Nightmare - Genetic Disorder
Regain Records
Power Metal
12 songs (56'58)
Release year: 2007
Regain Records
Reviewed by Crims

It has been well documented in other reviews of Nightmare on this website and others, that despite being around since 1979 they are still fairly unknown. Though they only released two full-lengths in the mid 80’s along with a few demos the band has been rather prolific since their 2001 comeback CD Cosmovision. Every two years since they have released something new with this, Genetic Disorder, being their latest. I have to admit I completely missed out on Nightmare’s last two releases but am the proud owner of Cosmovision. Despite having some filler here and there the best songs from that CD, mainly the title track and Necropolis have remained in a steady play list rotation since 2001 for me. Genetic Disorder is an enjoyable release but suffers the same fate of Cosmovision and from what I read other releases as well in that as good as some songs get others are, for lack of a better word, bland.

The style of Metal that Nightmare plays on here is mixed between German and Swedish Power Metal. I can hear similarities to Firewind, Kenziner, Brainstorm, mid-period Nocturnal Rites, and Mystic Prophecy. Essentially the riffs are rather heavy, but with a clean tone, and the overall scope of the music is nicely balanced between melody and aggressive guitars with the occasional emphasis on one of the two depending on the song. The band mostly focuses on typical song progression but will occasionally employ progressive tendencies with sudden changes of tempo and mood. Some people give Nightmare the moniker of Power/Prog but in truth only a handful of songs have any semblance of prog tendencies but it’s enough to make the CD more interesting than it would be otherwise. Nightmare also do a commendable job of including a good amount of song variation within this release. Most songs are up-tempo with double bass runs and galloping rhythms but mid-paced riff heavy songs exist (Queen Of Love And Pain) along with ultra-aggressive neck breakers (The Winds Of Sin). Meanwhile, the vocals of Joe Amore are excellent and help define the bands sound. He sounds like a mix between Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray) and Nils Patrik Johannson (Astral Doors, Wuthering Heights) as his voice is quite gruff with an appealing raspy tone. The rapsiness of his voice suits the more aggressive moments of the band very nicely as it ups the aggression level but much like Hansen, despite the sound, the vocal melodies are still ever-present and by and large the choruses that work, work extremely well. Lastly, the leads are all well done as the songs feature usually 2 solo breaks and the occasional theme lead played as an intro, used a build-up, or even played during a chorus (on the excellent Forsaken Child).

Though the individual parts of the band's sound are nothing new the variation and the simple things help the CD stand out. Perhaps it’s due to the bands experience but they do a lot of little things well. Simply put, the solo placement, the choices to use back gang vocals on certain choruses, the theme lead placement, etc are well thought-out and used to maximum effectiveness and help make many of the songs memorable. Another great example is at the middle riff chugging break down on Wicked White Demon. The guitars fade from the left to right speaker to create build up and then join in together while the drum rhythm slowly increases in tempo eventually going back into the chorus. Granted, this isn’t anything overly fancy or special but it’s a small thing a lot of bands don’t do and helps enchance an otherwise familiar sounding section of a song to something distinct and highly memorable. Also of note is the professional production job thanks to Fredrik Nordstrom, whose previous work should be familiar to just about anybody into European Power Metal.

I enjoyed a lot of songs on here but with a track listing of 12 songs there is some filler. I think the worst perpetrator is Leader Of The Masquerade which tries to be one of the mid-paced tracks. In fact, it is largely mid-paced but the chorus was bland and lacked the immediacy and well-thought melodies of a lot of the other tracks and while consistent double bass spurts are usually nice their sporadic nature didn’t mesh well with the riff rhythm. The Dominion Gate (Part II) is also a bit of a let down. Coming in at over 6 minutes it is of course the long epic song of the CD. The chorus on here is actually quite good as is most of the main riffs but the last portion of the song, which features a rather extended instance of soloing, is actually a bit of a let down. It’s weird but the rest of the solos on this CD are very good but it almost seems anti-climatic given the rather well-done chorus, not to mention the slight change up to the chorus after the extended break. Something with more build-up and less of a round-about nature might have been better suited. This may all be nit-picking to an extent but with so many bands in this style one almost has to be. Furthermore, Conspiracy has a main riff which is neither aggressive nor melodic and seems to be a bit odd despite sounding somewhat original. The harsh pseudo-Black Metal vocals on this track also don't work, despite working on later tracks (Dawn Of Darkness). The very good to outstanding definitely outweighs the so-so in a big way and for those of you with a high interest in any of the bands I’ve mentioned in this review you’ll likely find a lot to like but those of you looking for something groundbreaking this isn’t.

Killing Songs :
Battleground For Suicide, Queen Of Love and Pain, The Winds Of Sin, Forsaken Child, Wicked White Demon
Crims quoted 79 / 100
Other albums by Nightmare that we have reviewed:
Nightmare - The Aftermath reviewed by Joel and quoted 84 / 100
Nightmare - The Dominion Gate reviewed by Alex and quoted 68 / 100
Nightmare - Silent Room reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 49 / 100
Nightmare - Cosmovision reviewed by Chris and quoted 83 / 100
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