Album review: KNIGHTMARE – Walk Through Fire

Bandcamp [Release date 16.03.18]

Knightmare, out of the Raleigh, NC area have been around for a bit, and are a phenomenal live band to witness. A hybrid mix of USPM and NWOBHM, these young guys show the utmost respect, and true understanding of the roots of all things metal. They’re also one of the most generous and caring bands towards their fans. The handful of times I’ve managed to catch them they’ve always been super gracious towards myself and anyone else that takes the time and spends the money to assist them keeping their passion alive. They’ve just unleashed their third album Walk Through the Fire, and have easily released their finest effort to date. Their first two albums are great, but are a bit rough around the edges at times, so when I went into the new one I was anticipating that rough again, but was pleasantly surprised to find that whatever issues had crept up in the past, seemed miles away.

Knightmare is a band unashamed to wear their influences on their sleeves, and proudly display them like a patch on a worn denim jacket. On the surface you definitely hear the obvious USPM and NWOBHM, but just below there is also a keen sense for the hard rock of the 80’s and even hints of 70’s era with their twin guitar assault from Jared Mountz and Reid Rogers. Singer/bassist Anthony Micale has such a strong vocal ability that never copies anyone else, but has a very familiar sound to it, very rooted in the soulful style of the 70’s, but not afraid to bust out some upper range when the song calls for it. Drummer Spencer Hughes lays down a backbeat that serves the song, while at the same time showing his talents. As for the songs, tracks like “Spirits,” “Super Moon,” and “Lake of Rage” were the standouts for me, but without a doubt the whole album is fantastic.

If you enjoy bands that faithfully keep the old school metal sound alive and well while at the same time presenting their own spin on it, Knightmare is your band, and especially Walk Through the Fire. It might not be the most perfect album, but it certainly does one of the most important things an album and band should do: it entertains and commands the listener to play it often. And if these guys happen to come to your area, go see them. They’re so much fun to watch on stage. ***1/2

Review by Chris Martin

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