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Nightmare - "The Burden Of God" (CD)

Nightmare - "The Burden Of God" CD cover image

"The Burden Of God" track listing:

1. Gateways to the Void (2:26)
2. Sunrise in Hell (5:04)
3. The Burden of God (4:02)
4. Crimson Empire (5:04)
5. Children of the Nation (4:40)
6. The Preacher (5:43)
7. Shattered Hearts (5:45)
8. The Doomsday Prediction (4:20)
9. The Dominion Gate (Part III) (7:32)
10. Final Outcome (4:23)
11. Afterlife (bonus track) (3:50)

Reviewed by on June 26, 2012

"'The Burden of God' is an amazing display of power metal that incorporates some modern elements, while remaining absolutely true to the band’s sound."

French power metal band Nightmare has been kicking around the scene for an impressive thirty three years and still put out some of the highest quality power metal in the business. The group’s name is shared by thirteen other acts, which could lead to some confusion, however, this band deserves so much more attention than has been received in all this time. Virtually unknown in the U.S., Nightmare’s highest notoriety was gained as an opening act for Def Leppard in 1983. Since that time, the band has released eight albums, six since 2001, due to the ten year gap between the break up as a traditional metal band in 1987 and the subsequent reboot as a killer pure power metal act in 1997. Original drummer Jo Amore then turned in the sticks in favor a mic in order to unleash his powerful Dio-eque vocal style, and the band was so much better for it. “The Burden of God” continues the band’s torrid path laid down by the stellar 2009 release “Insurrection.”

Since 2001, Nightmare has been releasing high quality albums religiously (no pun intended) every two years and remains France’s best power metal export along with Lonewolf. However, with the new album, the band took a little more time and the results clearly show. “The Burden of God” is an amazing display of power metal that incorporates some modern elements, while remaining absolutely true to the band’s sound. Nightmare’s recent trend of substituting choirs with even more guitar crunch up and down the track list reinforces the backbone of this winner of a pure power metal release. “Sunrise In Hell,” “The Preacher,” and the absolute shredders “Children of the Nation,” “Shattered Hearts," and “The Doomsday Prediction” are among the album’s brilliant stand outs. New guitarist Matt Asselberghs quickly makes his mark as axe dueler alongside band mainstay Franck Milleliri.

Guest vocalists Magali Luyten (Epysode/Beautiful Sin) and Stéphane Buriez (Loudblast) are a nice addition to the album. Luyten duets on “The Dominion Gate, Pt. III,” the next chapter of the saga started through the title track of 2005 release “The Dominion Gate” and continued with “The Dominion Gate, Pt. II” on the 2007 release “Genetic Disorder.” In stark contrast, Buriez’s death grunts are showcased in the middle of the prophetic “Doomsday Prediction.”

Nightmare continues its trend of going deeper into the trenches of power metal with “The Burden of God.” With a power punch backed by steel laden riffs and vocals that are a perfect compliment, the band backs up the fact that it is France’s best metal export. “The Burden of God” is worthy of consideration from any power metal fan. Trust me, the album will be stuck in your playlist for a long time to come.

Highs: “Children of the Nation,” “Shattered Hearts", and "Sunrise in Hell."

Lows: Larger choruses would add a bigger punch to an already solid album.

Bottom line: "The Burden of God" is a worthy power metal winner that is far from a "Nightmare."

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 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)