Nightmare – Aeternam

Aeternam Cover Art

Nightmare – Aeternam
AFM Records
Release Date: 02/10/2020
Running Time: 48:51
Review by Mark Pritchard
8/10

Recently, for at least the last 2 weeks, while the weather has been trying to decide whether it wants to rain or to snow (normal for the UK), and through some really tough days missing loved ones that are no longer with us, I’ve been taking the opportunity to listen to French Heavy/Power Metal band Nightmare, and their most recent album “Aeternam”! While outside the days may be gloomy, this has really made the sun shine for me. Let me take a moment of your time to tell you about them, and their brilliant new release.

Nightmare were originally founded all the way back in 1979, and have had an amazing journey so far, which has included being the opening band for Def Leppard back in 1993, playing a few of the biggest metal festivals such as Wacken and Hellfest, as well as supporting the likes of Sabaton, Saxon, Grave Digger, and Blind Guardian, which can definitely not be understated! Since being founded, Nightmare have released, no less than 10 studio albums, a live album, “Live Deliverance”, in 2000, and a compilation album in the shape of “Travel In The Spheres Of Time” in 2006. Now we arrive at their 11th studio album “Aeternam”!

From the very first listen, one thing that has struck me is the intensity of the album. Both the instrumentals, and the clear, but also intense vocals of new singer Marianne “Madie” Dien, make “Aeternam” an album that stands out from the crowd. To be able to keep adapting with the times and to still bring that same fierce, in your face music, with so many releases, really shows the band’s experience, and it hits the mark! At times, especially with some of the solos that appear on “Aeternam” I can’t help but join in on air guitar! Then there are times where I can sit back with my headphones on, just listening away, enjoying a nice cup of tea, just letting the music wash over me.

After listening to “Aeternam” as much as I have, picking one song that stands out more than the rest isn’t the easiest thing to do, as every track is brilliant for their own reasons. But if I had to pick it would be ‘Crystal Lake’. This amazing song, with its soothing/haunting instrumental with calm vocals to start, makes me take complete notice straight away. Then, as the track progresses it builds in intensity perfectly. It’s such a great track.

This album is definitely one that will feature on my playlist for some time to come, and I recommend everyone give it a listen, especially those of you that love proper Heavy/Power Metal. Nightmare really should be a lot bigger than they are!

‘Divine Nemesis’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Temple Of Acheron
02. Divine Nemesis
03. The Passenger
04. Downfall Of A Tyrant
05. Crystal Lake
06. Lights On
07. Aeternam
08. Under The Ice
09. Black September
10. Anneliese

LINE-UP:
Madie – Vocals.
Yves Campion – Bass & Vocals.
Franck Milleliri – Guitar.
Matt Asselberghs – Guitar & Vocals.
Niels Quiais – Drums.

LINKS:

Nightmare Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Mark Pritchard and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Nightmare – Dead Sun

Dead Sun Cover

Nightmare – Dead Sun
AFM Records
Release Date: 20/01/2017
Running Time: 53:26
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
9/10

As a reviewer I have to be open to all kinds of rock and metal music, but underneath my reviewer’s mask I am a normal person and just like any other normal person, I have my favourite genres. For any of you that know me, thrash is one such favourite genre but, and maybe not so obviously, so is power metal and when the band, Nightmare, came up on our roster for review, I knew I absolutely had to do it.

Having first heard them on the album “Cosmovision” I have since acquired the back catalogue and have not been disappointed with anything they have done.

That, however, does not mean that I went into this review with my eyes shut, blindly liking everything just because of what they have previously done. That is not what reviewing is about. And besides, there have been some huge line-up changes for this album that could have totally altered their whole sound from anything they have ever done.

But let’s start at the beginning… Formed in the French town of Grenoble in 1979, Nightmare  were pioneers in the French heavy metal scene and they released their debut album “Waiting for Twilight” in 1984, with their second, “Power of the Universe”, released in 1985.

And then they disappeared! For fourteen years!

They burst back onto the scene in 1999 with their album “Astral Deliverance” and followed up with a further 8 albums, along with a few line-up changes but in October 2015 they announced their biggest personnel change to date, the additions of powerhouse vocalist Maggie Luyten (Beautiful Sin, Beyond the Bridge, ex-Ayreon) and drummer Olivier Casla (Sandragon, ex-Thalidomide, The Seven Gates)

Arranged in France by producer Patrick Liotard, “Dead Sun” was produced and mixed at Sandlane Studios in the Netherlands by Joost van den Broek and recorded at Noise Factory Studio in Belgium with Gerald Jans behind the desk and is the band’s tenth release.

Having previously been heavily influenced by the NWOBHM sound, this could be classed as their heaviest release to date, leaning towards the heavier, more aggressive side of power metal and the addition of Luyten on vocals has only added to this transition.

Her voice is powerful and rocking, fitting this style of metal almost perfectly. She sings melodically, harmonising fantastically with the backing vocals, her sound strong and clean. But don’t let that fool you. This lady can deliver the grunts and growls along with the best of the female metal singers and I would place her up there with the likes of Veronica Freeman of Benedictum and Alissa White-Gluz from Arch Enemy.

When I first started listening to this album I posted a Facebook status saying “Whoever said women have no place as the singer of a heavy metal band, after hearing the performance of Maggy Luyten on the new Nightmare album, I beg to differ! Outstanding!” Those are words I still stand by. This lady is awesome, amazing and a true talent.

The album opens with an atmospheric instrumental intro to the infectious “Infected” before the riffs are unleashed and the song is launched into a tirade of guitars and drums. This is a great opener and sets the very high precedent for the rest of the album….and it does not let you down. Track after track provide you with an aural onslaught that will have you banging your head the whole way through.

I’ve previously stated in my reviews that two aspects of heavy metal that I absolutely adore are double kicking drums and galloping riffs…..and this album had both!! You know those sort of riffs that you can feel in your belly before they hit your ears, the drumming sounds that launch you into full blown air guitar mode.

This is a band that are capable and eager to move on and grow after big line-up changes, and what bigger line-up change can you have than transitioning from a male to female vocalist? This is something that has been accomplished in the past by bands such as Arch Enemy and The Gathering, and it has been done just as well this time round. The band have re-invented themselves with their own unique sound and identity and there is more power and variation than ever before.

So, albeit with a little bit thrash, a little bit of doom and a children’s choir thrown in, this is a full on metal album from start to finish, and is still very much a power metal album, just roughed up a little!

This is a must for any Nightmare fan, new or old, and I guarantee you will not be disappointed with it. So grab yourself a copy, turn the volume up to eleven and spend just under 55 minutes rocking out to one of the best albums around!

WE ARE INFECTED!!

TRACKLISTING:
1. Infected
2. Of Sleepless Mind
3. Tangled in the Roots
4. Red Marble & Gold
5. Ikarus
6. Indifference
7. Dead Sun
8. Seeds of Agony
9. Inner Sanctum
10. Serpentine
11. Starry Skies Gone Black

LINE-UP:

Maggy Luyten – Vocals
Franck Milleliri – Guitars
Matt Asselberghs – Guitars
Yves Campion – Bass, Vocals (backing)
Olivier “Piv” Casula – Drums

LINKS:

Promo Pic2

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.