Thinking Man's Metal

The style of progressive death metal seems to be something that the Scandinavians do best, the mighty Opeth being one of the daddies of the genre. We Brits seem to be catching up if Nightmare Visions are anything to go by. Fourth album 'Gates Of Delirium' continues the style of epic, mind blowing metal that packs a punch.

Opener 'Silent Crow' has the old school elements of Celtic Frost and Megadeth with slow/fast riffs. Singer/guitarist Andy Barnard's evil vocals set the scene nicely for the album.
'Ethereal Traveller has the epic soundscapes of Opeth whilst having the vintage gallop of Maiden. Clocking in at just over nine minutes 'A Lovers Solace' is nothing to be sniffed in terms of musicianship. Bizarrely, the title track has the depth and texture of a Tool song mixed with a bit of eighties thrash. Imagine a slowed down version of Egyptian obsessed US technical death metallers Nile and you're almost there with Nightmare Visions.

For a band that is only a trio, Nightmare Vision's sound is huge. The production is stripped down and raw, exhibiting the pure ferocity of this tight-knit trio. Whilst some of their contemporaries have fallen by the wayside like say Norway's Dissection, Nightmare Visions still keep going. Gates Of Delirium is an honest and unashamed metal head's album for sure. This is a band that loves what they do and aren't prepared to change for anyone.

In terms of criticisms there are very few. You aren't going to be blown away straight away by solos and blast beats straightaway. Nightmare Visions however, have actually taken the time to concentrate on the music as opposed to fashioning an image which so many so called death metal bansd try to do in this day and age. One could almost get lost in this album as the guitar phrasing does start to blend into itself after a while. This is really a thinking man's metal band. This album doesn't mark a reinvention in the genre of death metal but it works well on record.

If you like metal with long hair, devil horns and in your face with a sense of dark grandeur being committed to disc then look no further with Nightmare Visions. Not outstanding but a stellar effort nonetheless.