Brewing metal for as long as 13 years, Nightland, based out of Italy, have come out with their Second studio album, “Umbra Astra Luna”. This album was released on the 8th of November 2019, which was recorded by Brendan Paolini, mixed and mastered by Simone Mularoni at Domination Studio. Although they’ve experimented with genres in the past, this album is a good dose of Blackened Symphonic Death metal. It isn’t hard to believe that their earlier music had been inspired by European Viking/Folk Metal bands. Having released 2 EPs, 3 Singles and 1 Studio Album “Obsession” the band has come a long way, and I can’t wait to spin their new album.
The album starts off with “Postridie Nonas Iunias” which builds a cinematographic soundscape that lures you into their world (Reminded me a bit of LOTR). There is so much charm in the music, and as the drums start to march, the album picks up pace before it smashes us with “Amongst Blackening Skies“. Their second song brings about brutal blast beats coupled with the scathing screams, blitzing guitar riffs and the symphonic elements help supplement and progress their sound. “In Shadow and Light” rumbles its way in with a high tonal bass, and as the groovy guitar riff chime in we are bombarded with blast beats and the choir like chorus that resonates and adds creativity to their sound.
“One Million Suns” starts off with keys and suddenly delves into something really heavy, bringing in synchronized blast beats battling with shreds on the guitars, a catchy chorus that will definitely get you head-banging. This song was quite dynamic in its approach and saw a lot of progression. “Lovers in a Colorless Summer” has all that it takes to define the Blackened Death metal genre. The song pounces you on with maddening blast beats, scalding screams and a base melody that traverses through the length of the song. After a point, I felt all of it was being looped over and over without much progression, and felt that the melody was harshly forced unto the blast beats. “Unto the Endlessness” has a dramatic start, picks up on a catchy hypnotic melody and takes no time to pulverize your mind with heavy guitar chugs.
“Eternally Thine” wastes no time and takes you on rollercoaster ride. Try listening to this song with your eyes closed, there is a bit of Keys that flare up every now and then, and just like that I was reminded of what I used to do when I had just gotten into listening Metal at the age of 12. I would close my eyes and picture myself growling and riffing it hard on the guitars. Well this song just reminded me of that memory. So thank you! This incredible album ends with “Of Moon and Stars” which definitely jolt you out of your comfort and make you realize the brute force that’s been part and parcel of this record. Melodic female vocals, along with palm muted guitar chugs add a very unique flavour to this otherwise heavy and aggressive record.
Production : The production on this album is mature and the song writing great. All the instruments get their fair share of presence and the mixing and mastering is top notch.
Conclusion : I’ll be honest, I was expecting something quite different from this genre, but this submerged and catapulted me towards a Blackened Death Metal sound rather than Symphonic Death metal, if there is any difference to be made. Although towards the end I could feel some convergence. I strongly recommend you buy this record straightaway!!
Written by: Ankit Sood
- Postridie Nonas Iunias
- Amongst Blackening Skies
- In Shadow and Light
- One Million Suns
- Lovers in a Colorless Summer
- Unto the Endlessness
- Eternally Thine
- Of Moon and Stars
Ludovico Cioffi – Vocals/Guitars
Brendan Paolini – Guitars
Filippo Scrima – Bass
Filippo Cicoria – Drums
“Knights of the Dark Empire” Ep (2011)
“In Solemn Rise” Ep (2012)
“Umbra astra luna” (2019)
Video for ‘One Million Suns’
Video for ‘Lovers in a Colorless Summer’