In the mid and late nineties saw the rise in popularity of melodic death metal, better known as the so-called “Gothenburg” sound. Bands like In Flames, Dark Tranquility and At The Gates laid the foundations with records like, “Slaughter Of The Soul”, “The Gallery”, “The Jester Race” and “Whoracle”. Nowadays, most of these bands are no longer around or they evolved in something totally different. Nightrage however, is quite a different story.
Guitarist Mario Iliopoulos, the band’s chief songwriter, keeps the Gothenburg flame burning on “Insidious”. The album has fifteen furious gems to offer, all forged in the best At The Gates tradition. It has to be said that this album is a guitar lover’s wet dream, thanks to countless tasteful lead solos by Illiopoulos and Olaf Mörck. Also Gus G (Ozzy Osbourne, Firewind) joins the fray with a couple of juicy guest solos. The songwriting is tight and spot on, with ‘Delirium’, ‘Wrapped In Deceitful Dreams’, ‘Sham Piety’ and ‘Poignant Memories’ being the finest examples.
Just as impressive are the guest vocals by Tomas Lindberg (ex At The Gates), Tom Englund (Evergrey), Apollo Papathanasio (Firewind) and John K (Biomechanical) , while the band’s resident growler Antony Hämäläinen provides the perfect venom, with his aggressive vocal style. ‘Utmost End Of Pain’, ‘Hush Of Night’ and ‘Solar Corona’ are also shining moments on “Insidious”.
The album’s fine production is handled by none other than Fredrik Nordström. He’s also responsible for many classic Gothenburg styled albums by At The Gates, In Flames and Dark Tranquility.
The biggest tragedy of “Insidious” is that it had could been have a classic melodic death metal record, if it had been released at least a decade ago. That being said, it’s still a highly enjoyable record brought with boundless energy and dedication.