NIGHTSHADOW

"Strike Them Dead" (Nightshadow; 2021)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

"Strike Them Dead" should probably come with a seatbelt. This power metal album has all the elements of your typical fantasy-literature rock'n'roll (the cover alone is a major clue as to genre here) but thrives on the power of going faster than hell to set it apart.

Track #1, "Legend," sets the stage for what's to come with its thunderous, bullet train pace and finger-tangling guitar. Most of what follows maintains that pace, startling the listener often with furiously speedy guitars and breakneck rhythms. There are songs that pull back a little, becoming simply standard power metal fare ("Witch Queen," which still delivers some fiery leads) and a couple of tracks that at least start out as your typical ballads ("Love at Vengeance," which goes on too long at seven minutes and twelve seconds, even when it kicks into gear at the three minute mark.)

The album closer, "Mistress of the Pit," brings thing to an end with a track brings the best of both worlds, furiously rocking at time and slowing down to a restful gallop at others.

I realize that Nightshadow aren't the first band to blend speed and power metal, but they do well enough to earn your attention, especially if you're a fan of the genre.

For more information, check out https://www.facebook.com/nightshadowmetal/.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2021 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.