Nightrage - Descent Into Chaos
Century Media
Modern Melodic Death Metal
12 songs (42:52)
Release year: 2005
Nightrage, Century Media
Reviewed by Ben

It’s been two years since Nightrage unleashed their debut bombshell, Sweet Vengeance. This was an album of pure Melodic Metal in the Swedish Death vein that encapsulated many of the aspects that made the Gothenburg sound so popular. This time around however, I noticed that there aren’t near as many name drops as there was on the promotion blitz for Sweet Vengeance. Now that the core of Nightrage, Mario, Tom, and Gus, are in this for the long haul, the music has to stand on its own more than ever. I must say that my first impressions were a little more than mixed. Descent Into Chaos is nothing like Sweet Vengeance in any way. This is a much more modern sounding record, much more streamlined. I do not mean for this to sound as if this album is not aggressive at all, on the contrary it is way heavier than the debut, it is just that a lot of speed and melody have been sacrificed for this newfound down tuned setting. With the exception of a handful of tracks, this album is comprised of mid tempo crunching anthems rather than out and out speed thrash fests such as Hero or Macabre Apparition.

I can see this album receiving mainstream praise, that is if it could be played to the mainstream in the first place. Songs like Frozen and Silent Solitude could be potential singles or music videos. The former especially could strike a chord with newer metal listeners with its use of clean and harsh vocals. On Sweet Vengeance Tom Englund of Evergrey fame contributed clean vocals on a few songs, but on this album it’s Mikael Stanne from Dark Tranquillity that does the honors and only on this particular track. His tone is much different than Tom’s and his forlorn lines give Frozen a slick edge to the outcome of the song. While there are definitely no insanely fast numbers, the more upbeat ones are pretty successful in entertaining the listener. Omen (while it is certainly no Hero) does an admirable job in portraying how the new Nightrage sound is like when played at a faster tempo. A striking manner in which way this album is superior to the debut is on the solo department courtesy of Gus G. When I was listening to Release I had to stop and give my attention to the stereo which was emitting a very classic, traditional sounding solo. If one didn’t know any better they wouldn’t be able to tell that this was recorded this year and not in 1988 with a huge arena rock band. It is at this juncture that the band shows what modern and traditional metal can sound like if they are merged together just perfectly. Another example of this meld is the closing monster Reality vs. Truth. With this one the band wisely chose to end the album with an up tempo song that has a very hymn like chorus. The main driving crunch riff in the solo section soon gets wrapped up in faint melodic little licks before becoming completely overshadowed by yet another fist pumping solo. Again, congratulations must be given out to Gus G.

I can say that Nightrage has definitely progressed in the last two years. When you record a debut album it is usually filled with songs that you have been writing over months and sometimes even years. Also, the media exposure has not been near as high for Decent Into Chaos than it was with Sweet Vengeance. I’m personally glad that the band decided to change things up with this go around. They could have very easily done a carbon copy of the debut but that would have led to stagnation within weeks and rendered Nightrage nothing more than a blip on the metal radar sometime in the early part of the decade. I feel that Descent Into Chaos can be considered the real debut of Nightrage. Now I’m curious as to what the follow up to this one will be.

Killing Songs :
Frozen, Silent Solitude, Release, Being Nothing
Ben quoted 82 / 100
Jay quoted 75 / 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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