Nightfell
The Living Ever Mourn

Tim Call is one busy son of a bitch. In addition to owning and operating the quite excellent label/distro, Parasitic Records, he provides drums and sometimes also vocals for various bands including Aldebaran, The Howling Wind, Weregoat, Sempiternal Dusk, Terror Oath, Ealdath, and I’m willing to bet he’s T in Ardour Loom. Just this year alone has seen or will see new material from the latter four, his drumming skills lended to Mournful Congregation’s Concrescence of the Sophia EP, and this debut from one of his latest collaborations. With Todd Burdette of Tragedy and His Hero Is Gone as his partner in crime in Nightfell, you could be forgiven for assuming that The Living Ever Mourn is Call’s first foray into hardcore punk, but you’d be dead wrong.

The fruit of this seemingly unlikely pairing brings to mind a few different influential acts without sounding exactly like any one of them. The only obvious aping is the huge Celtic Frost-worshiping breakdown in the middle of “Altars to Wrath,” but it sounds so damn good, I couldn’t care less about the mimicry. The majority of the album intermingles elements of Amon Amarth, early Edge of Sanity, The Karelian Isthmus-era Amorphis, and The Peaceville Three to create doomy, burly melodic death metal that sounds classic, but not in a typical way. Much like Concrete Icon on their 2013 debut or Withered before they were blackened, Nightfell successfully skates along the borders between various subgenres of death and doom metal. Some tracks lean more toward the former, like the Amon Amarth meets Celtic Frost attack of the aforementioned “Altars to Wrath,” while others toward the latter, such as “Empty Prayers,” which sounds like what a collaboration between The Silent Enigma-era Anathema and Primordial could have produced, complete with tuneful clean vocals. But, what makes the album even more special is how all of the tracks have their own personalities through Burdette’s vast, memorable riffs and melodies, Call’s powerful, varied drumming, and expressive vocals that resemble an even mix of Johan Hegg’s commanding bark and Dan Swanö’s emotive growl.

Perhaps just as impressive as Call’s time management skills is Burdette’s ability to switch genres and play it like he’s been in it since the beginning. Everything here sounds so natural, it’s like these two have been playing this style together for ages, and know how to make it stick in your head. Don’t miss out on hearing some real songwriting this year, something that’s in short supply in this modern metal climate.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Adam Palm
October 8th, 2014

Comments

  1. Commented by: E. Thomas

    This is solid. I was really enjoying it when it came out, but its fallen off my radar a bit


  2. Commented by: Stiffy

    Definitely a solid release


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