Nightmare
Genetic Disorder

You may or may not remember French band Nightmare from their moderate success in the 1980s. I don’t, but then I grew up in a rural area where there wasn’t much exposure to the European metal bands of the time except for those named Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. (And even they were hard to find at times.) It hardly matters though, as this band, though born from the ashes of that band, bears little resemblance. Bassist Yves Campion is the only remaining original member and vocalist Jo Amore (originally the band’s drummer) has been with them since the 1980s, but most of the other members have come onboard since 1999.

The result of mixing a couple of 1980s traditional metal band members with some younger musicians yields a set of solid trad songs with a few newer European power metal overtones. It’s not something that will make your jaw drop, but it’s also a sound that’s hard to dislike for people who grew up in the era of Priest and Maiden.

Genetic Disorder is aided by great production values. There are plenty of balls in the music and Amore is a solid vocalist. No girly vocals to be found here. There are even some nice snarly rasps on “Conspiracy.” Guitarists Franck Milleliri and Alex Hilbert provide some solid riffs throughout the course of the record, which score a big point in its favor.

The songs range from full-on power metal like “The Winds of Sin” to more restrained traditional fare like album opener “Nothing Left Behind” to some proggy work like the slower bits of “The Dominion Gate (Part II).” They’re better when they slow things down and play to the traditional side though. The histrionics that open “Forsaken Child” will likely remind listeners of Dragonforce — and that’s not a good thing. Much better is the big, thrash-influenced riff that opens “Wicked White Demon.”

To some extent, Genetic Disorder suffers from the same basic problem that a lot of traditional and power metal efforts have. While it’s enjoyable when it’s playing, you’ve kind of heard it all before and it’s not likely to stick out among the crowd. It would have been a lot more exciting in the mid-1980s than it is in 2008. Still, while it’s spinning it will certainly have heads banging, and it’s definitely worth a listen for fans of old school metal

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Fred Phillips
February 23rd, 2008

Comments

  1. Commented by: Kobold

    I think this is a great album, thanks for rev!


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