Bloody Nightmare – Pillars of Chaos (Fighter Records)Wednesday, 24th May 2023
South America has been an underground hotbed when it comes to heavy metal as of late. Hailing from Bogota, Columbia, Bloody Nightmare started their ascension in 2013, releasing a demo and single before their first album Hellwolf in 2018. Adding lead guitarist Diego Torres in 2022, we have the sophomore record for Pillars of Chaos – signing to Spanish label Fighter Records. A ten-track effort, the quartet blaze a trail across speed/heavy metal waters, pulling liberally from old school classic bands just as easily as the current NWOTHM generation of artists.
As players Alexander Daza and Diego are a formidable axe guitar duo – elevating those riffs to galloping horizons where incessant headbanging occurs frequently. You’d be hard pressed not to receive neck strain to their blazing rhythms, runs, and thoughtful melodic textures within the Maiden-esque “Midnight Legion” or Enforcer-like title track. The occasional longer arrangement gives these musicians a chance to stretch their creative wings – “Poisonous (Breathe the End)” over its seven-minute plus timeframe containing some classic Priest-like rhythms, a tranquil, echoing sequence not dissimilar to “Remember Tomorrow” with some intriguing church organ strains before the energetic twin harmony action takes command. The record ends on a progressive instrumental note as “Celestial Wisdom” sets the universe ablaze, the guitars slowly fading into oblivion. The vocals of Alexander have a bit of that sadistic snarl meets pitchy screaming that could be a love it or leave it proposition for many (hear “Nightriders” for his full mid-range to glass shattering abilities) – while the full on ‘gang’ support during “’Till The Grave” leaves much to be desired as far as proper harmonization. The digital sprinkler-oriented tone to the snare/kick hits may be another area that the band puts more attention to in future recordings – as it weakens an obvious talented performance throughout for drummer Hanner Robles.
What does this mean in the end for Bloody Nightmare? Well, in the case of Pillars of Chaos, it’s a record that has a lot of pluses as far as speed/heavy metal style and substance. Hopefully with better production tools and stronger singing, the next go around could be spectacular – at this point, it’s a wait and see game.