Nightfall
Athenian Echoes


4.0
excellent

Review

by manosg STAFF
September 5th, 2014 | 20 replies


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Athenian Echoes is a blend of melodic death, black, doom and gothic metal that leads to a dark, atmospheric album.

The early ‘90s Greek metal scene was a tough place to survive. Production was a huge issue as good music was hindered by the studios’ limited know-how. Distribution and marketing were limited and another concern was the lack of skillful drummers in the market. Numerous bands were dissatisfied by their current drummers and as a result they were either using drum machines or were constantly on the lookout for proficient musicians. Despite these barriers, there were three bands that managed to produce quality music and at the same time gain international reputation; Rotting Christ, Nightfall and Septic Flesh. All three bands played some form of extreme metal and coincidentally (") released their best material around the mid ‘90s.

Athenian Echoes is Nightfall’s third release and it’s a very interesting blend of black, melodeath, doom and gothic metal. Those who are familiar with the band, already know that their first two albums were dominated by black, death and doom tendencies but at the time of the album’s inception, Paradise Lost were huge in the metal world. Consequently, various bands were incorporating elements of the Brits in their music. As a result, “Armada”, one of the album’s highlights, is a very melodic gothic influenced track with a black metal break at the middle of the song. In the same vein, “My Red, Red Moon” with its peculiar dancing beat at the beginning and the memorable guitar riff is reminiscent of Paradise Lost’s Icon days. Almost all songs are adventurous with several changes in tempo and mood which impact their duration; no track is shorter than 4:46. Of course, there are faster tracks such as the opener “Aye Azure” or “I’m a Daemond” which starts slowly with a piano and develops into a black metal track. “Ishtar” is also one of the standouts with some really cool Eastern vibes and epic guitar parts while “The Vineyard” features some beautiful flute interludes. There are parts of the album that might also bring to mind Therion’s Beyond Sanctorum and others that remind early Rotting Christ with the epic nature of black metal displayed on Triarchy of The Lost Lovers and A Dead Poem. Such a track is “Iris” that brings together atmospheric black with doom/death metal. Lastly, closer “Monuments of Its Own Magnificence” is the least adventurous track of the album as it’s a mid tempo doom/death/gothic song.

In the negatives, the album might not seem brutal or fast enough for a death or black metal release to some. In addition, Athenian Echoes might feel a bit disjointed and unfocused to the ears of a few listeners due to the fusion of various genres.

Unfortunately after this album, Nightfall changed almost completely their lineup in an attempt to modify their sound. They shifted towards a more European gothic metal path similar to what Paradise Lost did and even though, their next effort, Lesbian Show is a great album they never managed to reach the highs of Athenian Echoes on their following releases.



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user ratings (17)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
Staff Reviewer
September 5th 2014


11316 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Highly recommended to fans of '90s atmospheric metal.



Full album: http://grooveshark.com/#!/album/Athenian+Echoes/5348030



Your comments are appreciated.

Digging: Dio - Magica

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 5th 2014


8018 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Major kudos for reviewing this, what an awesome album!!!



Will read the review later.







Edit:



Good review, pos.

Digging: Suffering Quota - Life In Disgust

danielcardoso
September 5th 2014


11768 Comments


Certainly ain't my cup of tea. Great review, pos'd from me.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
September 5th 2014


11316 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Voivod

Thanks man, awesome album indeed!



@daniel

Thanks bud. Appreciate your checking my review even if it's not your cup of tea.

danielcardoso
September 5th 2014


11768 Comments


You got it man, anytime.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 5th 2014


8018 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Τheir debut album Parade Into Centuries is awesome as well. Their bassist in there sounds like Steve Di Giorgio, whereas the band's doom/death is adventurous, to say the least.



Macabre Sunsets is great too, but not on the same level with the debut or this one.

menawati
September 5th 2014


16587 Comments


nice rev Mano

DrJohn
September 5th 2014


1041 Comments


Depending on mood, I can dig some Paradise Lost (Draconian Times). Should I give it a try?

manosg
Staff Reviewer
September 5th 2014


11316 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@menawati

Thanks man.



@DrJohn

Well, you can give "Armada" a try and see how that goes. The album has many black/death elements and brutal vocals though so if you're comfortable with those you'll probably like the rest of the tracks.



http://grooveshark.com/#!/s/Armada/4ApDLb?src=5

DrJohn
September 5th 2014


1041 Comments


Hmmm… catchy guitar melodies, instrumentation is a bit repetitive though… and the break seems disjoined. The vocals and production is not my cup of tea. Looking back at your review I guess I should have figured it out without asking, as you described it quite accurately. Have a pos Manos. I’ll pass on this, but thnx for your time.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
September 5th 2014


11316 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No worries dude, glad you checked the track.

EvoHavok
September 5th 2014


7655 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Just listened to this yesterday. Awesome work as usual!

manosg
Staff Reviewer
September 5th 2014


11316 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man! Knowing your taste, I was sure you would enjoy this album.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
September 5th 2014


11316 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks bro, glad you checked and enjoyed it.

Hawks
September 5th 2014


62443 Comments


Always heard about this band, but never checked them. I should listen to this.

Sweet review. m/

Digging: Senses Fail - Life Is Not a Waiting Room

manosg
Staff Reviewer
September 5th 2014


11316 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Hawks

Thanks man. m/



@captain

Same here. I like their debut more than their second album but this one tops it for me as well.

YUJOS
September 5th 2014


1010 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Bravo Mano for reviewing this.

Digging: Esoctrilihum - Inhu?ma

manosg
Staff Reviewer
September 5th 2014


11316 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man, I appreciate it!

deslad
September 5th 2014


624 Comments


Nice review once again manos. I will probably give it a try, I am not sure if I'd enjoy it though.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
September 5th 2014


11316 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cool! Let me know how you like it if you decide to give it a try.



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