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Nightmare: Dead Sun
Nightmare Dead Sun CD Album Review

Nightmare: Dead Sun

Heavy/Power/Thrash Metal
4.0/5.0

Most metalheads familiar with the international metal scene are also familiar with France's Nightmare. Excepting an hiatus between 1988 and 1999 Nightmare has been banging heads, shredding brain matter, and taking names since 1984's Waiting For Twilight. Now the present has brought some changes. The band has parted ways with vocalist Jo Amore and his brother drummer David Amore, with the band since its revival in 1999. What to do? Maybe not something all that novel, but what some bands have been doing lately. Nightmare took on a female vocalist in Maggy Luyten (Beautiful Sin, Beyond The Bridge, ex-Ayreon) and a new drummer with Olivier Casula (Sandragon, ex-Thalidomide, The Seven Gates). The result is their latest and tenth studio album, Dead Sun.

Nightmare Band Photo

Nightmare

Let's start with that vocal choice first. As you know if you're a constant reader of my reviews, for me, the vocals are often the make or break element of a band and album. Here's the thing. When I listen to a new album for the very first time, I rarely read the press or PR material. I don't want to be swayed by some foreknowledge. So I listen to Dead Sun and then later discover they have a female vocalist. Huh! What? It's not your ears, fellas. Ms Luyten sounds like a man. Do think that's what the band was going for? Her voice can be a little raw, even gruff to nearing dirty vocals, yet she also sings clean and melodic, almost sounding "female" with the song Indifference a good example. Now, having that knowledge, with a second and third spin my mind listens for the female timbre and connects with it. But enough of this matter.

As for Nightmare's metal, expect more of the same: power metal informed by traditional heavy metal roots, yet made heavier and brash by a strong dose of thrash metal. There's lots of twin guitar harmony through ambitious and sharp riffage. Power and fiery lead solos flow after these things. The rhythm section is bold and driving throughout. Put these things together and Dead Sun has dense and intense feeling to it. Yet, all the arrangements are wrapped in melody, and harmony, sometimes via the guitar lines, sometimes through the vocal harmonies, sometimes both. Songs like Dead Sun and Seeds Of Agony all these things together. Alternatively, songs such as Tangled In The Roots and Serpentine turn more on Nightmare's hybrid blend of power and thrash metal, sounding fierce and frenzied in delivery.

All in all, even with a new, kind-of-manish, female lead vocalist, Dead Sun finds France's Nightmare on the same thrash power metal path we've come to know. If you're a fan of the band, you will likely not be disappointed.

Nightmare - Serpentine


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The Bottom Line

All in all, even with a new, kind-of-manish, female lead vocalist, Dead Sun finds France's Nightmare on the same thrash power metal path we've come to know. If you're a fan of the band, you will likely not be disappointed.

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