Nightrage - Sweet Vengeance
Century Media
Next Wave of Gothenburg Melodic Death Metal
11 songs (41:39)
Release year: 2003
Nightrage, Century Media
Reviewed by Jay
Album of the month

It sounds like every metalheads wet dream. Gus G. (Dream Evil, Mystic Prophecy), Marios Iliopoulos (ex-Exhumation), Tomas Lindberg (ex-At the Gates, The Crown) Tom Englund (Evergrey), Per M. Jensen (The Haunted) and bassist Brice Leclercq joined forces to produce the best melodic death metal album since Slaughter of the Soul. That’s right. This album is incredible. They have constructed a masterpiece that will enter the Gothenburg sound cannons for the rest of time. The only thing that is surprising is that it took two years for this to be released.

The album kicks off with “The Tremor.” The album wastes no time in kicking ass. This is an opening song. It is fast, loud, aggressive and has Lindberg screaming and growling like a maniac. It gets your blood pumping, pulse racing and your ears excited. Per Jensen absolutely smokes on drums. The duo of Greek guitarists kills us with their punishing riffs. I swore I was hearing unreleased At the Gates songs when I first listened to it. It was one of the first times in the last few months where I’ve just sat and listened to an album and all I could think was “WOW!” This album blew me away from start to finish. The second track “The Glow of the Setting Sun” has a slow guitar intro but quickly becomes a grinding melodic feast for your ears. Did I mention how much Per Jensen smokes on drums? The melodies are perfect on this album. Gus and Marios spent plenty of time plotting each note they wanted to play and boy did it pay off. Their solos are incredible. This track has one of the more memorable ones.

At the Ends of the Earth” is one of my favorite songs. It features shared vocals between Lindberg and Englund. From the disharmonic intro to the pounding verses, it has it all. Englund’s vocals are well placed in the chorus to compliment and augment the hard verses growled by Lindberg. This album does have influences from harder music like black metal and brutalcore. However, the melodies that are crafted are incredible. The occasional keyboard flourish accentuates the music, as in this song’s chorus. While this sounds similar to the classic style of Gothenburg, it deviates just enough to sound completely fresh and original. Shades of At the Gates, In Flames, Dark Tranquility, Soilwork, Arch Enemy, Dimmu Borgir, and Dream Evil can be heard in the music but it never sounds derivative or unoriginal. “Gloomy Daydreams” is an example. While the soloing sounds similar to that of Jesper Strömblad at times, the music is evocative of something different. “Hero” has the same effect. You can hear snippets of other bands. It’s like the Japanese dish Okonomiyaki. Literally translated it means something along the lines of “Everything you like to eat.” In reality is a casserole pancake of tasty foods. This is Nightrage. All the tasty morsels from other bands rolled into one.

One of the more profound songs is “Circle of Pain” which features Englund on vocals almost exclusively. He sings the intro and verses over the slow melodic guitar. His voice truly is incredible because it has such sharpness in its timbre. He has incredible control as well. The grinding choruses with Lindberg are a sharp contrast that I quite enjoyed. I can’t remember if I told you how much Per Jensen rules on drums. The soloing is majestic once again thanks to our Greek guitar wizards. “Elusive Emotion” is another down tempo song with a catchy chorus. The keyboard licks add another dimension to the depth of the music. The samples are welcome too. For all those who claim that melodeath can’t have samples and keyboards, prepare to be proved wrong.

This is history in the making, folks. People are going to take notice of this. It will be studied, analyzed and copied. You have to check this one out. If you’re a melodeath freak or if you’ve never heard it before. This will open your eyes but more importantly open your ears. The guys have something magical here and you would be remiss to miss this one. A definite buy for any Gothenburg fan.

Killing Songs :
All of them but The Tremor, At the Ends of the Earth and The Glow of the Setting Sun are the real standouts.
Jay quoted 97 / 100
Other albums by Nightrage that we have reviewed:
Nightrage - Demo 2000 reviewed by Ben and quoted no quote
Nightrage - Wolf To Man reviewed by Ben and quoted 89 / 100
Nightrage - Insidious reviewed by Khelek and quoted 88 / 100
Nightrage - Wearing A Martyr's Crown reviewed by Khelek and quoted 87 / 100
Nightrage - A New Disease Is Born reviewed by Ben and quoted 84 / 100
To see all 7 reviews click here
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