Nightchains - Metal To The Bone
Label: Dead Masters Beat
Reviewer: Amir Kourosh - 2012-07-05
Highlights: Ecstasy, Metal Storm
The first and only album of this Lebanese Speed/Thrash Metal band, released in 2005. The following year, two members of the band (Nadim and Nabil, bassist and drummer respectively) left Lebanon; therefore, NIGHTCHAINS split up. After that, Tex and Max (guitar and vocals respectively) founded THE GAMBLERS, a band whose sound is close to Hard Rock/Heavy Metal, but which maintains the spirit of NIGHTCHAINS. Apart from that, Tex is also part of DETOX, a punk band where he plays with THRASH STORM's bass player and with his wife Aida. In June 2010, "Metal to the Bone" was re-edited by the German label DEAD MASTERS BEAT, including as bonus tracks the 3 songs of THE GAMBLERS' demo.
NIGHTCHAINS plays old school Speed/Thrash Metal, that has no reason to envy the new bands of this style which have been emerging in Europe and the USA during the last years. Its sound reminds me of Canadian Speed/Thrash Metal bands. They also are influenced by the punk-ish and dirty sound of MOTORHEAD, or even by some Bay Area Thrash. Anyway, they don't sound like any specific band, having a personal and unique sound, something not really frequent in the debut album of any band.
We can highlight the killer riffs of Tex, full of rage and attitude, and Max's voice, a voice with a lot of personality, something hard to find in Thrash Metal. He is probably the best metal singer of Lebanon. This is an awesome album from the beginning to the end, where we can highlight most of their songs. Here, there is even a ballad, something not specially common in Thrash Metal albums. It doesn't have the quality of TESTAMENT's Thrash Metal ballads, but it sounds good. Also we should mention the horrible album cover of the 2005 edition, which fortunately was changed for another in the 2010 edition.
The most remarkable songs are "Ecstasy", the first song of the album, where we can see all the potential of Max's voice; "The Law", the best song of the album, which is fast, short and energetic; "Metal Storm", a song that starts slow but becomes fast and aggressive; and "Where We Come From", one of my favorite songs of the album, that talks about the unkind side of their native Beirut. The only song which I can consider as unremarkable is "Summit Of Thunder", which is not a bad song, but it is harder to listen to because it has a slower rhythm. On the other hand, we should highlight the two most different songs of the album, which contribute to make it more heterogeneous: "(Can't Write A) Love Song", a ballad played only through acoustic guitar and vocals, where I miss a little bit of electric guitar and drums; and "Heart Of The Battle", an epic song, closer to Heavy Metal than Thrash.
To these 8 songs of the album (released in the 2005 edition), we must add four bonus tracks in the 2010 edition. These bonus tracks consist of the 3 songs of the THE GAMBLERS' demo, and a "hidden track", where we listen to a funny version of "(Can't write a) Love Song". The 3 songs of the THE GAMBLERS demo are "Show Business", maybe the song closest to Hard Rock; "Bastards", a song that is strongly influenced by MOTORHEAD as we can see in its title; and my favorite song of this demo, "Lone Riders". About THE GAMBLERS, we could affirm that they keep NIGHTCHAINS' spirit and attitude alive, and maybe they could be one of the most important Lebanese bands in the next few years. They have enough quality to do it.
To end this review, I would like to say that the end of NIGHTCHAINS was bad news for all metalheads. When they split up, we lost one of the best Middle-Eastern Thrash Metal bands. Re-union? I wish it could be definite, and they could release a lot of albums as good as "Metal to the Bone". And if it is possible, I hope the re-union doesn't mean the end of THE GAMBLERS, a band which can give us a lot of surprises in the future.