Published on January 22nd, 2019 | by Justin G.
Nightrage: Wolf To Man (Despotz, 2019)
I confess it has been a while since I checked out half-Greek/half-Swedish melodic death metal band Nightrage. I remember really digging their early material, but lost track of the band over the years. I certainly haven’t heard anything they’ve done since vocalist Ronnie Nyman came on board, which is a shame because he’s the first singer Nightrage has had that lives up to those early Thomas Lindberg-led albums.
Wolf To Man is the band’s latest offering. It’s their third since Nyman joined, and their eighth full-length overall. The band’s lineup may have changed (often) over the years, but Wolf To Man makes it clear that Nightrage’s love for the classic Gothenburg melodic death metal sound has never wavered. This is full-on thrashing riffs, blast beats, raging growled vocals and infectious melodies in the best At The Gates/Arch Enemy/The Haunted tradition. Nyman’s vocals add so much presense and energy to the already effective melodies founding guitarist Marios Iliopoulos lays down, and the rhythms are thundering. The occasional acoustic passage adds a bit of variety and atmosphere, but this one is all about wolflike ferocity.
Wolf To Man is one of those albums that remind you why melodic death metal rules so much. The speed, the intensity and the aggression, combined with those melodies make songs like “By Darkness Drawn,” “God Forbid” and “Arm Aim Kill” particularly effective examples of the Nightrage sound.
I’m kind of kicking myself for not paying more attention to Nightrage recently. This is exactly the kind of melodic death metal the world needs more of. If you’re down with the Gothenburg sound after all these years, Wolf To Man will seem like a long lost friend…kicking you in the teeth. Fans of The Haunted, At The Gates, (good) In Flames and Arch Enemy will not want to miss this one.
Summary: Gothenburg-style melodic death metal never goes out of style