Finally! We have been waiting for this return for years since the legendary Greek band hasn’t given us new music from “Cassiopeia” of 2013. With sparse to minimal live activity, with members in countries outside of Greece, their future seemed uncertain. Until 2020 came and everything changed. They signed a contract with Season Of Mist. They re-released of all their material until 1999 on CD, vinyl and a very nice box set that fits perfectly in my collection. The rest of their discography will probably follow.
The important thing, however, is the changes in their line-up. Efthimis Karadimas, the only regular member, takes on the bass duties again. The founding member Michael Galiatsos returns as a guitarist, in a position where he initially remained until 1999. The second guitarist, Kostas Kyriakopoulos, was a bassist in the band during 2004-2006 and together with Efthimis play in The Slayerking. And behind the drums, the exceptional and talented Fotis Benardo (SixforNinE, ex-Septicflesh etc.).
The result; An album that honors their history and bears proudly their logo on it. A logo that is used for the first time since 1995. A sign perhaps? Probably, since we are talking about an old-school case here. Nightfall experimented a lot over the years. I would not judge them differently if they did the same now. But no, as “At Night We Prey” is an album that clearly focuses on aggression and in-your-face songs.
It is characterized mainly by alternations between fast and mid-tempo speeds in the well-known death/black metal style of the band, but having various other elements that find their way here. Thrashy riffs like in “Killing Moon”, doom tempos like in “Witches” with the sick riffing at points as well as oriental scales like in “Meteor Gods”. Efthimis focuses on his extreme vocals, but also uses whispers (“Giants Of Anger”, “At Night We Pray”) while there are also some female ones from Eleni and Suzana Vougioukli who add something mystical to the compositions.
The work done by the musicians is of course remarkable. Efthimis’ bass lines can be heard clearly, Fotis is a blasting machine, while Michael and Kostas have a quiver of riffs that range from fast and aggressive to mid-tempo and atmospheric, distinct solos and well-written melodic lines. The keyboards are discreet to fill in where needed, contributing to the atmosphere. As for production? The best they have had so far.
Exactly thirty years have passed since Nightfall were founded. A band that is a member of the unholy trinity of Greek extreme metal along with Rotting Christ and Septicflesh. I do not think they could celebrate it in a better way. Their return is something worth checking out, especially with a great record like this one.