years after the release of 'Silent
Room', concept-album about the evolution of the madness of a young murderer, a successful tour through France, Belgium and Spain, on the Metallian Festival Tour N°1, a line-up change with their guitarist Nicolas leaving the band, and a contract with Regain Records, Nightmare
is coming back this year with their 5th studio album, the grandiose 'The Dominion Gate
', which will surprise the fans, positively of course.
In fact, 'The Dominion Gate
' is a little chef-d'oeuvre, on many levels : first of all, the band has evoluted musically. Titles as "Temple
of Tears", "Secret Rules" or "Heretic
" show the will of the band to propose a futuristic metal, with the presence of synths, especially, while staying classic in the structures. A practice which can be dangerous but successful here, as the musicians are talented and real virtuosos, who, more than mastering their instruments, have original and innovative ideas to make the metal to progress, while being loyal to their roots, based in the metal of the 80's. Moreover, some parts can remain of what Nightmare
at the beginning, it means a powerful heavy, whereas others are in the same way as 'Cosmovision', especially the grandiloquent choirs, today exclusively masculine, except on "A Taste
" and "The Dominion Gate
", on which the mermaid Floor
Jansen came to sing to bewitch us with is delicate voice.
Among this new ideas, the vocalist Jo Amore experiments some things, by his side : we discover a new face on his parts, sometimes quiet, as on "Temple
Of Tears", "The Dressmaker" or "Endless Agony
", which brings a very pleasant effect to the work. We find again as short and quick songs as epic and longer ones, as "The Dominion Gate
" and "A Taste
". Terje Refnes has been renewed as producer, and I must admit that if I found the sound of 'Silent
Room' a bit rough, 'The Dominion Gate
' owns a powerful and clear sound, heavy and luminous, though the album is "dark" in its spirit, without being, as so many contemporary products, especially the ones from Finnvox Studios, "sterilized" and without any taste nor volume. Some guests have participated to this album : Floor
Jansen, of course, but also her mate from After Forever
, Sander Gommans on the grunts on "Watchtower
", but also Ricky Marx, the former Pretty Maids
guitarist. According to the artwork, Nightmare
renewed their contract with J.-P. Fournier, who had already done the 'Cosmovision' cover. What other could be awaited from him than another splendid painting?
Finally, 'The Dominion Gate
' is a crossbreeded album, between the future and the past, elegant and finely realized, noble and managed. A work which surely please to all, the 40 years old metallians or teenage ones, everybody will enjoy it. An ambitious album which let itself appreciate and to lose its leaves progressively. The album of french metal of the year 2005!!