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Nightmare: Aeternam

France’s Nightmare have their roots going back to 1979, and released a couple of NWOBHM-influenced albums in the early eighties before splitting up. They re-emerged at the turn of the century playing music more in the euro power metal vein, and have maintained a steady string of albums since then, in addition to toughening up their sound somewhat. Along the way there have been many line-up changes, with bassist Yves Campion the sole original member. Guitarist Frank Milleliri joined in 2004 and presumably bears some responsibility for the toughening up of the band’s sound since then. There have also been changes on the vocal front for the second successive album, with Madie replacing Magali Luyten, who herself had marked a shift from longstanding vocalist Jo Amore and a move to being a female-fronted band.

Aeternam, Nightmare’s 11th studio album, bursts out of the gate in some style with “Temple of Acheron”, with its staccato riffing somewhat in the style of Arch Enemy, with more melody unfolding in the anthemic chorus. The differing sections work well although perhaps the transitions aren’t as smooth as they could be. Madie proves herself a strong vocalist with a powerful mid-range who can carry the song without any histrionics.

“Divine Nemesis” follows in a similar style, with the riffs this time more reminiscent of Iced Earth, and good use of massed backing vocals on the chorus, whilst keyboards are more prominent in the mid-sections. The band prove they are not one-trick ponies in the more reflective middle portion of the album, with “Crystal Lake” being a slower, more considered piece allowing Madie to stretch out a little, whilst “Lights On” has more of a modern, commercial feel, a mid-paced number with the heaviness dialled down a notch.

Ultimately, whilst the rest of the material passes by pleasantly enough, aided by a decent production which keeps things relatively clean but heavy, my mind did wander a little and the band probably need a few more hooks to keep the listeners attention and to get themselves to the next level. Still though this is an enjoyable album and if the heavier side of power metal is your bag it’s definitely one worth checking out.

1.Temple of Acheron
2.Divine Nemesis
3.The Passenger
4.Downfall of a Tyrant
5.Crystal Lake
6.Lights On
8.Under the Ice
9.Black September

Added: November 29th 2020
Reviewer: Tom De Val
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 513
Language: english

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