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Nightrage: Insidious

If the previous Nightrage albums didn't put them on the map for every melodic death metal fan out there, Insidious will hopefully do exactly that. The band's fifth full-length and third for Lifeforce Records is a winner in nearly every sense of the term, and easily one of the year's most recommendable melodeath albums. Nightrage's strong sense of melody and powerful songwriting, matched with their crushingly heavy riffs and tremendous talent as musicians, makes Insidious an absolutely irresistible effort that's among the best in melodic death metal. The band never relies too heavily on keyboards or other gimmicks, but instead just plays straight melodic death metal as it was originally intended... and they do it pretty damn well! Insidious is highly recommendable to established Nightrage fans and newcomers alike - it's really hard to go wrong with an album this good!

The music on Insidious is melodic death metal with a large influence from the dual-lead guitar work of NWoBHM bands like Iron Maiden. In that sense, Nightrage is very much like Arch Enemy, but I'd say that Insidious is slightly more melodic than these Swedish veterans. Not in the "flashy keyboards and tons of clean singing" sense of the word "melodic", but instead featuring melodic riffs paired with tasteful guitar solos and a not-too-heavy vibe. A few clean vocal passages also give the album some nice variation. The guest vocals courtesy of Tom Englund (Evergrey), Tomas Lindberg (At the Gates), Apollo Papathanasio (Firewind), and John K. (Biomechanical) add plenty of color to the vocal palette, and the clean singing is especially noteworthy. It compliments a few melodic sections perfectly and keeps any of the material from ever becoming stale. If you don't like clean vocals in your death metal, I wouldn't fear too much - they are sparingly used, and it's only for an occasional effect. If I were forced at gunpoint to pick a few highlights from the album, the heavy "Delirium of the Fallen", the melodic "Wrapped In Deceitful Dreams", and the progressive "Solar Corona" would probably be my favorites. The whole album is really excellent, though, and deserves to be heard in full.

The musicianship is spectacular across the board, with the tremendous axework from Marios Iliopoulos and Olof Mörck especially standing out. These guys are just such fantastic guitarists and make all of Insidious an absolute blast to experience. The production (courtesy of the legendary Fredrik Nordström) is, as expected, terrific and suits the music perfectly. It's clean, crisp, and powerful, just as it should be.

Insidious was an anticipated album of mine, and I can confidently say that most (if not all) of my expectations were exceeded. This truly is a remarkable effort that grabs you at first listen and refuses to ever let go. Nightrage have really struck gold this time around, and have created one of the year's best melodic death metal albums for sure! 4 stars are very well deserved here. If you have even a passing interest in melodic death metal, you owe it to yourself to check out this gem. Highly recommended!

Track Listing:
1. So far Away (Intro)
2. Delirium of the Fallen
3. Insidious
4. Wrapped in Deceitful Dreams
5. Hate Turns Black
6. Sham Piety
7. Cloaked in Wolf Skin
8. This World is Coming to an End
9. Utmost Ends of Pain
10. Poignant Memories
11. Hush of Night
12. Poisoned Pawn
13. Solar Eclipse (Prelude)
14. Solar Corona
15. Emblem of light (Outro)

Added: August 3rd 2011
Reviewer: Jeff B
Related Link: Nightrage Website
Hits: 3750
Language: english

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