Nightrage
Wearing A Martyr's Crown

Anyone who wrote off Nightrage after their last album, A New Disease is Born, would do good to give them another shot. Wearing a Martyr’s Crown sees them once again in top form on par with Descent Into Chaos or even Sweet Vengeance.

For starters, the Tomas Lindberg replacement vocalist Jimmie Strimmel is gone, and so are his album killing clean croons. Antony Hämäläinen has now taken the spot, and his delivery is much more similar to Lindberg, though a bit more intelligible. He does use some clean vocals on occasion, but it’s pretty limited and doesn’t sound like he’s about to cry a river. Secondly, the modern American metalcore influence that had creeped into their sound on A New Disease is Born is also now gone, and instead we get more mid/late 90’s Gothenburg sound, which is a good thing. Band founder and leader Marios Iliopoulos is a riff monster – powerful and punchy riffs are littered all over this thing in addition to some great lead work.

Hooks abound throughout the entire album, each song delivering a couple of their own, be it a riff, chorus, lead or solo, but never forget to bring the “death” part of melodic death metal. Catchy but not weak. Songs like “Shed the Blood”, “Collision of Fate”, the title track, “Among Wolves” and “Failure of All Human Emotions” rip and hit just as hard as anything on the first two albums. After “Among Wolves” though, the scale the speed and intensity back a shade or two, instead opting for a steady mid pace where the melody carries the songs more than the riffs (“Abandon”, the near but not quite ballad “Futile Tears”, “Wounded Angels” and “Mocking Modesty”). They also mix some acoustic parts into some of those early rippers too (the closing moments of “Collison of Fate”, about midway through both “A Grim Struggle” and “Wearing a Martyr’s Crown”), and close it out with the moody instrumental “Sting of Remorse”.

There’s nothing about this album that is really original – not even in the slightest – it borrows heavily from the likes of At the Gates and In flames. What it is though is very well executed. There may be heaps upon heaps of bands playing melodic death metal out there these days, but I’m not really hearing many that are playing the style closer to how it was when it started, so in that regard, Wearing a Martyr’s Crown is somewhat a breath of fresh air, especially for fans of the genre that miss the old stuff.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
July 26th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: Jodi

    Ok, gotta check this one out…I was thoroughly disappointed with their last one:

    http://www.livingformetal.com/reviews/review.aspx?reviewid=402


  2. Commented by: ceno

    My interest is aroused. Thank you for the review, Larry.


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