NIGHTMARE
Power Metal / Traditional heavy metal • France

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Nightmare are a French power metal band that formed back in 1979. In their early days they played traditional heavy metal. They gained attention by opening for Def Leppard in 1983 and released their debut album Waiting for the Twilight a year later. Nightmare broke up in 1987, having made one further album, Power of the Universe, in 1985. The vocalist on this album, Jean-Marie Boix, passed away in 1999.

Reforming in 1999, Nightmare returned with a much more dominant power metal sound. At this stage Jo Amore, who had previously played drums with the band, became the lead vocalist and David Amore took over as Nightmare's drummer. Their first release upon reuniting was the EP Astral Deliverance (1999) which was followed by a live album, Live Deliverance, in 2000.

In 2001 Nightmare released Cosmovision, their first full-length in sixteen years and they have since gone on to release a
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NIGHTMARE Discography

NIGHTMARE albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
Waiting for the Twilight
Traditional heavy metal 1984
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
Power of the Universe
Traditional heavy metal 1985
.. Album Cover 3.74 | 4 ratings
Cosmovision
Power Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 4.46 | 4 ratings
Silent Room
Power Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 4.83 | 5 ratings
The Dominion Gate
Power Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 4.61 | 7 ratings
Genetic Disorder
Power Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 4.24 | 6 ratings
Insurrection
Power Metal 2009
.. Album Cover 4.36 | 6 ratings
The Burden of God
Power Metal 2012
.. Album Cover 3.66 | 4 ratings
The Aftermath
Power Metal 2014
.. Album Cover 4.25 | 4 ratings
Dead Sun
Power Metal 2016

NIGHTMARE EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Astral Deliverance
Power Metal 1999

NIGHTMARE live albums

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live Deliverance
Traditional heavy metal 2000

NIGHTMARE demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Demo
Traditional heavy metal 1981
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Maudit Ton Destin
Traditional heavy metal 1982
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Demo 83
Traditional heavy metal 1983
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Escape From the Mirror
Traditional heavy metal 1987
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Heretic
Power Metal 2006

NIGHTMARE re-issues & compilations

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Travel in the Spheres of Time
Power Metal 2006

NIGHTMARE singles (0)

NIGHTMARE movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
One Night of Insurrection
Power Metal 2011

NIGHTMARE Reviews

NIGHTMARE Dead Sun

Album · 2016 · Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
DippoMagoo
Up until recently, French metal band Nightmare had been a band with two very distinct eras, starting out in 1979 and releasing a couple of albums in the 80’s as a heavy metal band, before disappearing for a long time and then returning in 1999 as more of heavy/power metal hybrid. While bassist Yves Campion has remained the one constant in the band, being the only remaining original member, perhaps the most important part of the band’s sound in recent years was Jo Amore, who joined the band as a drummer in 1980, before taking over the mic when the band returned in 1999, while his brother David played the drums. The band released seven full-length albums during this period, and between the heavy riffs and Jo’s unique vocals, they established themselves as a major standout band in the genre, with such albums as The Dominion Gate and Genetic Disorder being especially impressive.

But, of course, good things often have to come to an end, and so as shocking as it may have initially seemed, in the long run, it probably isn’t terribly surprising that in 2015, following the release of The Aftermath in the previous year, both Amore brothers left, to be replaced by Magali Luyten on vocals, and Olivier Casula on drums. And so begins the third phase in the band’s history, starting with their latest full-length release, Dead Sun, released already in Europe and to be released in North America in January 2017. One thing I can say right off the bat: This version of the band has picked up where the previous version left off, and if anything I’d describe it as probably their best work since Genetic Disorder in 2007.

Stylistically, Nightmare has always leaned towards the absolute heaviest, most aggressive side of power metal and with their previous album The Aftermath they were only getting meaner and harder hitting, throwing in some occasional thrash riffs as well as some more modern elements to keep their sound fresh. Unsurprisingly, Dead Sun pushes even further in this direction, and is easily their heaviest release to date, with many tracks featuring some hard hitting thrash riffs throughout, especially the title track and “Red Marble & Gold”, which both very much feel like mid-paced thrash songs most of the way through. The guitar work seems even more prominent than ever before on this album, with some instrumental portions getting very technical at times, though the songwriting remains fairly straightforward and catchy.

Some of the band’s better-known albums had strong symphonic elements, but while those haven’t been removed entirely, they only appear very sparingly here, most notably on “Inner Sanctum”. At the same time, while the music leans more towards the heavy metal side of their music compared to some of their more recent works, this is still a very much a power metal album, and so every song still has some great melodies as well and a ton of room for the vocals to shine through.

Which brings us to the biggest change, of course. I remember in my review of The Aftermath I said I could never imagine hearing this band without Jo Amore, and while that was certainly true at the time, as surprised as I was to learn about the change, I was equally excited when I saw the band had brought in Magali Luyten. For folks who haven’t heard her before, she mostly sings in an alto range and she has a very powerful, very rocking voice that fits this style of music perfectly, and she does an equally great job of handling the heavier parts and the more melodic parts, which makes her a perfect fit for the band. At times she adds in some grunts that come very close to death growls, and these give an extra edge to the music, though her main vocals are certainly powerful enough on their own.

The album gets off to an excellent start with “Infected”, a track which starts out with a bit of an atmospheric instrumental sections mostly led by the guitars, before the riffs fully kick in and it turns into a very heavy, riff filled mid paced track, with just a bit of a thrash feel during the verses. Magali immediately shows off her powerful voice and some of those grunts I mentioned earlier, before really taking over with some more melodic vocals during the chorus. This track and the excellent lead single “Ikarus” do a great job of showing listeners what to expect from the album: Very heavy, mostly mid-paced heavy/power metal with some very obvious thrash leaning at times, and vocals that alternate between very aggressive and softer but still very powerful. I mentioned the thrash elements being strong on this album and they are at their strongest on “Red Marble & Gold”, which is an assault on the ears right from the start, and it also has a really good instrumental section in the second half. It’s perhaps the band’s heaviest track to date, and also one of the highlights on the album.

Most tracks on this album are fairly similar and this is largely an album more focused on the overall sound, though there are some little surprises throughout, like a nice use of a kids choir on the slower, more laid back “Seeds of Agony”, which also uses some electronic sounding keyboards at points, as well as the darker, more traditional heavy metal track “Indifference”, another slower track which also has a slight doom metal feel to it, and it’s certainly a change of pace from the thrashy feel of much of the album.

On the faster side of things, a few of the tracks speed up partway through, though the fastest tracks, on the whole, are closing track “Starry Skies Gone Black”, one of the more melodic tracks on the album, with an excellent solo section later on, “Tangled in the Roots”, a heavier track with fast verses and a slow, but very memorable chorus, and “Serpentine”. The latter of these really stands out, not just for its thrashy riffs, though those are certainly memorable and impressive, but because the band brought in guest vocalist Kelly “Sundown” Carpenter to sing on the track and he helps give it an extra edge while sounding great together with Magali.

Sometimes change can be a bad thing for a band, but other times it can work out great, and thankfully Dead Sun is an obvious example of the latter. As much as I’ve loved previous albums by Nightmare, they’ve proven that they’re capable and willing to move on after a big lineup change, and they’ve delivered yet another excellent album that pushes them even further towards the heavier side of the power metal genre while adding in some thrash elements. Obviously, longtime fans of the band shouldn’t be scared away by the change in the singer, while fans of the hardest hitting kind of power metal are also highly recommended to give this album a listen. Hopefully, the latest era of Nightmare can last a long time and produce several more albums of this quality.

originally written for myglobalmind.com: http://myglobalmind.com/2016/12/11/nightmare-dead-sun-review/

NIGHTMARE Dead Sun

Album · 2016 · Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
adg211288
One of the biggest shocks within the current power metal scene within the last couple of years has to be that the brothers Jo and David Amore had left their band Nightmare. Jo Amore had been with the band since 1980, originally as the drummer in the eighties and after getting back together in 1999 as the vocalist, which was the point that his brother David Amore took his place behind the kit. They weren't original members, that distinction has long been the sole claim of bassist Yves Campion, but Jo Amore at least may as well have been since the band's first release came after he joined and since changing to vocals he was a massive part of the band's heavy/power metal sound. I'm not sure of exactly what happened to prompt their joint exit in 2015, but it's been difficult to imagine Nightmare without Jo Amore's Dio-esque vocals. Nevertheless the French band is back with a new line-up and their tenth full-length album, Dead Sun (2016).

The ironic thing about all this is, I didn't actually enjoy the previous Nightmare album The Aftermath (2014) all that much, to the point that I'd even call it the group's weakest album. Given what happened with the Amore brothers next, it certainly wasn't a good note for them to exit on, so it's been my hope that despite any other misgivings I may have, that a new line-up would actually revitalise Nightmare.

And that's exactly what's happened. Now fronted by Magali Luyten (Virus IV, Beautiful Sin et al), the band have found a perfect vocalist to fill the void left by Jo Amore. Because of Magali Luyten's classic metal vocal style the band's switch from male to female vocals hasn't actually affected their music all that much. On the instrumental front they are sticking with the tried and true modern heavy/power metal sound with a few touches of thrash in the riffs and few quick uses of symphonic parts in the background, but that's actually what I think we needed to hear at this point after The Aftermath included some less typical ideas for them which to my ears at least didn't work. The band treats us to eleven solid tracks which may just be their best group of songs since the Genetic Disorder (2007) album. Dead Sun as an album doesn't break the mould, but boy does it hit the spot. A few key tracks for me are Red Marble & Gold, Dead Sun, Ikarus and Serpentine, on which Kelly Sundown Carpenter (Darkology) also lends his voice to, proving a good pairing with Magali Luyten.

While the music on Dead Sun does have a way to go before it could be considered on par with the best Nightmare works of the Amore era, it does the job it needed to. It proves that Nightmare is still a viable group. I'm excited to hear the releases that will hopefully follow this one.

NIGHTMARE The Aftermath

Album · 2014 · Power Metal
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The Aftermath (2014) is the ninth full-length album by French heavy/power metal act Nightmare. This has been quite the anticipated release for me as Nightmare have created quite the run of high quality power metal records in the last decade (their history goes back even further to 1979), many of which present a different vibe to their music such as progressive power metal on The Dominion Gate (2005) and the just as impressive more straight up power metal album Genetic Disorder (2007), which was then followed by the heavy power metal album Insurrection (2009). For their previous album to The Aftermath, The Burden of God (2012), Nightmare played heavy power metal again, but within a symphonic influenced context, which they'd used before, but dropped on their last couple of records.

Unlike their last few releases, The Aftermath is more or less on the same page as The Burden of God in terms of the elements going into it, but with perhaps a slightly higher focus on the heavy metal side of the band although there are still significant power metal elements too so it's not wrong to still call this music heavy power metal. There are still some symphonic elements but they are quite drastically toned down compared to those found on The Burden of God. Toned down being the most apt term to describe The Aftermath; it generally feels like a much lesser version of its predessor. There are some good songs to be had, especially during the first half of the album where there are ones such as Bringers of a No Man's Land, Forbidden Tribe and Necromancer but during the second half things sound decidedly weaker and overall the album feels very below the standard I've become used to hearing from Nightmare since the release of Silent Room (2003).

Sadly the band have fallen into what I consider a cliché trap of modern heavy/power metal, namely adding some growls to a couple of the songs (performed by David Boutarin of For Many Reasons and The Seven Gates), which feel really unnecessary on an album like this. Nightmare have used growls in their music before to be fair, The Dominion Gate had Sander Gommans (ex-After Forever, HDK) as a guest, but what worked in that album's progressive context seems not only out of place on The Aftermath but there's also the simple problem that the growls just aren't that good. On Digital DNA they're passable I guess, but during their more prominent use during Ghost in the Mirror they actually manage to butcher what is otherwise a promising Nightmare song. Digital DNA though is actually the weaker song to me ears, but together this back to back pairing represents the worst that The Aftermath has to offer and after they're done it feels like what momentum the album previously had has been lost.

More positively Nightmare still deliver more good songs than poor ones and singer Jo Amore never fails to impress with his Dio-like voice. Because of these things The Aftermath is still a good album despite its issues, but is easily the group's weakest album in some time, perhaps even their weakest ever; I've never been able to get into Cosmovision (2001) to the same level as anything released after it but it's been so long since I gave that album another chance that I wouldn't really care to call if The Aftermath is any weaker or not. I guess on a personal level I still prefer this album to the band's early heavy metal albums released in the mid 80's, each with different singers (Jo Amore was the drummer at that time). Both of those albums are solid enough for the time but nowhere near the quality of the majority of their work since reforming. My rating is therefore to be taken in context of the albums released since the band's reformation which has resulted in at least five albums where Nightmare proves that they can do better than they have on The Aftermath. A rating within the 3.5 stars area is all I can fairly give this one. In short: a very disappointing offering from a usually killer power metal band.

73/100

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven: http://metaltube.freeforums.org/nightmare-the-aftermath-t3548.html)

NIGHTMARE The Burden of God

Album · 2012 · Power Metal
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The Burden of God is the eighth full-length album by French power metal act Nightmare. The album was released in May 2012. Nightmare is a band that first started in the early eighties playing traditional metal, broke up in 1987, and reformed in the late nineties playing power metal. The group’s power metal sound still contains traces of their traditional metal roots, and at various points in their career has also includes influences of both a progressive and a symphonic nature. The Burden of God has the band at their most symphonic than they’ve been for some time as their most recent two albums, Genetic Disorder (2007) and Insurrection (2009) had these elements greatly stripped back compared to their comeback releases Cosmovision (2001) and Silent Room (2003).

Despite their being more symphonic Nightmare retains their guitar driven power metal sound of those recent albums. They’re heavier than the majority of acts in their style and I’d say that The Burden of God is one of the group’s heaviest albums. Their music is carried by the excellent vocals of Jo Amore (originally the drummer back in the traditional metal days), who has a quality to his vocals that warrants comparisons to the late Ronnie James Dio. Jorn Lande would also be a valid reference point.

The album’s music is mostly power metal but every so often the band slow things down for some traditional metal based tracks. I’d say there’s perhaps a bit more traditional metal in the album than in some of their other second era albums. The symphonic element is used to great effect in the album but it is neither overpowering nor used in the normal sort of sound context that is common of symphonic power metal, which is most likely down to Nightmare not conforming to what have become the normal standards for power metal in the first place. They have the staple of speedy power metal riffs aplenty, but don’t limit themselves to them, and of course Amore’s vocals don’t fall under the whole ‘power metal must have high vocals’ thing. This is a band that has identity from the hordes of bands playing the style and I’d actually consider them to be on par in terms of quality of their output (especially from Silent Room onwards) to the likes of Blind Guardian, Helloween, Iced Earth and Gamma Ray, and The Burden of God marks another high quality release from the French band.

Highlights from the album appear frequently, and include Sunrise in Hell, Crimson Empire, Children of the Nation and most especially The Dominion Gate (Part III), a continuation of the series of songs which began on The Dominion Gate (2005) album and continued on Genetic Disorder, which features guest vocals from Magali Luyten, who has performed with bands such as Beautiful Sin, Over Us Eden and Virus IV among others. Her vocals go extremely well with Jo Amore’s. They actually have pretty similar styles of singing since Luyten is certainly one female vocalist who definitely sings metal opposed to the opera or pop that many of metal’s female vocalists do. I expect that’s why Luyten was chosen to guest here. The track also features an excellent symphonic instrumental section, only rivalled on the album by the epic intro instrumental, Gateways to the Void, which is a top quality way to kick off the album leading into Sunrise in Hell.

The Burden of God for me definitely ranks very high up when considering Nightmare’s discography. The band for me has been on a real roll since the release of Silent Room in 2003 and although I can’t say that The Burden of God tops Genetic Disorder, the album that for me is Nightmare’s masterpiece, they give it a right good go and deliver an album that is easily top three material out of their eight main releases. It’s easily a step up from Insurrection, a great album, but lacking the same spark as the album’s released either side of it. This is power metal how it is meant to be played and the album comes highly recommended.

9.2/10

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org))

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