Nightmare - Silent Room
French band with NOW(B)HM roots, Nightmare came back with the quite bad Cosmovision album in '01. But Silent Room is a surprisingly thoughtful, obtuse addition to the band's legacy, the album reminding one of the fertile creative metal plains plowed and planted by Coroner and Rage. But there's a moody, obscure proginess to this thing as well, including the use of operatic vocals in places, to go along with Jo Amore's gruff gothic, improving sound (Amore was the drummer for the band, now turned frontman!), all set to crisp but still tough production values. Don't know what happened between the wobbled comeback and this one, but there is almost an embarrassment of riches here when it comes to riff, groove, quick changeovers and general class at every of the album's many creases.
Edge Of Sanity - Crimson II
I can barely get past two grave flaws on this thing to ascertain whether the riffs, the flow, the songs are all that well-appointed. One, Swano's vocals are a toneless, unemotive blurry death caw smeared in the background as if he knows he's been outdone in that department by veritable throngs of Edge disciples. Second, there's this annoying sizzling distortion that pervades all the full band sections, apparently coming off of all bits of the kit made entirely of Turkish alloys. If I could get past that, I'd find an appealing enough metal album quite extreme, quite proggy, but not as primitive as the original doomed and botched Crimson (pretty low on my list of Edge Of Sanity records). It is the work of a very musical Swano and there are indeed dozens of killer riffs and grooves within the murk of all those cymbal crashes and cutting high hats. Some bad decisions here, from a producer no less.