Nightrage
A New Disease is Born

So this spring sees two fairly important melodic death records released from two once ‘rising’; bands; Omnium Gatherum on a new label, with a new vocalist looking to rebound from the lackluster Years In Waste after a genre defining debut, Spirits and August Light, and super group of sorts Nightrage.

Arguably Nightrage lost their ‘supergroup’ status (cemented with a non Niklas Sundin cover) following the departure of legendary frontman Tomas Lindberg, Guitarist Gus G as well as a switch from Century Media to Lifeforce, so now the band is at a considerable turning point with album number three. Even more so considering Dark Tranquility’s return to the fray, arguably to claim the throne Nightrage kept warm for two albums. How did they respond? Adequately, but its no Sweet Vengeance or even Descent Into Chaos.

With Cipher System’s Jimmie Strimmel filing Lindberg’s shoes with a similar rasp, but now injecting some clean choruses to the mix, A New Disease Is Born, while retaining the same high quality melodic death metal sounds, comes across as a bit friendlier. Dare I say that Strimmel’s clean vocal add a bit of Killswitch Engage/Caliban-i-ness to the proceedings? That’s not to say the dreaded “M” word should be thrown around for this album, but it’s undeniably present.

The tracks cover the expected territory of Gothenburg based melodic death metal; bouncy dual guitars delivering polished, mostly up tempo, thrashy riffs (notably high octane opener “Spiral”, “Scathing” and “Drone”), a few slower tracks, and lots of solos. There’s some really good, tight stuff here as on “Scars of The Past”, “De-Fame” and “Encircle” which deliver classic Gothenburg noodling and twiddling, but those clean vocals (“Reconcile”, “A Condemned Club”), though not that prevalent, just kept throwing me into more commercial, ‘American’ realms.

Ultimately, the aptly titled A New Disease Is Born is a solid if underwhelming album, but considering the quality of the first two albums, that’s some pretty lofty expectations, expectations fans of the first two albums may feel are far from met. But I get the gut feeling the band is happy with how this first post-Lindberg/Gus G album came out. And deservedly so.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
April 24th, 2007

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