I have to admit I know absolutely nothing about The Nightshade. I have searched high and low on the Internet, and haven’t been able to find any info about the band. My fault. On the other hand, I will be able to review it based on one merit, and one merit only, their music, the five tracks that span a little over 22 min.
The Nightshade plays dark electro goth with industrial touches, kind of modern and trendy music. I am not really into this style very much, but I can name Samael, The Kovenant, late day Evereve, and, of course, Rammstein, as references. The Nightshade definitely follows the laws of the genre pretty close.
m quite sure it is the drum-machine they use, but if it is the real drums, the drumming patterns are simple, linear and very mechanical. Just like Rammstein. Keyboards and electronics rule the riffing department. Guitar is used sparingly, more in the chord supporting role, and mid-song solo parts. The vocals range from not-so-clean, very Samael-like (Among the Breed), to electronically distorted (Tongues), to plain chants (Raging Sands). Sometimes, I think on purpose, the singer uses a thick accent. In general, this describes the EP quite well.
While there is definitely the attempt to vary the song themes, with such mechanical and electronic driven music, there is a lot of sameness in the delivery. No question, Tongues is more spacey and dance beat driven, while Raging Sands has mid-eastern feel (with “Jihad” chants quite obvious).
Just like it is easy to point out the leaders and second-rate bands in death metal, electro goth has its own share of leaders and imitators. I don’t personally like Rammstein, but I respect their art and popularity. I worship Samael, and believe their electronic metal is a crusher. The Nightshade is light years away from the genre torch bearers. The highlights of the EP are those weaving guitar solos, but it looks that the band tries to limit them anyway.
I guess production in this style plays a big role. When it is crisp and clean, so you can hear every drum-beat and every sampler, it adds to the power and persuasion of this music. The Nightshade has a not-so-clear production on Among the Breed, the best song on the EP, then goes for a clear sound on Tongues, only to go back to a shoddier job the rest of the way. It feels that several studios/engineers/producers were associated with the production.
As I said, I haven’t been able to provide you with much info on the band, and I apologize for that. I am not sure having listened to Wired I will really go balls out digging for it. To each his own, however, and those electro goth lovers reading this might want to give it a try.
Killing Songs :
Among the Breed
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