Nightrage - Insidious
Lifeforce Records
Melodic Death Metal
15 songs (53:05)
Release year: 2011
Nightrage, Lifeforce Records
Reviewed by Khelek

It has been at least 4 or 5 years now since I first heard this excellent melodeath band. Hailing from Sweden, Nightrage failed to grab me right away with their first couple albums, which did eventually grow on me. In 2007 A New Disease Is Born really caught my attention, and 2009's Wearing A Martyr's Crown reinforced my sense that this is truly one of the top melodeath acts in the world today. So here we are 2 years later, and like clockwork Nightrage have another album out. A couple years ago when I reviewed Wearing A Martyr's Crown, I at first had my doubts that this band, which had numerous lineup changes at vocalist and elsewhere after each album, could produce a really great album, but they delivered. This is the first time that the exact same lineup is still in place for the follow-up, and if anything they sound more like themselves than ever. They do have their share of guests on this album, including the band's original vocalist Tomas Lindberg of At The Gates fame (not to mention the plethora of other bands he has fronted throughout his impressive career). Needless to say my expectations for Insidious were quite high and fortunately these guys managed to produce yet another collection of heavy, memorable songs that keep the essence of what Nightrage, and melodeath, is: the anger and aggression of death metal combined with a great sense of melody and finesse.

The first guitar lead that starts Delirium Of The Fallen has an epic quality that sounds inspired by Iron Maiden. Anthony Hamalainen's vocals are strong, and so is the drumming of Johan Nunez. The interlude with the clean singing, instead of going over the top and being cliche, actually works with the song. The guitar solo afterword is fiery and quick, not the best they've ever done, but it sounds fantastic all the same. The title track starts off with a machine gun of blasting drums that unfortunately serve mostly to drown the guitars out, and continue to do so through the verse of the song. The vocals are absolutely wild though, and the title of the song does come through in the emotion these guys pour into it. Fortunately it is also helped by a tempo slowdown and some melodic guitar action in the chorus, but still keeping an aggressive edge thanks to the great Tomas Lindberg. If there's another melodeath vocalist out there who lashes out in a song with this much rage, I have yet to hear him/her (besides Johan Liiva of course). I can feel a lot of anger in Hate Turns Black as well (you'd hope so with that title), though it didn't really grab me at first. However after 5 or 6 listens I found it growing on me. Wrapped In Deceitful Dreams features probably the best clean singing on the album by none other than Evergrey's Tom Englund. Combined with energetic, catchy riffs and killer guitar soloing by Gus G, this song couldn't get much better. The mid-paced Sham Piety open with smooth, calm guitars, and while it does sound very similar to the band's past work, I think it has its own character that is created by the vocals and the energetic chorus. The guitar soloing, once again, is superb without becoming extremely flashy or cliche. Cloaked In Wolf Skin takes things to the next level with a barrage of fast drums and riffs. The chorus does slow things down a little, but not for too long. Unfortunately the trilogy of sorts that closes the album out doesn't do much for me; I simply don't feel that the atmosphere that they are trying to create there is very strong. Fortunately it's a weakness that I can overlook thanks to the rest of the album.

Needless to say I am very impressed once again with Nightrage. They continue to create music that is very precise and thoughtful, yet still remains aggressive and heavy. They hardly let up for an instant on this album, and every song has something likeable about it, whether it be a catchy melody or a technically complex guitar solo. Obviously this is a must-hear for those who are fans of bands like Mercenary, Scar Symmetry, early In Flames, etc. With 5 albums under their belt and no signs of slowing down, Nightrage remains at the very top of modern melodic death metal accomplishment.

Killing Songs :
The entire album is great, but personal favorites are Delirium Of The Fallen, Wrapped In Deceitful Dreams, Sham Piety, Poisoned Pawn
Khelek quoted 88 / 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 - 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
Nightrage - Descent Into Chaos reviewed by Ben and quoted 82 / 100
To see all 7 reviews click here
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