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Nightrider: Rock Machine

Though they've been around as a band since 1979, New Hampshire heavy metal/hard rock act Nightrider are hardly a household name outside of their home area of Nashua. With plenty of local gigs around their hometown and the occasional music release, this little band have managed to keep things going for over 40 years, and in 2019 they dropped their third albums release, Rock Machine. Comprised of Brent Enman (drums, vocals), Steve Labrecque (vocals, guitars), Ken Merrifield (guitars, backing vocals), and Bert Plante (bass, backing vocals), Nightrider take their cue from both the NWOBHM and classic US hard rock, and the album features memorable anthems and headbanging tracks. "Knightmare" has an epic feel, sort of like a harder rocking Kansas, while "Vanishing Point", and "Hard Driving Metal Machine" will take you back to the early days of Diamond Head, Def Leppard, and Demon, all stalwarts of the birth of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. "Stranger in a Strange Land" is a great slice of hook laden heavy rock, complete with hints of vintage Riot, while the sizzling "Get Up or Get Out" packs the punch of that first Montrose album, except with Labrecque sounding like a young Tommy Shaw on the vocals. Other highlights here include the crankin' riff fest that is "Power of Passion", the hard rock fury of "Rockin' Down the Night" (fans of Def Leppard's On Through the Night and High n Dry period will LOVE this one!), the muscular "Hard Livin' ", the majestic Styx-ish "Let Me Move Into You" (great harmonies and tasty twin guitars) and the snarling heavy rock of "Open Road". The CD comes with a great bonus track called "You Can't See the Sun", a previously unreleased song from 1990, which again brings to mind Styx with its soaring vocal harmonies, keyboards, and hard rock guitars.

A dozen tracks in all on Rock Machine and not a dud to be found anywhere. This is a hell of a release and one that you will find yourself going back to often, wondering exactly how in the world Nightrider aren't major players on the rock/metal circuit. Well done guys, more please!!

Track Listing
1. Vanishing Point 04:16
2. Hard Driving Metal Machine 04:35
3. Knightmare 04:26
4. Stranger In A Strange Land 04:11
5. Get Up Or Get Out 04:12
6. Power Of Passion 05:39
7. Rockin' Down The Night 03:58
8. Not About You 04:40
9. Hard Livin' 03:54
10. Let Me Move Into You 04:18
11. Open Road 03:13
12. Take The Lead 04:31

Added: May 23rd 2020
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 854
Language: english

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