“The Dominion Gate” by Nightmare

Artist: Nightmare
Title: “Dominion Gate”
Label: Candlelight Records
Release Date: 2/6/2006
Genre: Power Metal
Rating: 4/5

I am pretty sure that the fans of Power Metal will be chanting “Vive La France” when they start to jam out to France’s legendary but still widely secret masters of the Melodic Power Metal. What struck me as odd right from the beginning was the fact that I too was largely unaware of the band and I am one who considers himself to be entrenched not only in Metal as a genre but the Power stuff most specifically. The band is rich with an over twenty-year history and still despite this most fans, especially in the American audiences don’t even know that they exist. “The Dominion Gate” is an album that offers the listener all of the elements for success in the genre and the players demonstrate that these same elements are surely under their command. They thunder steadily by with “Circle Of The Dark”, a track which grooves like some great Hammerfall would while “A Taste Of Armageddon” has all the riffs and hooks that make this kind of Metal so much fun for the listener. There is really a lot of tasty stuff here and the ever-expected epic track, which is also the title number “The Dominion Gate”. It runs some eight minutes and is a dark and heavy track. It also has the lovely Floor Jansen (After Forever) helping out on some vocals which I felt bring it to added life. There is also a lot of the old school Metal feel happening during the song “The Watchtower”, and to make the track more special we find Sander Gommans (also After Forever) helping out with some Dark vocal contributions. There is a solid ballad number with “Haunting Memories” and “The Dressmaker” is a creepy track that sings of monster deeds and really brings the point across.

Nightmare while being around for twenty years has had the ever consistent lineup changes and now the band is set as Frank Milleliri (guitar), Jo Amore (vocals), Alex Hilbert (guitars), Yves Campion (bass) and David Amore (drums). While a long time in the making I am confident that “The Dominion Gate” offers Nightmare the chance to be the next big discovered secret that has been around for years. Surely a wider demographic of appreciative fans of the form will find more than enough killer songs on this album and they are surely a great kick to the Candlelight Records artist roster. I found that this was majestic and entertaining, technical and resounding and there is very little chance for boredom as they bound from one track to the next. Fans of bands like Rhapsody, Kamelot, and Blind Guardian will take a lot out of this one most specifically. It is time for them to join the charge into glory like those who had come along long after them. Anyone else want to join in?

Track List:
1. Temple Of Tears
2. A Taste Of Armageddon
3. Messenger Of Faith
4. Secret Rules
5. The Dressmaker
6. Endless Agony
7. Paranormal Magnitute Pt. II
8. Circle Of The Dark
9. Haunting Memories
10. Heretic
11. The Dominion Gate
12. The Watchtower
13. K-141

Offical Web site: www.nightmare-metal.com

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