Nite - Darkness Silence Mirror Flame [Creator-Destructor Records - 2020]
Mixing different styles of heavy music has always been a kind of impetus for the evolution of a scene, and the formation of new trends. A fairly large number of musicians who initially play extreme forms of heavy music turn their talents to classic Heavy metal, returning to the roots or trying to combine different styles. San Francisco based band Nite, is somewhat of a super-group consisting of former members of Satan’s Wrath, Dawnbringer, Older Sun. Nite, characterizing their style as Blackened Heavy Metal, and here we have the bands' debut album released by American label Creator-Destructor Records in March 2020. The album was released as a Digipack CD and as a vinyl double LP of two different types - plain black and Gold w / Splatter. The cover is made in a now rather fashionable graphic style, combining engraving and art nouveau. However, here it is done in a more simplified form. On a black background, white strokes depict a faceless figure in a cassock and hood, with arms spread out to the sides. Above his head, and his hands are three tongues of flame. Around the figure is smoke or fog. To the right and left are ornamental elements that create something like a frame for this picture. These are vertical stripes painted in color imitating copper, passing at the top into webbed wings. At the top of the cover is the band's logo, made of stylized Gothic copper letters. At the bottom of the cover, the title of the album is written in plain white print. The cover seemed to me rather simple and minimalist. However, it has its own atmosphere. But this is closer to Black Metal than to Heavy metal. As for the logo, I honestly saw a lot of similarities with the death metal band Nile logo. But, I think this is just a coincidence of similar elements.
The album, has a total duration of a little over forty-six, consists of eight tracks. As for the musical part of the album, the style of the group declared as Blackened Heavy Metal really corresponds to this wording. Nite presents us with classic heavy metal riffs and guitar solos, wrapped in a fairly dense sound and rhythm. In the music, the influence of NWOBHM bands (in particular, Iron Maiden and Saxon), as well as many other representatives of the classic Heavy Metal, are clearly audible. However, in the compositions, there are elements more characteristic of modern Black Metal. For example, the fourth song, entitled "Ezelia", I would describe as black metal with a slight heavy influence. But basically, the influence of black metal is the vocals characteristic of this style. The overall sound of the album is quite rich and dense, however, everything is very well mixed. I can hear each instrument. Though, it seemed to me that the sound of the bass guitar could be made more rigid and put it to the forefront a little. In their structure, the compositions are quite simple, although there are several tempo changes in each of them.
Put simply Nite play classic Heavy, but use Black Metal vocals. The fact is that initially, in Heavy Metal, vocals play a leading role. But it's clean vocals, which determines almost the entire melodic line of the song. Other instruments perform a supporting and rhythmic function, and can also be solo instruments at some points provided by the composition. So, in the case of Nite, the lack of clean melodic vocals led to the fact that the compositions became quite monotonous and devoid of obvious melody. There are bands that use black or death metal vocals together with Heavy Metal riffs, but it sounds a lot more interesting and fresh than Nite. Perhaps the fact is that the bands singer has a rather mean vocal range. His vocals are more like a hoarse recitative without any interesting variations. In this case, this does not work. Also, despite the obvious professionalism of the musicians, the riffs, melodies, solos, and compositions seemed too simplistic to me. I would call the final song "Acolytes" the most successful on the album, which seemed slightly more complex to me and reminded me of something King Diamond put out, but albeit more simplified.
To summarize, I want to say that this debut album would have been a good enough start if the band didn’t consist of professional musicians. However, given the past of all members of the band, for me this album was, if not a disappointment, then perplexity. Despite the professionalism and high-quality sound, Darkness Silence Mirror Flame seemed largely inexpressive and just rather boring.Sergey Pakhomov