DARK NIGHTMARE, the Epic / Power Metallers from Grevena City, Northern Greece, is one of the most important active bands of the Greek Epic / Power Metal scene. I have written it in the past and I shall repeat myself in here pointing that the band’s music and their overall attitude are often mentioned as main influences by various bands of our era. DARK NIGHTMARE started back in 1999 and since then they have offered various releases including three demos -that have been recently reissued– and three full length albums.
Referring to the band’s full lengths I have to point that their previous album entitled “Tortured Souls” has been released six years ago. Now DARK NIGHTMARE are back opening another chapter in the book of their creations: Their new full length album entitled “Beyond the Realms of Sorrow”.
Being one of the persons that follows the band since their very early demo days, I have to make some important points about their music, before I focus on the new material.
Songwriting was always the big deal for DARK NIGHTMARE. They were always offering remarkable songs building their very own trademark sound, combining and balancing different influences. In my opinion this is the main reasons for the status that the band has built through the years, with their music to be acceptable and beloved by fans of many different types of Metal music.
The above features are presented on the new album as well, however the band has taken the songwriting to the very next level, reaching a higher than the sky top. And I mean it.
The spirit of classic Heavy / Power Metal meets the Epic Metal legacy, through a realm of darkly shaded melodies and themes that open a wide gate to the Doom Metal world, still with lots of space for various other musical influences. This is one-of-a-kind combination that strikes the perfect balance between inspiration and diversity. The result is the best album that the band has released so far.
Opener “Tears from the Sky” is a classic US Heavy Metal jewel. I could not have imagined a most suitable track to be the album’s opener. Catchy and shining riffing, those amazing -and always melancholic- vocal melodies and an ideal mid to faster tempo. I actually spent some time putting this very actual song on repeat before I move to the next one -yes on the album’s first listen-.
Guitarist / vocalist and main composer Yiannis Papadimitriou has often pointed to interviews that he is deeply influenced by the 90s atmospheric & Doom Metal movement, highlighting many Doom / Death Metal bands as well. He is wisely attaching all those influences into the Epic / Power Metal frame of DARK NIGHTMARE generating an one of a kind trademark sound for the band -and yes this is the case for their entire discography since the debut album (the demos are a totally different story). A perfect installment of the above described sonic frame is the album’s second track “Hold me in the Light” which I consider as one of the most emotional songs included in this record.
The “Timerider” song is an amazing US Heavy / Power Metal anthem. The song’s guitar themes and melodies would immediately bring into your mind band’s like RIOT or TITAN FORCE. The vocal melodies are amazing -yes still in that catchy, melancholic mood-. The song’s chorus would stick into your mind forever. I have to admit that US Metal is natively flowing in Papadimitriou’s veins and when he choses to express himself through this genre, the result is perfect. No this is not a fan statement, I just bring into my mind the musician’s creative involvement on the US Power Metal oriented project of FINAL ANSWER that was established in the Steel Gallery Records realm, some years back. Papadimitriou was the main singer and composer of the vocal melodies. Someone can also refer to his amazing studio -and live- performance covering the TITAN FORCE classic “Chase Your Dreams” (what a show this was, yeah I am referring to the TITAN FORCE debut show in Greece). I can also bring on the table the rest of the US Heavy / Power Metal oriented songs that he has delivered with DARK NIGHTMARE just to highlight the fact that the guy swims in well known waters when it comes to the Steel from United States. So yeah Papadimitriou is able to deliver not just simple songs, but masterpieces when it comes to US Heavy / Power Metal. “Timerider” is one of them.
There is so much more to be discovered as fas the band’s influences when it comes to this amazing record. Different elements and different forms of musical expression that end up to a solid and remarkable result. This is one of the most important features of this album. Everyone would find specific top moments and everyone would end up to be fine tuned with the entire record, no matter the preferred musical genre.
I am carefully listening to the “Fighting in a Flow of Time” track. This is a magnum opus mainly inspired by the kind of Epic Metal that is highlighted by bands like BATHORY, ATLANTEAN KODEX, DOOMSWORD and PRIMORDIAL. A track full of agony. A mourn and a calling to battle. A piece of greatness. The track actually marks the epilogue of the album standing side by side with “Old Man Tales in the Woods” the final song of the release. A composition inspired by the golden age of CANDLEMASS and the early SORCERER era. Papadimitriou delivers some of his most beautiful vocal melodies in this one.
I can assure you that the band’s drummer -and founding member- Dimos Kostantinidis has put his vibe on those two above described songs. Of course Dimos performance is one of the strongest elements on this album, but on those two last songs he offers something more. You see the above mentioned bands that have generated the inspiration frame for the creation of those two compositions, stand high on the list of his influences as a listener and a musician. And to explain myself better about this statement I have to point this: Here we got a band of people that simply play the music they love. Each one bring the influences and the pure love and dedication for bands and genres. A careful listener can “feel” it in the air. DARK NIGHTMARE play the music they like for the people who share the same passion. That is why their sound is so unique and authentic.
I already pointed the songs that I liked the most from this album. But I can assure you that from start to finish, DARK NIGHTMARE’s new album is a masterpiece. From the faster Heavy / Power Metal moments, to the slower epic parts, this album includes first class Heavy Metal for everyone. Heavy Metal that is played with heart and soul by one of the very last bands that keeps the faith alive!
The album will be released November 4th, on Steel Gallery Records. You can pre order the album here.