NIGHTMARE - Cryptic Songs (THRASHING MADNESS - CD 2012)
According to the all-knowing Metal Archives, there were / are 13 bands named Nightmare! Damn, so many hehe! But the one, which I will write about here in this review is Polish Nightmare (maybe they should have called themselves “Koszmar” – that would sound more original, even if foreign people would never be able to pronounce it properly hehe). It’s actually a second compilation CD from Thrashing Madness with Nightmare logo. Firstly there was “Misterium przekleństw”, which contained two demos from 1989 and 1991. And now it’s “Cryptic Songs”, which compiles the album from 1993 plus “The Evil” demo 1992. And again, just like with Morbid Vision, I can’t recall ever hearing Nightmare before. Yes, I do remember the band name from some reviews, which I’ve seen in few old fanzines, but have I ever heard their music before? I don’t think so, but it is awesome again that Thrashing Madness is exhuming such artefacts!
So I did not know what to expect here, but the better surprise is to hear such a cool thrash / death metal played in totally archaic and almost forgotten way. I can’t put one particular bands, which would sound close to Nightmare, my memory is so blank now… But I suppose the band was taking the influences from the best acts of their era, such as Sepultura, a lot of US thrash metal or thrash / death, including Possessed, Incubus and more, more… Again I must admit that I have an impression that the music sounds today very archaic and old, but not in a negative meaning of this word. It’s also interesting to spot that today no one is able to re-create such music, to sound just like these old Polish bands did back in the early 90’s. It’s that characteristic old production, but also the specific vocals, guitar riffs, which may not be so brutal and powerful as some of you would wish, but they are good enough to bang the skull while listening to them. I’m not saying that “Cryptic Songs” is perfect and all that… No, there are as many awesome moments, as those, which are just dull, some are even irritating, like some guitar solos, which I don’t like so much or the songs like “Fallen Love” (oh, really bad clean vocals here!). These boring parts are not many, and besides, there are also those awesome songs like “Cryptic Songs”, “Looking for the Paradise”, “Nocturnal Winds” or truly aggressive piece called “Celebration of the Wolf”, so the balance between good and average is in favour of the first one.
“Cryptic Songs” CD includes also “The Evil” demo as a bonus plus couple of live songs from 1992. The demo may not be something special, especially as it contains basically few of the same songs, which were also included on the album, only the sound on the demo is rougher… Nothing specially great, just decent stuff. As for the live songs, I must say I love them. Sure, they sound harsh like a bootleg, but I just like them a lot, they have such a energetic feeling, something what I sometimes miss in Nightmare studio version, you know? They played thrash / death metal, but it just lacked something powerful, in my opinion… live they had it all.
Anyway, to conclude the whole review - “Cryptic Songs” is surely another recommended release from Thrashing Madness. Just like with Morbid Vision, I can’t say that we’re dealing here with something totally exceptional, rather one of many quite mediocre bands from the early 90’s, which did not achieve anything special back in the old days (hold on! Nightmare did manage to achieve something – somehow they got a chance to support Iron Maiden in 1995! Now, that is something awesome!), but today they sound rather cool. So, yes, I did enjoy this CD.Final rate: 69/100