Review Summary: With their latest release, Nightstalker cement their reputation as one of the premier acts of the European rock scene. Attitude, groove and solid songwriting are the main traits of Dead Rock Commandos.
Nightstalker is an interesting and highly intriguing case of a band that basically wasn’t supposed to be that good. Formed by band leader Argy back in 1989 and joined by bass player Andreas Lagios (ex-Rotting Christ) they toured all over Greece before releasing their first EP in 1994 named SideFX
. Their sound at the time was being characterized as a mixture of heavy rock with psychedelic and grunge. Moreover, with the release of their first LP Use
in 1996, the band managed to create a loyal following within Greece that perceived them as one of the best rock acts of the country. In addition, unlike the majority of their countrymen at the time, Nightstalker didn’t sound as a band hailing from Greece in a sense that their music was well-produced, they had great vocals, interesting guitar playing and a solid rhythm section. Since the beginning of the 90s the Greek metal/rock scene grew a lot but Nightstalker remained one of its premier acts.
With the release of their second LP Just A Burn
in 2004 and eight whole years after their debut, the band continued evolving by shedding their grunge tendencies and strengthening their heavy rock/psychedelic sound. As a result of the quality of their music and intense touring, they managed to release their penultimate album Superfreak
through a US label and therefore solidified their place as an international rock act.
Their latest release Dead Rock Commandos
came out in 2012 by the Detroit based Small Stone Records and contains all the elements that made Nightstalker a significant rock act within Europe. The band’s music is influenced by the likes of Blue Cheer and Black Sabbath and is being served with a little taste of Hawkwind psychedelia. If one wants to categorize the Nightstalker’s sound under one genre, that would definitely be stoner rock even though the band has strongly rejected that label time and time again. Nevertheless, on their latest album, Nightstalker bring to mind bands such as Monster Magnet and Kyuss. Dead Rock Commandos
contains fuzzy guitars with thick riffs, excellent bass playing, solid drumming and a singer that sounds as a badass cosmic-floating mother***er. Most songs are mid-tempo outings focused on highly infectious groovy rhythms. Moreover, Nightstalker unlike many stoner bands out there, avoid writing high duration songs. The longest song on Dead Rock Commandos
is just 5 minutes long while the whole album is clocking at 40 minutes. If one wants to choose a few standout tracks, that would be “Go Get Some”, “Soma”, “Dead Rock Commandos” and “Children of the Sun”. However, the album is a highly enjoyable listen with a number of great guitar solos, audible bass lines and even some sing along lyrics. Overall, the listener won’t find many doomy influences or long drawn songs in this album as Nightstalker keep it simple with some highly effective stoner vibes.
To sum up, while Dead Rock Commandos
isn’t anything new under the sun, it’s an incredibly fun listen that should be enjoyed by all fans of stoner or heavy rock out there. It contains all those hooks that a good rock album should have with modern production that doesn’t sound over polished and is highly recommended to all those who want to have a good time while listening to a solid rock album.