"Wearing a Martyr's Crown" (Lifeforce; 2009)

Reviewed by Spudbeast

Nightrage holds a special place in this reviewer's heart, as their debut album, "Sweet Vengeance," introduced me to the world of extreme metal. Their debut, in my opinion, stands with "Slaughter of the Soul," "Heartwork" and "Jester Race" as one of the great melodic death metal albums, especially of the past ten years.

Unfortunately, with such a crushing debut, Nightrage set the precedent quite high and, while their fourth album, "Wearing A Martyr's Crown," doesn't quite reach the levels that their debut did, it does make for a solid and enjoyable effort.

No longer backed by the legendary pipes of Tomas Lindberg and the amazing power riffs of Gus G, Nightrage adapts quite well. Mastermind Marios Iliopoulos knows not to fix what isn't broken and the formula has barely changed, with furiously passionate death metal and haunting acoustic interludes.

The CD opens with "Shed the Blood," a heavy drum-driven track that almost led me to believe that Nightrage had decided to make a deathcore album. Surprisingly, it is probably the weakest song on the album. The next song is pure Nightrage: "When Fates Collide" is filled with emotion and mid-tempo. Truly a great song, this should have been the opener. "A Grim Struggle" is riff-heavy with some cool melodies. The title track opens up with a bass and drum intro then picks up to a nice chorus and solo that makes this another standout track.

A folk-metal riff begins "Among Wolves" but generic verses make for a weaker track; still, the riffs of the bridge are awesome. Next up (and beginning with an awkward spoken word and acoustic guitar intro) is "Abandon" which, despite the intro, is a relatively strong track with some great guitar work, which shows that Olof Mörck really has the potential to fill in Gus G's shoes.

"Futile Words" and "Wounded Angels" are good, strong efforts but are quickly overshadowed by the epic "Mocking Modesty," which is another standout track, and one you will play again and again. "Failure of Human Emotions" is a furious, blood-boiling work, complete with blast beats and powerful melodies.

The CD closes with the instrumental "Sting of Remorse," which has a totally different tone than the rest of the album, and presents some truly beautiful music, rivaling the instrumentals of Metallica -- a great way to close to the album.

Overall, a terrific effort and Nightrage's best since the departure of Gus G. and Tomas Lindberg. If you have any interest at all in melodic death metal, "Wearing A Martyr's Crown" is a must have.

For more information, check out

"A New Disease is Born" (Lifeforce; 2007)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Losing three out of five members usually signifies the end of a band, yet Nightrage soldiered on, acquired new members, and cranked out the 12-track "A New Disease is Born." And, while the album's title is exaggerated, the freshened-up unit does in fact provide a smattering of furious middle-of-the-road melodic death metal, with cuts like "Reconcile" and "Scathing" resonating strongest. 

While the name recognition of the members of Nightrage has greatly diminished, the current lineup shows itself to be a durable troupe capable of taking their music to Gothenburg's highest points with a modern feel on tracks like "Death-like Silence" and "Encircle" without any hesitation. 

For more information, check out

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


Back to CD Reviews Home

Back to Home

Copyright © 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04 Jun 2023 13:31:51 -0400 .