Nightrage – The Venomous

The new NIGHTRAGE album The Venomous is out now on Despotz Records and it is one you should definitely look into immediately if not sooner. It’s the second record to feature Ronnie Nyman on vocals, and if possible he sounds even more at home than last time around. The twin guitar attack of Marios Iliopoulos and Magnus Söderman hits hard while remaining melodic, especially on opener and title track “The Venomous.” It’s more mid-tempo, but it still kicks off the album in style. Next song “Metamorphosis Day of Wrath” hits with all the subtlety of a front-end collision, drummer Lawrence Dinamarca bashing away with fury while on bass, Anders Hammer hits his notes hard.

The next two numbers are as different as night and day yet still fit within the framework of the album. “In Abhorrence” (which was exclusively premiered here at A&GS!) serves as the perfect single to draw the listeners in, especially those of us who like our stuff mean and ballsy, but with actual hooks. Then comes “Affliction” which was my runaway favorite with this insane guitar line reminiscent of IRON MAIDEN going on throughout. Definitely one that bears repeat listens for sure. It’s back aboard the speed train for “Catharsis”, another standout as the band goes right through you.

One thing I have to keep mentioning is how tight and crisp the guitar work is on this record. It’s like every time you think they’ve exhausted the well of new and interesting riffs out pops another one. This duo of Iliopoulos and Söderman works well together, and it really feels like their heightened riffage and fluid solos only make Nyman’s vocals sound even better. This is never more evident than on “Bemoan” and “The Blood,” the latter of which features a fucking fantastic lead. “From Ashes Into Stone” is yet another strong cut on an album full of them, a perfect combination of melodic and hard-hitting. And Dinamarca shines here as well.

“Desolation and Dismay” has to be one of the catchiest tunes on the disc while still swinging around a set of big, brass balls. And finally to close things out is a soft, clean, acoustic/electric instrumental “Denial of the Soul.” It’s a nice cool down from the insanity of the previous tracks because honestly, this record never lets up, not for a second up till that point. Overall this is an outstanding album, one that NIGHTRAGE should be proud of. To reiterate, The Venomous is out now, so I can’t understand why the fuck you’re still reading this when you should be out buying it instead. Go…GO!!

STANDOUT TRACKS: “Desolation and Dismay”, “In Abhorrence”, “Affliction”, “Bemoan”, “From Ashes Into Stone”, “Catharsis”

RATING: 9/10

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