Nightrage Wearing a Martyr's Crown

Listening to Wearing a Martyr's Crown is akin to drinking too much Limoncello. After one shot of the lemon liqueur, you remark on its yummy flavour and enjoy the slightly burning, yet pleasing feeling. But if you have a few too many shots, you are going to get sick of it. This comparison is unfortunate, because despite their 'melodic death metal' label, Nightrage's fourth full-length is actually pretty heavy on the thrash, has great melodies and, overall, is positively heavy as shit. But what weighs this otherwise great album down is that they are cramming too much into a tight space. Their penchant for NWOBHM twin guitar riffs, virtuoso fretting and solos from guitarist (and the only original member on this album) Marios Iliopoulos and orchestral string and acoustic sections, seems overwhelming. Burdened with an average vocalist, this is an album to be listened to on a casual basis. (Lifeforce)