Published on March 11th, 2017 | by Justin G.
Nightmare: Dead Sun (AFM)
So it’s International Women’s Day as I type this review, and what more fitting time to take on the first album by French heavy/power metal band Nightmare to feature a female vocalist? Nightmare’s latest is titled Dead Sun, and it features singer Maggie Luyten, who appeared on albums by Ayreon and Epysode. She actually guested on Nightmare’s 2012 album The Burden of God as well.
Nightmare has been around forever and their sound is pretty well established, so don’t look for much reinvention here. They’re still delivering heavy power metal; they just have a new voice singing the songs. Dead Sun is a heavy, melodic album with a lot of crunch and some satisfyingly flashy solos. Musically I’d put it somewhere between Firewind, Tad Morose and Angel Dust, though with Luyten on vocals comparisons to bands like Crystal Viper and Burning Point are perhaps inevitable. Luyten’s voice has more than enough power to match the heavy guitar sound here, and is definitely not in the “delicate gothic metal waif” style.
Highlights on Dead Sun include single “Ikarus,” which almost tiptoes over the line into melodic death metal territory, and “”Serpentine,” which features a guest appearance by Kelly Sundown Carpenter. The title track and “Seeds of Agony” also have a serious impact.
If you’ve been following Nightmare for a while, Dead Sun will not cause you to question your devotion. It’s as good as anything they’ve done recently, and if anything sounds like a more energized band. Sure, having a female singer may bring fans of bands like Battle Beast, Doro, Burning Point and Crystal Viper to the fold, but in the end Dead Sun is going to satisfy anyone who enjoys well-crafted, old school heavy/power metal.
Summary: New voice, same power