Nightmare are a French power metal band who have recently celebrated their long and bountiful 30th anniversary, by releasing an astounding live CD and DVD entitled, One Night of Insurrection via AFM Records. Now, in 2012, Nightmare is back with their 8th full studio album entitled, The Burden of God – which can only be seen as one of their finest releases to date. Chock full of fast, power chord laden guitar riffs, powerful vocal lines and atmospheric intros, Nightmare prove that there is no power metal band better than them at that 30 years of world domination has finally paid off and got them recognized across the globe as the musical giants they are.
Aside from the artwork being different from anything Nightmare have produced before, The Burden of God, still has that mark that says… “This is Nightmare and we mean business”. The signature dual guitar onslaught from Franck Milleliri and Matt Asselberghs is still present on this album, and it’s this that is the driving forces behind songs such as the foot stomping drone of ‘Children of the Nation’, the killer anthem that is ‘Shattered Hearts’ and the speed metal powerhouse ‘The Doomsday Prediction’. The guitars are a big part of Nightmare’s sound and without these killer riffs, The Burden of God would not be the album it is.
Unlike most power metal bands, Nightmare doesn’t overdo it with keyboard parts. They try to stick to a more NWOBHM approach to their songs and add the occasional, atmospheric and haunting introduction. For example the sci-fi esque intro of ‘Final Outcome’, the police car sirens at the start of ‘Afterlife’ and the shining opening of ‘Sunrise in Hell’ are all moments which set the listener into anxiety and apprehension until the first punchy chord kicks in. It’s a great way to hold the listener in suspense and Nightmare really set the scene for their songs with these sound clips before their songs.
Nightmare have always been able to write an extremely catchy song, but The Burden of God, have some of Nightmare’s most memorable and accessible songs on it. Tracks like ‘The Dominion Gate (Part III)’, the slower ballad that is ‘The Preacher’ and ‘Crimson Empire’ are all songs that from first listen you can sing along to, bang your head to and have a blast to as well. It is Nightmare’s best album for a reason and this is because the choruses are so catchy and the melody lines are huge. This is the album newcomers to Nightmare need to lay their hands on.
The Burden of God is the ideal starting point for anybody who wants to get into Nightmare and through twelve all killer, no filler anthems – Nightmare make a statement that they are here to stay. By far one of the best classic metal albums of the year thus far! [8/10]