Nyktophobia – Fate of Atlantis (Self-Released)

Sunday, 7th October 2018
Rating: 8/10

Germany’s Nyktophobia really jumped out the gate with some exceptional old school melodic death metal with last year’s Fallen Empire (having a line-up of experienced players certainly helped give it a professional debut). Embracing the early Gothenburg days while providing their own spice to it made for some wicked melodies, and Fate of Atlantis proves that if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t need fixing.

Without question, Nyktophobia’s greatest asset is the ability to make some incredibly catchy melodies within a more brutal framework. This moves back towards to the days where aggressive riffing attached to melodies and harmonies that offered a contrasting stance. Songs can hit some throttling speeds, such as the triumphant closer “Realms of Hades,” but the near constant barrage of addictive melodies makes it quite memorable. It’s almost as if when one moment passes, something equally enjoyable comes to take its place, while offering a tempo or atmospheric change. There’s a feeling of grandeur that permeates the music, and something that parallels the dark but majestic artwork that has been used on both releases to date. Vocalist Tomasz’s guttural barks don’t have to move into clean vocal territory because the melodies provide a thorough ear-candy, and instead work to keep the music at its heaviest state while still providing a fair level of intelligibility. The album is brief at 33-minutes, but it’s also a case of the necessary fat being cut and leaving only the strongest morsels of savory riffs and melodies to enjoy.

Melodic death metal fans should be rightfully rejoicing with what Nyktophobia has done with two albums. Fate of Atlantis is just as strong as Fallen Empire, and proves that there is still plenty of space for music of this variety, even if many of its originators have moved onto more modern/poppy headspaces.

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