenningson behind the drums).
So never was an album title more apropos: A New Disease is Born explodes out of the gate with the hammering â€œSpiral,â€ and the new sound is immediately clear. The growls are less gutteral, the harmonies more melodic, the riffs less explosive. But the overall package is just as potent.
While similarities could be found, Strimell does anything but attempt to channel Lindberg. His dual vocal styles offer a great juxtaposition for the band’s songs. He can tear up the mike on tracks like â€œEncircleâ€ and â€œDeath-Like Silence,â€ but just as easily (actually) sing with the best of ’em on tracks like â€œSpiralâ€ or â€œReconcile.â€
The best part of Nightrage’s sound is the driving melodies. There’s subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) guitar riffs on a majority of the songs (â€œScathingâ€ and â€œA Condemned Clubâ€ especially) that come in unexpectedly to add that extra element to turn straight forward metal into sometime more â€¦
Rightly so, Nightrage was once at the forefront of the new European metal movement. But this is not the Nightrage of old. The fundamental sound of Nightrage (the soul, if you will) is alive and well in this new beast. While another album or two may be needed to see if this new incarnation of the band has staying power, A New Disease is Born is one hell of a re-debut. Any fan of the thrash/power/death metal blend European bands are perfect at crafting should pick up this album that will end up flying under the radar of most.