“We have finally found our signature sound”, explained Marios Iliopoulos when I last talked to him about the new Nightrage album The Puritan. That new sound apparantly derives from the change of studio to Dug Out Productions Studios in Uppsal and the production of Daniel Bergstrand (Meshuggah, Inﬂames, Dimmu Borgir, Devin Townsend, Evergrey, Soilwork) and George Nerantzis. And let’s also have a listen at the input of new vocalist Ronnie Nymann.
On the album-opening title track, the vocalist already leaves a clear mark with his hardcore-like vocals. The track also lacks a guitar solo part which the band makes up for at the start of ‘With The Blade Of A Knife’. During ‘Different Vows’, a strange atmosphere is noticeable. During the chorus we hear screamed/clean vocal harmonies and during the guitar solo and outro part, there’s acoustic guitar rhythms.
So, the hardcore influences are clearly audible. Another influence that is clearly present, is Arch Enemy. Songs like ‘Foul Vile Life’ or particularly ‘Stare Into Infinity’ come almost dangerously close to some of their work. Ronnie’s screaming vocals often even seem remarkably similar to Alissa White-Gluz’s screams as well.
With the acoustic instumental intermezzo ‘Lone Lake’, the listener gets a break from the heavy riffing. And isn’t that just something you could always see Arch Enemy’s Michael Amott delivering as well? ‘Son Of Sorrow’ gets the train back going on top speed immediately, and there’s Alissa back. Being a collaboration with former Nightrage (and Arch Enemy) guitarist Gus G, ‘When Gold Turns To Rust’ was a song I was particularly curious about. I must admit, I was kind of disappointed. The verses and chorus sound somewhat monotonous. There’s definitely some better material on the album.
With ‘Fathomless’ and ‘Kiss Of A Sycophant’, there’s still some heavy tracks to fill the end of the record. The latter one was chosen to be the first single as well. The matching video clip van be found directly below.
Being a big fan of Arch Enemy, this new Nightrage album is something I can really dig. Marios delivers an album that is somewhat derivative, but loses some of the classical influences and lets Nymann add some more modern and hardcore touches. Somehow they do lack the originality to make this one a truly quintessential piece of melodeath.