With so many bands embracing a more traditional heavy metal sound à la the late 70’s and early-to-mid 80’s, a fresh moniker and subgenre needed to be coined – New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal – and legions of acts formed in the past five years or so have fallen under its umbrella. But while the vast majority of these acts have blended the traditional sound with elements of thrash or speed, or have just gone with a straight-up traditional sound entirely, San Francisco, California’s Nite, on the other hand, are the first group that have come to Hated One’s attention that are blending black metal with the traditional heavy metal sound, and the result is engagingly enjoyable.
Coming hot out of the gate, with not even a prior EP to their name, Nite have released their debut full-length, Darkness Silence Mirror Flame, on Creator-Destructor Records as of March 20th, 2020, and immediately, the metal world has been put on notice. Although perhaps not as rip-roaring throughout as a Midnight album or as bright as an Enforcer release, Nite have carved out their own little niche into the NWOTHM movement, combining true black metal vocal stylings, ambience, and lyrical elements with early 80’s riffing, inflections, solos, and production elements to create something that is wholly unique and praiseworthy.
Darkness Silence Mirror Flame is eight tracks of blackened heavy metal enthusiasm and ardor, with not one song clocking in under five minutes. Each track meanders in its own way, with some taking on an air of almost thrashy, Venom-like vigor, some slowly churn and roil along, while still others riff and roll as if the 80’s were back again in all their brash glory. The intricacy of each track is well thought out, composed, and produced, proving that the two years since Nite’s formation have been time very well spent, indeed, and that Darkness Silence Mirror Flame is not an album to be underestimated.
Some of the finest selections on this admirable release include the headbang-inducing opener, “Genesis” and its follow-up, “The Way”, as well as the mesmerizing swing and sway of “Ezelia”, and the classic riffs and soundscapes of “Night Terrors”. Overall, Darkness Silence Mirror Flame isn’t a perfect album, and Nite certainly have some room to grow and need some time to hone their sound further, but as a first effort, this album abounds with remarkable raw talent, solid songwriting skills, and top-notch production.
In short, Darkness Silence Mirror Flame is an awesome release that you should check out in full by pressing play below right now! Enjoy! (Also, don’t forget to visit and support Nite on the web by clicking the provided links at the bottom of the page!) \m/
Rating: 9.25 / 10
Release Date: March 20th, 2020 (Creator-Destructor Records)
Influences and Contemporaries: Venom, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Skid Row, Watain, Midnight, Flamekeeper, Hellripper, Night Demon, BAT