Night Viper - Night Viper
Svart Records
NWOBHM / Heavy Metal
9 songs (38'40")
Release year: 0
Svart Records
Reviewed by Alex

When you not only make your debut self-titled, but name the opening track after your moniker as well, it is pretty obvious you are moving all chips in one direction. This song would obviously serve as your business card for a long time.

Swedish Night Viper do exactly that and declare that their style would be quality, not too soft NWOBHM with an obvious edge. Night Viper intend to keep things not very complicated as well. Most of the songs burst with energy, delivering crunchy galloping riffs (Face in the Mirror, Run for Cover, The Hammer). Even when the opening riff of The Wolverine sounds like a Judas Priest tribute, the energy on Night Viper's faster cuts flows overboard. Yet, being direct does not mean to dumb things down for the band. Sometimes Night Viper prefers to be a little darker, a little more mysterious, and to have the bass stir it up on the bottom, to fool around with rhythm shifts as in Dagger in Hand. And then there is undeniable amount of off-the-fret crazy soloing going on the album (The Hammer, Warrior Woman).

At the same time, Night Viper are not afraid to showcase their psychedelic and epic side. Curse of the Thousand Deaths and Warrior Woman are significantly longer in length and unveil long build ups. Curse of the Thousand Deaths takes especially long, navigating through jangly psychedelia, which could be boring for some, but eventually ravens circling overhead are spooked off by the mad dash around 4'30" and the song spits out some slithering venom. Warrior Woman goes through a couple of minutes of doomy riffs while getting ready to unveil a Conan soundtrack leading to some decent headbanging in the end.

Depicting you all of this without explaining who the narrator is for Night Viper is a moot point. If they simply had an average Joe Shmo for a vocalist, the story frankly would be bland. The mantle of standing out from the crowd in the Night Viper crew belongs to one fragile, diminutive Sofie-Lee Johansson. Looking at her photograph it is difficult to believe how she can carry on the role of the vixen or apply The Hammer. Screaming or not at the end of Warrior Woman, what I remembered most in the end was the boyish clean singing in the title track. No Doro in The Hammer, or Nina Osegueda from A Sound of Thunder on Curse of the Thousand Deaths, Sofie-Lee is more Yuko Hirose from Japanese Aion, but she still knows how to ride the wave of thrashed NWOBHM on The Hammer or remain comfortable within her range on Never be Enslaves. There is more wild side to Sofie-Lee on Run for Cover, and she gains confidence with every successful gallop, but most importantly Sofie-Lee Johansson and Night Viper complement each other.

Less melodic than other retro NWOBHM acts, Night Viper nevertheless occupies a valid spot in that realm.

Killing Songs :
Night Viper, Warrior Woman, Faces in the Mirror
Alex quoted 78 / 100
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