Editor’s note: make sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for an exclusive premiere of the album! We’re proud to run it alongside our review.
It’s not too often that an album grabs my attention based on name alone but for Nite‘s Darkness Silence Mirror Flame, that’s exactly what happened. It just so succinctly captures the occult vibes that so many metal bands try to achieve with heavy-handed lyrics or cliche album art. It also helps that the album’s art is also excellent, evoking the themes conjured up by the name, doubling their strength. What finally solidified my interest in this album however was the music, namely the massively satisfying, opening riff of the album. What I was delighted to discover was what is essentially a heavy metal album backed up by uniquely abrasive vocals, a mass of riffs, galloping beats, and a joyful dedication to heavy metal.
The aforementioned “Genesis”, appropriately named for an opening track, has everything you need to get started. That opening riff repeats throughout the track, reminding us of recent traditional metal revival projects like Idle Hands, Spellcaster (RIP) or Lunar Shadow in its shameless, cheesy homage to the 80’s and its heavy metal greats. The vocals also immediately stand out, seeing as they’d feel more natural on a black metal album. But that certain abrasiveness to them, the feeling that they don’t quite belong or that they’re not what we’d expect, is exactly what makes them work so well. Like on Wandering Oak‘s excellent album from last year, they operate in heavy contrast to the rest of the music and set its edges in a pleasing, interesting light.
Elsewhere on the album, like on the excellent “Ezelia”, some of those black metal influences bleed into the instruments as well. The core is still decidedly heavy metal, but the instruments feel darker and just a bit closer to the tremolo picking that defines black metal. It’s not really in the notes or the composition but rather in the atmosphere created, sinister and dark. The following track however, “Night Terrors”, almost seems cognizant of that flirtation with a different genre as it pulls everything back to the 80’s heavy metal that sits at the core of the album. Hell, it’s main riff almost sounds like something Van Halen would play, dripping with bravado and further amplified by the fantastic and emotional solos later on on the track.
Put all of this together and you get an extremely fun album. It hits all the great spots which heavy metal hits while its unique-for-the-genre vocals set a different kind of twist and tone to it. By embracing its core influences and modifying them with a well executed dedication to the occult, a dialogue with black metal, and an overall air of just loving the music they make, Nite have created a personal and effective album. Whether you come for the riffs, the over the top solos, or the expressive vocals, Darkness Silence Mirror Flame has plenty on it to keep you satisfied and rocking out.
Silence Darkness Mirror Flame releases tomorrow, March 20th. Head on over to the band’s Bandcamp page to pre-order it.