HardReviews 5
by Martin Popoff

Nightrage - Descent Into Chaos
(Century Media)

The first Nightrage album was a supergroup affair fueled by Exhumation's Marios Iliopoulos, but now this band has become a merciless, hard, melodic death force distinguished by Tomas Lindberg's take no prisoners thrash caw. Iliopolous is still doing the writing, and Gus is doing the axe-wringing, but it is the old school rage-filled anti-charm of Lindberg that tells the world where this band's loyalties lie. Gus injects his power metal acumen into the proceedings often and convincingly, much of this recalling Dark Tranquillity, right down to the blinding, metallic, edgy, chaos-rotting production values of Patrik J. Sten. Riffs far better than average, frosty Swedish metal at every turn, and groovy drumming from ex-Cradle Of Filth basher Fotis Benardo combine to create an album that again, to get specific on a previous point, slots headbangingly between Dark Tranquillity's new Character record and the Maiden-esque strains of Haven or Damage Done.
Rating 8

By Night - Burn The Flags

I just can't get over the fact that the production of this is so irritating on the midrange and void of bass down below. Other than that, one gets a band that is as rhythmically heart-stopping and as impressively virtuoso-filled as any in the hip and now crowded metalcore market, but the problem is... everybody is this good now, and if you want to really excel, you better have an eccentricity or two up yer sleeves. Lifeforce has quickly become known in the underground as a label with uncommonly high standards (like Cruz Del Sur, like AFM, and to some extent Sound Riot), so it comes as a bit of a surprise that By Night isn't top quartile, heck, that Lifeforce is even doing conventional metalcore at all.
Rating 6

Hard Reviews Page 6