By Rosie Walker
The dexterous French heavy metal band Nightmare made its debut nearly 30 years ago. They hit the scene hard with their New Wave of British Heavy Metal influence and quickly became intrinsic to the European metal scene. Well-known for their diverse catalog and consistent heaviness; many wondered if their newest release ‘Dead Sun’ would hold up their respectable reputation.
In 2015, Nightmare faced a major line-up change creating some curiosity and concern for the band’s future. Their new album has settled the questions by proving they are in fact, stronger than they ever have been.
‘Dead Sun’ catches your ear immediately with the menacing track ‘Infected’. New singer Maggy Luten does not disappoint as she shows off her versatile vocals right off the bat. The tone is set by the aggressive guitars of Franck Milleliri and Matt Asselbergs who duel together creating a gnarly raw edge to their already sinister sound.
The band still carries the banner of New Wave British Heavy Metal in their sound while twisting it up with some thrash, death, and power metal influences. Tracks like ‘Red Marble Gold’ and ‘Indifference’ are the mosh pit openers of this album. Original member Yves Campion’s bass playing celebrates the strength of this record with his hard-hitting style. While drummer Olivier Casula enforces his ceaseless energy by guiding the sound with his concentrated intensity. Being subjected to such head-bang-worthy music; this 11-track, 55 minute album flies by.
Near the end of the album, the track ‘Serpentine’ stands out as Maggy’s vocals continue to crush and caress one’s ears while divulging lyrics about warfare. Hitting on topics like carnage and humanity as a whole, Nightmare demonstrates how even in hard fast music you can still tell a story. A band can go through a lot in 30 years. The fact that they are still making solid albums is exciting and impressive.
Nightmare’s ‘Dead Sun’ is a honest heavy metal album with catchy choruses, ferocious riffs, and emotionally charged breakdowns sprinkled with nostalgia. Here’s to another 30 years of Nightmare!
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Record Label: AFM
Release Date: January 20th 2017
02. Of Sleepless Mind
03. Tangled In The Roots
04. Red Marble & Gold
07. Dead Sun
08. Seeds Of Agony
09. Inner Sanctum
11. Starry Skies Gone Black