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Nightrage - "A New Disease Is Born" (CD)

Nightrage - "A New Disease Is Born" CD cover image

"A New Disease Is Born" track listing:

1. Spiral
2. Reconcile
3. Death-Like Silence
4. Condemned Club
5. Scars of the Past
6. De-Fame
7. Scathing
8. Surge of Pity
9. Encircle
10. Drone
11. Spiritual Impulse
12. New Disease Is Born [Instrumental]

Reviewed by on November 17, 2007

"a well-rounded, well-executed, and enjoyable journey of melodic death metal"

Earlier this year, Swedish/Greek melodic death metal band Nightrage released their third album, and first under Lifeforce records after parting with Century Media. "A New Disease Is Born" begins with a roar and Gothenburg-style riff that lets listeners know that they are not fucking around. The opening track, "Spiral," continues with some thrashy riffing and a fast pace, save for the melodic chorus, which alternates growled and clean vocals, the latter of which are excellent I might add. The band moves effortlessly and smoothly from aggressive metal to melodic chorus, and even an acoustic refrain with clean vocals, throughout this song and the entire album.

To some extent, Nightrage sound like many other melodic death metal bands I've heard. On the other hand, their actual sound is slightly different and makes me question the label at times. Their guitars often play thrash riffs or very melodic tunes, rather than anything vaguely resembling death metal. The most extreme parts of Nightrage's music are the drumming and vocal delivery, which could both possibly be considered death metal during the faster, heavier parts.

The drummer does a good job of not overpowering the melodic aspect of the band, and compliments some killer grooves with well timed double-bass and drum rolls. Vocalist Jimmie Strimmel does a good caustic growl and superb clean vocal delivery, allowing the band to be extremely aggressive and truly melodic at will. That's not to understate the musicianship of Nightrage's guitarists, who deliver any combination of fast, heavy and/or melodic riffing that gives Nightrage the bulk of their musical identity.

Throughout the album, Nightrage has integrated the melodic aspect of the music so well that rarely does a melodic chorus or break feel like an intrusion on the song. In a number of songs, such as "Death-like Silence," "Scathing," "Encircle," and "Spiritual Impulse," the band breaks out the melodic riffing during the chorus, while Strimmel keeps "singing" in his harsh growl. Some songs, such as "Spiral," feature heavier, more aggressive music with a melodic chorus, while others such as "Scars of the Past" contain melodic elements throughout the main riffs, at times reminding me of Children of Bodom's sound. Still, in "Reconcile" and "Scars of the Past" they mix a clean guitar with the distorted metal guitars for a more melodic feel.

The entire album is so solid, that it's hard to pick out standout tracks easily. Surely the opener is one of them. Being the heavier and more aggressive tracks, "Death-like Silence," "Scathing" and "Encircle" have eventually become personal favorites, as well as the more melodic "Surge of Pity." "A New Disease is Born" seems to pick up in the latter half, creating a good run of slightly heavier songs toward the end before wrapping up with the nicely crafted instrumental/acoustic title track that highlights the guitarists' musicianship.

Overall, "A New Disease is Born" is simply a well-rounded, well-executed, and enjoyable journey of melodic death metal.

Highs: Excellent variety from aggressive to melodic.

Lows: Failure of some of the songs to stand out more somehow

Bottom line: A good melodic death metal album with top-notch vocals spanning growls and clean delivery

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)