Nigromante: Black Magic Night

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Nigromante: Black Magic Night
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Nigromante: Black Magic Night
Heavy Metal
Shadow Kingdom Records
January 7th, 2014
Release length: 33:26
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Nigromante is a Heavy Metal group that formed in 2003. Residing in Madrid, Spain, the long-standing entity went from being a full fledged band to a simple two-piece group. Composed of drummer Serra (Rancor and vocalist, guitarist, and studio bassist Choco (Steel Horses, live member of Wild), Nigromante issued three demos between 2004 and 2006 before taking a break from recording new material, more than likely due to obvious obligations to their other active groups. However, for 2014, they find themselves signed to underground Heavy Metal specialists Shadow Kingdom Records to issue their first ever full-length effort, Black Magic Night. Is it better late than never, or does this release fail to meet even the most basic of expectations Heavy Metal fans will impose on it?

Black Magic Night doesn’t necessarily come off raw, but it does sound more like a lower budgeted recording. The crisp audio doesn’t always pack the strongest bite despite the music often being really catchy with a solid eighties flare. The vocals do suffer a bit, being rather loud and rough in the mix. “Soy Un Macarra” shows more of a Punk influence to the music and incorporates a enthusiastic cleaner approach to the vocals. This vibrant style is the polar opposite of the deeper growling that is often intimidating, especially when reaching lower depths. This is on display during the chorus, which makes the fun and rebellious song even more enjoyable.

The rest of Black Magic Night can come off like listening to a stereotypical pissed off Mexican druglord oddly shouting in harmonization right in your face with a knife pressed against your throat as a Heavy Metal band plays behind him. It sounds incredibly out there, but the two compliment each other perfectly. This is exactly how “Heavy Metal Age” starts the album off. The song throws back to the days of early Judas Priest with hard hitting Rock inspired riffs that show a subtle epic level to the atmosphere everywhere but the commanding mid-tempo march about half way through, and a solid guitar solo shortly after. Then there’s “False Idol,” which is a faster track with some additional complexity in the lead riffs during the bridges, as well as some extra enthusiasm in the vocals through the Southern-tinged main verses.

While most of the album has a very subtle presence, “Syndicate of Crime” makes it’s Metal known. The hint of early spy movie influence can be felt in some passages, the melodic elements coming off as if stolen right out of a lost Avantasia album but repeatedly scraped against something abrasive to make it gritty enough to belong. Everything about this track just works, especially the many hooks throughout that make banging your head along almost impossible to ignore. Sadly, while it’s easily the best cut the release has to offer, none of this can really be said for “Saturnalia of Blood,” the only weak track to be found in the entire thirty minutes thanks to the simpler riffs not having that strong an impact. This isn’t helped any by the brief gaps that hit before the infectious chorus that will have you at least bobbing your head along to the rhythm.

Black Magic Night is the product of an eighties Metal band that only decided to form at the turn of the century. There’s no denying Nigromante will take some time to get adjusted to given the audio quality they use for this recording. When it finally does grow on you, you’ll find yourself having a hard time putting it down. No, this isn’t a life changing album, but neither is it the product of a duo playing it safe. What Nigromante do is simply remind us how kick ass the joining of Hard Rock and Metal use to be before the days of cheese, worship, and over-the-top performances. Black Magic Night is subtle, catchy, and pretty damn effective.

01. Heavy Metal Age – 3:55
02. Black Magic Night – 3:35
03. In Nomine Pater – 4:56
04. Saturnalia of Blood – 3:49
05. False Idol – 4:03
06. Syndicate of Crime – 4:08
07. Soy un Macarra – 3:01
08. Satan Death Squad – 4:18
09. Summoning Spell – 1:40
Initial Pressing Score: 8.5/10

Nigromante
Nigromante

Digital review copy of this release provided by Shadow Kingdom Records via Clawhammer PR.