Release DetailsLABEL Regain
RELEASED ON 10/1/2007
posted on 2/2008 By:
Despite the fact that these French dudes have been around since the early '80s, I knew absolutely nothing about Nightmare prior to listening to Genetic Disorder. While I am hardly an encyclopedia of metal know-how, I do possess an unhealthy curiosity for heavy music, so when I found out how long the band had been around I almost shat my pants in disappointment. What the hell was wrong with me, I thought. Turns out very little is wrong with me, though. Nightmare are no legends. They released two albums in two years ('84 and '85) and called it quits before reforming in the late '90s. Tragically, the original singer passed away and drummer Joe Amore took over on vocals. Skip three full-lengths later and we find ourselves staring at the predictably illustrated Genetic Disorder, another enjoyable disc that will probably lose its luster come Spring.
Genetic Disorder's charm is immediate. Amore is actually a hell of a vocalist. Considering the fact that he wasn't the band's original frontman, it's pretty friggin' impressive that he's got these kinds of lungs. He's gravelly, and there's an element of age in his voice (probably because he IS getting older, or more "mature" as us kind folk like to say). It works for him! I'll say this, if life ever takes me to Grenoble, France and I spot this guy sipping a cup of coffee at the corner cafe, I'd be the last person to interrupt his peaceful afternoon. This Frenchman don't play. That said, though, as gravelly as he can get he's got some range, too. He hits some high notes here and there. Thankfully, he knows his limits and keeps it to a minimum, but they're certainly there. "Conspiracy" is a good example of him understanding his strong points. It's all gravy when he hits that chorus.
Another endearing quality is the traditional feel of the album. You can't call this a "power metal" album in the modern sense, and anyone who does is a fool. A damned fool, in fact. That kick in your teeth vibe is written all over this damn thing, and it's undeniably infectious. They take what Messiah's Kiss or even Seven Witches seem to try to do but actually do it, if you can imagine that. Bridging the gap between the unbridled charm of good old mid-80s power and the not-so-subtle crunch of modern metal, Nightmare channel an almost ageless spirit. I say almost because I know that as good as some of the songs are here, I'll forget about the album given a few months. I'll be sitting on the john humming the charge of "Queen of Love & Pain," not knowing what the hell it is that just crawled in the noggin. Therein lies the problem. Genetic Disorder is good but not great, and that's just not good enough to make a lasting impression.
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