In less than eight years, Marios Iliopoulos has seen his dream being fulfilled with slow but steady steps and as the years and albums pass by, he is becoming even more trustworthy with what he has to offer whenever a Nightrage album is released. It took him a lot of effort, endurance and sweat, but not only he managed to achieve what he had in his mind, but he also put away all obstacles in his first steps when he decided to move to Sweden and chase his luck. Also, Nightrage always prove themselves on time with the two year new presence they show each time and on their fifth album called ”Insidious” they show on great shape but what is more, in great mood, and this shows for sure on the twelve tracks of the album, which become fifteen if we add the intros and outros that let the album breathe a little more, making it the longest running Nightrage album to date in the end, lasting about 53 minutes.
As we all know, Marios had from the very beginning the help of very important persons in the whole metal scene, and this time, this album is a party of good compositions, filled with melody and great rhythms, added by the presence of very beloved persons for the leader of the band, where each one gives his personal touch on where he takes part. So, let’s take things from the beginning. We have Firewind and Spiritual Beggars vocalist Apollo Papathanasio on the initial ”Delirium Of The Fallen” (one of the best tracks on the album), we have Tomas Lindberg (singer of the band on the first two albums, ”Sweet Vengeance” and ”Descent Into Chaos”), mostly known by his presence on At The Gates and many other bands on the title track and ”Sham Piety”. These two gentlemen also collaborate on ”The World Is Coming To An End”. Next on the list come collectively Gus G. (former member of the band, Firewind mainman and above all, Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist), Tom S. Englund (leader, guitarist and vocalist of Evergrey) and John K. (ex-Deceptor and responsible for the frenzy behind Biomechanical).
Gus G. and Tom S. Englund co-operate on ”Wrapped On Deceitful Dreams” and ”Solar Corona” (a perfect way to close this album, as it is one of the best songs Marios has written and it is really experimental, it could become a basis for new future discoveries for the band). Last but not least, John K. contributes with his help on the intro and outro before and after ”Solar Corona”, meaning ”Solar Eclipse” and ”Emblem Of Light”. So, as it is easy to understand, this is an album made with a lot of love between the participants and it pours out a very warm feeling during its listening. No wonder why all these gentlemen helped Marios in various parts of his career and they still do, it surely means that he is a person that can surely gain respect with what he stands for and he shows that he can make an album that despite the bright lights upon it due to the many guests, in the end what remains is the familiar Nightrage sound, without changing form and remaining original until the end.
As far as the rest album is concerned, Marios seems to have captured himself in a state of great inspiration, and he kind of continues what he started with his previous album ”Wearing A Martyr’s Crown”. This album was a turning point for Nightrage, following the somehow more modern ”A New Disease Is Born” of 2007, where the band sounded a little more experimental and the voice of Jimmie Strimmel was always under comparison to the great Tomas Lindberg. Then with the entrance of the new vocalist Antony Hämäläinen, Marios found a vocalist where he could return to his old melodic sound of the first two albums. Apart from that, Antony proves to be a more flexible voice with a lot of expression, and not only he shows his potential and makes everyone consider he’s a wild card for the band, but he also is a team player, as his performance helps all his bandmates play even better. It’s a great deal to know you can count on a good voice, it surely makes you less stressed, and this is an album of actions in first thought.
This feeling that the album isn’t overproduced, despite its longer duration compared to the past, makes things even better. So, if we take all advantages and put them down in order, meaning inspiration, great singer, pointful and successful participations by the guests, great production and fresh sound, then it’s hard to try and find disadvantages in such a release. What should definitely be mentioned, is the approach of the members to the sound, as Nightrage always were a melodic band. They never tried to sound more brutal than required in their case, and this is something we have to give them as an extra point. Especially when they sound MUCH better than ‘hotter’ names of the melodic Swedish scene, such as In Flames, Arch Enemy and the late Dark Tranquillity (well, not that much as the two aforementioned but still in a state where their greatness ain’t what it used to be). Nightrage offered one of the best albums of 2011, filled with great songs which once you start getting inside them, you’ll like the whole album even more. 5/5 for Nightrage and it’s certain they will continue having a 100% success in what they do in the future.
|Track List||Line Up|
01. So Far Away
02. Delirium of the Fallen
04. Wrapped in Deceitful Dreams
05. Hate Turns Black
06. Sham Piety
07. Cloaked in Wolf Skin
08. This World is Coming to an End
09. Utmost Ends of Pain
10. Poignant Memories
11. Hush of Night
12. Poisoned Pawn
13. Solar Eclipse
14. Solar Corona
15. Emblem of Light
|Marios Iliopoulos – Guitars
Johan Nunez – Drums
Olof Mörck – Guitars
Antony Hämäläinen – Vocals
Anders Hammer – Bass
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