Nightfall - Lyssa Rural Gods and Astonishing Punishments
Black Lotus Records
Extreme Dark Metal
11 songs (40'16")
Release year: 0
Nightfall, Black Lotus
Reviewed by Alex

With all the “kult” history behind Nightfall in their native Greece I have been first introduced to the band with their previous 2003 album I Am Jesus. With all due respect, I really wasn’t overtaken by the product. My underquote on the review link below is a testament to that. I remember when that album arrived I was in a pretty stressful situation, so maybe I have not given it enough time. Pity it will most likely remain that way as the latest from Nightfall, Lyssa ‘Rural Gods and Astonishing Punishments’, will most certainly usurp whatever playing time I Am Jesus may have garnered.

By my own admission I am not that familiar with Nightfall prior discography, having missed scandalous Lesbian Show and band defining Athenian Echoes and Diva Futura. The band is still on Greek flagship record label Black Lotus and Efthimis Karadimas is still a frontman/vocalist/ideologue behind the band’s existence. Without Efthimis there would be no Nightfall, that much I know. I can’t comment on other band members, whether they played on I Am Jesus or not, but Nightfall is certainly a professional, dedicated unit still trying to break through after all 13 years of trying.

Bound together by a unique concept, Lyssa ‘Rural Gods and Astonishing Punishments’ presents 11 tracks of extreme melodic metal, the kind of music Nightfall also played on I Am Jesus. However, if some of the I Am Jesus moments were cheesy and Cradle of Filthian (minus the annoying vocals, of course), Lyssa is light years more convincing, haunting and enjoyable at the same time. Like a smooth well-oiled machine Nightfall cranks out choppy precise aggressive rhythm guitar riffs and compliments them with dark evocative melodies. The first four cuts fly by non-stop with a few squealing leads (Dark Red Sky, Swollen) and sitar-like synthesizer (Christless) thrown in. The Nightfall express slows down only to churn some even more profound anthemic melodies supported by double bass on The Perfect Li(f)e. The End Times definitely has the Eastern feel, while Victimized borders on death rock with its catchy driving melody. With only a couple of drag songs (One of These Days, So(u)l Invictus) and somewhat schizophrenic slow down-turned-immediate-blastbeat Essence, the album is quite strong throughout. For my not so sophisticated taste, the best song is Synastry with its towering main riff building up throughout the song, melody grabbing the listener by the balls, nicely layered keyboards, windmill drumming and Efthimis’ voice climbing the heights.

While definitely of the extreme variety Efthimis Karadimas’ voice is quite hard to classify. More of the death metal ilk he really doesn’t growl, or at least his roar is muffled. On Lyssa he filled the background vocals himself creating the impression of a swarm of dark bloody cloned priests screaming for unholy sacrifices. Such choruses coupled with the album’s dark melodies establish the atmosphere of total pandemonium. Of another note is drumming by George Kollias. The man is simply a machine with his solo in Master of My Dreams and helicopter in Synastry. While his hands continually provide fast snare hits the feet don’t slow down a bit for a pounding double bass. Believe it or not, Nile has picked George for their next drummer. Let’s see if the man can deliver the same power when the speed picks up threefold.

Nightfall occupies an interesting niche in metal music. It could hurt it, but there is also a definite crowd this music appeals to. Certainly not pure black or death metal, Nightfall is above fruity goth metal as well. The fans of the former will look down upon Lyssa, while the fans of the latter would be too scared to pick this up. However, there is a full category now stuck in this in-between land. The fans of another Greek band Rotting Christ, Agathodaimon, Moonspell and even early Samael would be advised to give Lyssa a listen.

Killing Songs :
Dark Red Sky, Christless, The Perfect Li(f)e, Synastry
Alex quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Nightfall that we have reviewed:
Nightfall - I Am Jesus reviewed by Jack and quoted 85 / 100
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