Knightmare - In Death's Shadow (Own Label)

Impressive stuff...
Release Date: 
30 Nov 2012 - 11:30pm


Why are Knightmare unsigned? Not that it matters overmuch in today’s protooled world when anyone with a few quid and a guitar can make an album in their own bedroom and have the world listening to it minutes after the songs hit the hard drive; but you have to ask what record companies are up to when a band as good as this can make it this far – releasing a debut album – without scoring a deal of some sort.

Melbournites Knightmare deal in anthemic traditional heavy metal (a bit prog here, a bit power there, but definitely heavy metal in its purest form throughout), and their debut full lengther is at least as good as anything out there being touted by their signed counterparts. Boasting seven impressively mature tracks (don’t worry though, value-for-money-fans… the shortest track here is six and a half minutes long) choc full of impressive guitar work courtesy of six string duo Luke Besley and James Munro, songs such as Granted Death impress with the widescreen vision of their conception, the military precision of their execution and, most important of all, the quality of the songwriting on show. This is heavy metal as easy listening; but that dread term here means In Death’s Shadow is a record you’ll find incredibly easy to keep slipping in to your music delivery system for another chance to listen to gems like False Prophets, an incredible, twisting and turning epic that keeps the listener enthralled as it leads you on a journey through eastern tinged riffage and pounding double kickwork, or the exciting Apocalypse, which builds to a dramatic and gratifyingly heavy climax before fading into the ether, giving  way to the more considered strains of Knightmare. 

Actually, Knightmare is only more considered for the first minute and a half of its duration – after that we’re headlong back into the metal again, led by a laudable vocal from Mick Simpson and some more leg-wearying drumming.  Next track Unity Through Chaos is a much thrashier proposition, spitting out some chunky riffage to complement the song’s title, whilst closing statement Judgement – a sprawling, ten-and-three-quarter-minute valediction – ends matters in suitably titanic style.

Knightmare are a majestic, massively attractive outfit who must surely go on from this to bigger and better things – if they get a bit of support from the record buying public. Give them the leg up they so richly deserve by investing in a copy of this album.