NIGHTRAGE – Wearing A Martyr’s Crown

NIGHTRAGE - Wearing A Martyr's Crown
  • 8.5/10
    NIGHTRAGE - Wearing A Martyr's Crown - 8.5/10


Lifeforce Records
Release date: June 25, 2009

User Review
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Wearing A Martyr’s Crown is here for all of you who lack the early sensations of the Gothenburg Melodic Death Metal music. Nightrage is one of those modern shiny beacons, which lights up the doorways of the past. The Gothenburg style with its insane melodies of Power / Heavy Metal have ruled Scandinavia since the early 1990s until the first years after 2000 when it took a rather different turn and it went under a process of “Metalcoration”. Many bands went out flowing through this direction, among them, some of the greatest Melodic Death Metal acts of the 1990s like In Flames and Soilwork. Nightrage, which was born in 2000, was meant to keep that Melodic style in its old form and to keep on using it in order to create additional enchanting melodies of pure perfection. Through their entire career, Nightrage, originally a Greek band, maintained its form without looking too much to the left or right. With all of their lineup changes and twists, they were still able to release great music that sent the message out to many other bands that were gone to core.

One of the greatest delights of a Swedish style Death Metal album is its melodies and the unrelenting solo sparks of crude Heavy Metal. Behind the fast rhythms and smashing intensity of the riffs, comes a pack full of melodic goodies. They can be offered as they are known “In Flames style” with tiny lead treats or mini-solos or being emblazoned by miraculous harmonized guitars full of passion and emotions.

One can imagine that the melodies speak for themselves behind the clear yet savage mid to high growls of the vocalist. Actually, on this album, at least on some of the songs, the melodic rhythms and the amazing acoustic sections take on the role as saviors. Without these delicacies, various songs would have been a dull moment and a terrible waste of time and effort both by the listener and the band. Nevertheless, you will bear notice that the vocalist, Antony Hämäläinen, who performed well throughout the album, was trying to be as melodic as he could, yet in the entire Death Metal sub-genre, vocalists had a hard time on issuing melodic patterns to their voice. That is why these melodies are so important. Songs like “Wearing A Martyr’s Crown”, “Futile Tears” (one of the most melodic tracks to be heard in a long time in Swedish Death Metal), “A Grim Struggle” and “Mocking Modesty” are examples of how these catchy melodic verses helps the songs’ structure and their atmosphere. Even if every song from Wearing A Martyr’s Crown is not a mega-hit, you can still trust that these great melodies will be there for you to enjoy.

One more important matter on this release and in all of Nightrage’s releases is the production. Under the hands of Dream Evil’s guitarist, Fredrik Nordstrom, everything turns to gold. Bands like his own Dream Evil, Hammerfall, Firewind and In Flames are only a fraction of his clients as he is one of the greatest sound producers in the business. Nightrage’s sound, which is very similar to In Flames’ Reroute To Remain era and the entire career of Firewind and Dream Evil, is the wet dream of almost any band – it’s hard, crunchy, chunky and bombastic and through it you can really feel the Metal and the power it holds. The one thing that is lacking on the album, in terms of mastering actually, is the drum set, especially the snare sound. The set’s volume is too low for this type of release. The guitars, vocals and bass gradually choke it to death in more than several songs.

Highlights: “Futile Tears”, “Wearing A Martyr’s Crown”, “A Grim Struggle”, “Sting Of Remorse” (a well done instrumental to finish up the album), “Abandon” and “Among Wolves” (a track very similar to In Flames’s efforts in the beginning of 2000).


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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