Nightrage Sweet Vengeance

For the most part, Nightrage’s debut Sweet Vengeance is all that melodic death metal should be, with its well-executed, catchy, bang-your-head riffs, speed and intensity. But it also has odd moments when the surface cracks, and suddenly Nightrage breaks into something oddly close to power metal, especially when the clean vocals come in. Still, the band pulls off the stylistic experimentation admirably well — not surprising for a line-up that includes the talents of Tomas Lindberg (ex-At the Gates, the Great Deceiver, the Crown), Gus G. (Firewind, Dream Evil), Tom S. Englund (Evergrey), and Per M. Jensen (the Haunted). It’s just that Sweet Vengeance isn’t the straightforward melodic death metal album that the first few tracks might lead you to expect. (Century Media)