Nightfell – Darkness Evermore (20 Buck Spin)

Sunday, 23rd August 2015
Rating: 8/10

Nightfell, the combined force that is Todd Burdette (Tragedy, His Hero is Gone, etc.) and Tim Call (Aldebaran, Mournful Congregation), are a welcome breath of fresh (or polluted) air into the atmosphere that is death/doom. The duo doesn’t pull any punches – their sound is heavily rooted in the fundamentals of early death metal, but without the raggedness, and classic doom, but without the orchestration. It’s a combination that on the surface, doesn’t appear to have much appeal. But then the songs on Darkness Evermore get rolling…

Comprised of seven songs (they’re terribly long in the tooth, either), Darkness Evermore evokes the classic, stoic atmosphere of death/doom’s past without too much pandering. As in, there’s some fresh ideas being tossed about, whether it’s on the lurching opener “At Last,” or rollicking “Rebirth,” a song that gracefully descends into an acoustic/violin interlude that is rather triumphant. It’s in these subtle changes is where Burdette and Call do the most damage. The nuances the pair pack into their songs don’t come to the surface at first blush, but when they do (see the melody-driven closer “Collapse”), Darkness Evermore becomes an album worth revisiting.

The catch with Nightfell (and bands of a similar thread) is how much they want to hitch their wagons to ideas of old to the point of banal tribute. With Nightfell, there’s a rugged, grizzled aura to the whole thing that suggests Burdette and Call had a jolly good ‘ole time throwing these seven songs together. They sure feel natural, and hardly contrived, suggesting that Darkness Evermore, and Nightfell as a whole, should be taken seriously in the grand death/doom discussion. Lord knows we need some exciting new bands to lift this particular style up off the mat.

Nightfall at Bandcamp