Nightshade
Wielding The Scythe


4.0
excellent

Review

by Dethtrasher USER (232 Reviews)
February 7th, 2007 | 47 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Aggressive, atmospheric, melodic and well-executed death-metal. Too bad that this was the only album Nightshade released because they could've gone far.

In 1996, a band was created in Sweden, and that band was called Nightshade. Nightshade was a melodic death-metal band with black-metal influences. Some people have claimed that these guys played a generic style of music, and some people agree while others disagree. I, however, happen to one of those who disagree. You can say that this was a generic band, but, you also have to listen, not just hear, as you need to try and sort out every single thing to understand the structures and details of the songs. If I would describe this band regarding their sound, I would say like this: Take these four huge bands, Children Of Bodom, Hypocrisy, In Flames and newcomers Torchbearer and mix them all together. Unfortunately this band only released one single album in 2001 and later they disbanded. I'm pretty sure that the band had their reasons for why they broke up but if they had continued to hold together I feel that these guys could've been developing into something really special. But they left an album which is definitely worth to check out.

In her veins runs the blood of uttermost blackness
With a taste bitter as death
In her veins runs the blood of uttermost blackness
With passion she bleeds

As I said, Nightshade released one album in 2001, entitledWielding The Scythe. If there is something that can be very eye-catching it would definitely be a metal art cover. It featured a cloaked grim-reaper who wields his scythe, about to chop off some heads from a few poor human victims, and behind him the moon shines bright through black and blue clouds; talk about candy for my eyes. My interest to get this album suddenly sparked but this is a rather rare album, and I didn't quite know how to obtain it yet. However, I managed to hunt it down and I'm very happy that I did. This album happens to have an incredible and very varied sound; it is both melodic and brutal at the same time thanks to the ferocious vocal work and the melodic instrumental performance. All the songs are engineered so that they are no way near a repetitive area, since no song sounds like another. Actually, the only thing that has a bit poor variety is the loud screaming vocals, but luckily the vocals are enforced with some deep growls a little now and then.

Towards infinity I walk carrying the keys
To Inferno and afterlife at hand

Every extreme metal band often has lyrics that focus on death, violence and anti-religious themes, and Wielding The Scythe is mostly all about darkness, death and hopelessness. Lacrima Caelestis for example has lyrics where the sky is turning black and that the stars will fall until darkness is total. Limbonized focuses on a more depressive and hopeless approach, creating a scenery in which you are straining yourself for a goal, yet never reach it. The Possessorsomewhat describes the grim reaper and the
mysteries surrounding him, Dodens Vik/Natthymn (Death's Bay/Night psalm) is once again a song with an apocalyptic theme were the night swallows the sky and everything turns black and the world becomes cold, except the lyrics are in Swedish. Then there are some songs that has an unknown "she", perhaps they are referring to a devil temptress or something, but "she" is certainly not a friendly character though.

When heaven cries in these dark and doleful
But still so beautiful wastelands of grief
No light reflects in these endless creeks

You often hear of bands with a maximum of four members, but this band has a total of six crew members. This means that all the crew members can focus on what they are doing; everyone knows that it is not easy to sing and play difficult music at the same time. The vocalist, Daniel Kvist, does a wonderful job. He has many vocal similarities with The Crown's singer Johan Lindstrand and Torchbearer's Pär Johansson. Daniel uses plenty of strong and loud death screams or harsh black-metal screams, and either way, he does a great vocal performance. There are also some deep growls here and there, as the growls are often used to back up the screams and it works incredibly well. The dual vocal performances creates a depth and adds more colour to the vocal work as a whole, but the only bad thing is that he screams more than he growls, and this can become a bit boring with time. Daniel Hjelm and Snake Stevens were the two guitarists and they also deliver a great performance. They showcase a great selection of heavy and catchy riffing, melodic solos, powerful rhythms and smooth and varied lead work, yet you will also experience some electro acoustics in a few tracks as well. The guitar work swaps between the melodic-death riffing, some thrashier riffing and also some melody tinged old-school fast paced riffing. While there is nothing highly technical or complex, the guitar work would suit any metal head. Christer Pedersen was the bassist and unfortunately he is the only guy that can't make it through with his instrument. The bass is very overshadowed be the rest of the crew, and there are only a few short moments where you can hear some bass but once you hear it you will notice that the bass sound is very low. Daniel Larsson was in charge of the keyboard, which is probably the most critical and important instrument on this album. Without a keyboard, I would say that this was a low-level generic metal band. But the keyboard is with us and it creates the whole atmosphere surrounding the album material, and even if the keyboards are not as well-executed as Children Of Bodom's keyboards, it still gives the songs extra flavour and lots of other contrasts that makes them appear more unique. The keyboards are even better than the melodic guitar solos most of the times; it also changes its tune, from piano notes to organ notes and some other electro tunes. Kristo Napalm was the drummer, and he knew what he was doing, that's for sure. His performance is also very varied, as you have lots of different drum patterns: fast, medium slow, double bass kicking and some blast beats. The drum work really gives the songs a character of their own and greatly reduces the risk of repetition.

Tired of his deplorable life
He kept asking himself why
Still the mystery of his fate
Remained unknown to himself

This album has a very flawless direction in my opinion! However, I have only found one real weakness, which was were the vocals. I still enjoyed them very much but there was hardly any variety. There were deep growls here and there and even a clean vocal part in one of the song, similar to Vintersorg's type of clean chanting vocals. But the screams soon get a bit boring but this is also a matter of taste of course, since some people will probably love these types of vocals while others are not so attached to them. Ok, I will admit one more thing, and that being the keyboards sound a bit silly or stupid at certain moments. It doesn't sound terrible but the keyboard tune does not flow well in the song structure at some points. Other than that, the album was basically flawless, as it displays so many different emotions, sounds, atmospheres and so on. Brutality and aggression was mixed with mystery and beauty; I would almost call it beauty-and-the-beast music. Even if you are not so familiar to melodic death-metal this album would actually be a good album to start with, once you have found it.

I know death a true friend of mine
I am through, reborn but dead
Entering a life of another kind

I liked this album more than I thought. According to facts this band was not groundbreaking in any way, and while I agree, I still feel that if this band had continued their metal journey they would probably, with time, become a huge band, perhaps not as big as In Flames but you get my point. I don't think this is generic in any way; there are plenty of bands that play melodic death-metal and all of them have found their own sound while others perhaps may never find a sound of their own but they will still continue to create music. I recommend this album to people who are deep into the melodic death-metal genre and people who are huge fans of world famous bands like Children Of Bodom, In Flames and/or Hypocrisy.

Pros
+ A diverse/varied album
+ Brutality and aggression is perfectly mixed with melodic and atmospheric elements
+ Great musicianship
+ This album would suit basically any metal fan
+ Excellent variety among the songs

Cons
- The vocal work might become a bit boring with time
- There could be a small risk that this album gets boring with time

Recommended Tracks
Since this is Nightshade's only album and by the fact that there are only eight tracks I strongly recommend that you search for the whole album, but my personal favourites are:
-- Exile (Highly Recommended)
-- Limbonized
-- Dodens Vik / Natthymn
-- Black Blood Deliverance

Since this was the band's only album and it displayed professionally executed melodic death-metal, it will be given a solid and well-earned 4/5



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great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Dethtrasher
February 7th 2007


2211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Man I love that album cover!

any14doomsday
February 7th 2007


679 Comments


thats a killer cover. I don't really like melo-death though so I probably wont check this out, good review though.

metallicaman8
February 7th 2007


4677 Comments


Nice work, Deth. I should have that review to you by the end of tonight. If not sometime tomorrow.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
February 7th 2007


17944 Comments


bands need to chill out with the grim reaper covers

metallicaman8
February 7th 2007


4677 Comments


But without a grim reaper cover how will we know it's metal? :confused:

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
February 7th 2007


17944 Comments


it'll be generic and it'll suck

metallicaman8
February 7th 2007


4677 Comments


Angels And Airwaves are metal?


Mikesn
Emeritus
February 7th 2007


3709 Comments


Clearly.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
February 7th 2007


17944 Comments


Angels And Airwaves are metal?

No, but Dragonforce are.

metallicaman8
February 7th 2007


4677 Comments


So, you're saying Angels And Airwaves aren't generic and don't suck?

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
February 7th 2007


17944 Comments


I'm not going to explain myself to someone who takes what I said so literally.

metallicaman8
February 7th 2007


4677 Comments


I obviously wasn't taking it literally, considering I know you do like some metal.

Angmar
February 7th 2007


2689 Comments


This sounds really good i may check it out. Good job to.

Mikesn
Emeritus
February 7th 2007


3709 Comments


Yeah, nice review. Sounds interesting but I probably won't get to hear it.

Cravinov13
February 7th 2007


3854 Comments


Great review my friend. I should check them out.

MetalReggie
February 7th 2007


21 Comments


Nice Review

Seen this on sale recently for 10 bucks Australian - might pick it up if it's decent. Not much metal is cheap downunder.

Dethtrasher
February 8th 2007


2211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Not much metal is cheap downunder.

You are lucky to have metal were you live, Iron Maiden is probably the only metal band that you can buy in my town. You have to either order through cataloges or internet, in worst case download the music that you are looking for.
Thanks btw, I wanted to submit this before the end of -06 but I had some trouble with it.

south_of_heaven 11
February 8th 2007


5438 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great review. I'll get this sooner or later, along with about 5 other bands you've talked about that I need to get.

You know what I forgot to tell you to check out? "With Oden on Our Side" by Amon Amarth. You will love that. Seriously. You will.This Message Edited On 02.08.07

Dethtrasher
February 8th 2007


2211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

GET ''THEORY IN PRACTICE'' FIRST OF ALL! they are awesome :DThis Message Edited On 02.08.07

Dethtrasher
February 8th 2007


2211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

bands need to chill out with the grim reaper covers

I rarly see those types of album covers actually=/



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