After eight years of silence the Grecian dark metal legends Nightfall have returned with a brand new full-length work “At Night We Prey”, getting a deal with Season of Mist (and they are currently re-releasing their first albums from Holy Records). So, no way, that this event went unnoticed, the numerous fans from all over the world have welcomed it with open arms.
There were serious matters for constant delays and slowdowns, the depression of their leader Efthimis Karadimas was the main cause, and some line-up troubles just finished off the Nightfall‘s spirit to continue their dark art. But then, plucked up the courage, Efthimis has decided to fight a depression in a more open battle, to pour all the mental anguish into new songs, and gradually the new album took the shape. And joining forces with their former guitar player Mike Galiatsos and with the help from local musicians (known for such bands as SepticFlesh or The Slayerking), “At Night We Prey” has incorporated all the creative ideas from every musician, under their mastermind’s scrutiny.
Despite the principal dark/gothic metal foundation, the doomy lingering and atmospheric mdm spirit expand the horizons of their stylistic limits. The melodic lines seep into the musical carcasses, enveloping every song with melancholic harmony, so gently and unobtrusively. Not all the songs have this gothic/doom relaxing tempo, some of the tracks accelerate the pace nearly to thrash metal level (“Darkness Forever”). But these dark/doom moments are so nostalgically close to gothic/doom era of Paradise Lost! Anyway, some memorable black metal roots from time to time tinge the material with darker and creepier shade (“Witches” or “Temenos”). And oriental elements (in “Darkness Forever” or “Wolves in thy Head”) increase the atmospheric anxiety.
The female voices of guest songstresses Elena and Souzana Vougioukli added some occult and romantic overtones, balancing the male energy of this record. Overall, this album isn’t in any way progressive or over-complicated with technical stunts, on a contrary, it is minimalistic in a primitive way, but without sense of simplicity, the overabundance of the details would sound absolutely inappropriate. And due to catchy guitar riffs and memorable melodies “At Night We Prey” is quite evocative release for Nightfall. Of course, this record is very personal, the subconscious demons of Karadimas truly soak the listener into murky waters of his individual hell (even the cover art screams out for help), but regardless, this darkness has a hint of positivity and hope, like major notes of post-rock’s melancholic optimism.
This record lacks total hits and agonizing emotional patterns, and the muted sound of the vocal lines also add some negative points to an overall experience. But Nightfall‘s comeback has certainly paid off, and the sincerity and openness of the music speaks for itself.
Release date: March 5, 2021
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