Nightmare – The Burden Of God
Nightmare has always been a trustworthy band in my book, and ever since The Dominion Gate they have never disappointed. After the aggressive Genetic Disorder and the more progressive Insurrection the French heavy/power metal outfit takes it once more in a slightly different direction. Compared to past work, The Burden Of God has turned out to be a very melodic album with catchy vocal lines and leads that will grow ever more appealing with each listen.
Such a change is noticeable immediately in the storming opener “Sunrise In Hell”, with its gripping chorus delivered by the recognizably raspy voice of Jo Amore. The chugging riffs of before are still present, only now Nightmare tops it off with one great refrain after another. The following title track boosts the tempo, but speedy power metal fans be warned: most of the material here is mid-tempo and plodding rather than fast and furious. Varying between moods, The Burden Of God next launches into the darker “Crimson Empire” and the political “Children Of The Nation”.
“The Preacher” is a resting point of brooding heavy metal before “Shattered Hearts” lets loose a rocking power ballad with another soaring chorus. With “The Dominion Gate Part III” Nightmare revisits an ongoing series and this is a worthy addition, featuring some nicely contrasting female guest vocals. “Final Outcome” closes the regular playtime in style, but I’d recommend purchasing the first pressing as it has the outstanding bonus song “Afterlife” which echoes early Queensrÿche.
Frankly I have little else to say about The Burden Of God. It is simply a very accessible and highly enjoyable power metal album from a respected band that has been around for about thirty years (including a hiatus). In a time when some of the biggest bands in the business, old and new, are releasing records that barely stave off mediocrity, it feels good to see a class act like Nightmare can outdo them all. Music with merits instead of gimmicks, The Burden Of God shows them all how it’s done.
Arno Callens’ Rating: 4.0 out of 5