Knightmare - In Death’s Shadow

Knightmare In Death’s Shadow cover
In Death’s Shadow
Independent Release
I happened upon this band, coincidentally, as another band with the same name had released a new album around this time-period and I sorta confused them. Gladly enough, I then realized that this band, Knightmare, is a newcomer from Australia (the Australians are coming with full force this period) and “In Death’s Shadow” is the band’s long awaited & long in the making debut release. They did release an EP called “Unholy” in 2008 but since then the band’s line-up has changed a lot. So, nowadays the band consists of the two founding members, the vocalist MICKoWAR and the guitarist/keyboardist Luke Besley and the newer ones, the guitarist Jim Munro & the bassist Matt McConaghy.
I wasn’t sure what I was going to face as soon as I started playing the album… but I was hoping for something good cuz’ the very dim & post-apocalyptic cover artwork had given me some good vibes. Thankfully, this album turned out to be quite fascinating for me and I assume it will be the same for any listener that appreciates qualitative metal music. The guys tried out something very risky & daring on this CD that gratefully worked excellently in the end. Even though it’s hard to describe the band’s music, I will say that they keep a heavy-power metal background while it is embellished with blastbeats, cinematic, soundtrack, tempo changes & complex rhythms alongside with atmospheric, acoustic, epic, dark, extreme, aggressive, progressive & melodic elements. If you find my description rather interesting, wait till you listen to the album and then tell me about it. This release cannot be out under the tag prog/power metal in any way… it’s something more mixed than that. Furthermore, the production is vigorous, dynamic & heavy… exactly as it should be in order to have a great package at large. The album was mixed by Ermin Hamidovic of Systematic Productions (Untruth, Eye of the Enemy, Orpheus, Elm Street), and mastered by Plec at Panic Room Studios in Sweden (Scar Symmetry, Watain).
The surprising thing with this album is the orchestrations. The guys have done an incredible work in every part. You’ll be mesmerized by how all the instruments, the vocals, the melodies & the diverse music parts are blended together so harmonically & intriguingly! This thing needs creativity, imagination & talent… and these guys have ‘em all! Long instrumental music themes that instead of making the listener bored to death (as others do), they enthrall and you’ll ask for more while you start entering the majestic, gloomy, epic, intense & deep soundscape Knightmare are creating with every song. Whereas the CD is about an hour long, you will not comprehend how time has passed once you are carried away by the aspiring, beautiful & all-pervading music of this album.
Obviously, such indie (& not only) works are not to be released every day… so it’s up to us, the fans, that truly love good music to support bands and releases such as this one. “In Death’s Shadow” is totally a grower. Concentration & headphones while listening are recommended. I believe that 2012 is ending in a grand & imposing way… for “In Death’s Shadow” is indeed the Best Album in December and among the top releases of the year that’s coming to an end soon…