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Dark Nightmare – Tortured Souls

Published:

Last Updated on 05:15 PM by Giorgos Tsekas

Genre: Heavy Metal / Epic Metal
Country: Greece
Label: Eat Metal Records
Year: 2016

On one hand you’ve got that kind of music that is produced after the demands of various people (you know who) and usually has a ‘fully-canned’ quality and its “inspiration” is a result of factory standards that must hurry to infiltrate the inner sense of the record, before the contract’s deadline knocks on the band’s door. This is the heavy metal model of the ‘capitalists’/ over-consumers promoted by large companies that follow the belief “you’ll release a new record every two years, otherwise bid farewell to your contract”. The weak / uninspired heavy metal, whose success proves that with the right people in the marketing business the crowd, is so easily persuaded by the “unmatched” quality of a product without even using critical thinking. Everything’s on the plate then.

On the other side of the coin though, we’ve got that dearly loved but long-suffering (naturally) underground, on which rely all those who want to listen to something real and substantial. This is the real heavy metal which comes from people who do not “burn themselves out” with music in order to produce ten albums in five years just to stay in the news. That’s the music that comes from people who do not expect heavy metal to provide them with good living standards, to bring food to their tables or pay the bills of the household. With this mindset to guide them, Dark Nightmare have marched with their heads high for several years and as many have realized listening to their material, inspiration not only comes effortlessly but overflows unmanageably.

If a Greek reader expects me to start writing about what Dark Nightmare is, you probably found Metal Invader accidentally and started listening to metal just yesterday. For friends overseas, that might not have heard of the band, I have to say that ‘Tortured Souls’ is one of the best (in quality) proposals of serious heavy metal that stays away from fashions like the revival of the 80’s, spandexes and other meaningless things with which the current scene is packed.

Regarding the record now, just from the first hearing, anyone can realize that Dark Nightmare’s new effort is their darker and most melancholic one. There are many influences from various branches of the genre that have been well incorporated in their sound and I feel that from now on, they will be considered as integral part of the synthetic process of their material, perhaps on a larger scale than is the case here, since the “Eternal Forest” experiment is considered highly successful. Dark Nightmare’s trademark sound hasn’t even a bit been altered (their music is easily distinguished now) since their classic metal / epic metal quality of their songs is and will be their most distinctive asset.

In addition to the newly introduced yet pleasurable influences ‘Tortured Souls’ in its entirety consists of excellent, always emotionally charged melodies as only they know how to write. The choruses emit dynamism and the song lyrics hold the same unyielding passion, the same passion the band has in each of its efforts. As far as the delivery goes, the guys show their best. Anyone who has kept track of them over the years can easily realize that the band has tremendously improved in both studio and live performance and their technique. One thing that has remained unchanged from the beginning until now is the soul their songs have and this is something that makes me separate them from the lot. They believe in their material and that’s proven in every note.

On the plus side of the record the crystal clear production and the beautiful cover that matches the somber mood of the songs are included. Through tons of excellent riffs and creepy solos, flawless rhythm sections and the few, but crucial to the peculiarity of the final sound, key touches, ‘Tortured Souls’ stands proud next to the band’s old material and perhaps there are moments when the new record surpasses the previous ones. Dark Nightmare deserve the respect they earned over the years from the fans of the genre and with every new release they prove what’s obvious. Truly deafening is the music that comes from the heart, despite the genre it serves.

5/6

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