Forgotten Gems:Nightshade-Dead of Night
Music for Nations
Forget grunge for a second and take a moment to ponder just how great the heavy metal scene was in Seattle, Washington back in the day. I'm not saying it isn't still pretty intense. Wikipedia lists recent acts like Blood & Thunder, Sword of Judgement, Midnight Idols, Fallen Angels, Deathbeat, H.M.P, Big Business, Drown Mary, Vigilance, Skelator, Ceremonial Castings, Inquisition, Torture Box, Dead Soul Funeral, Inquinok, Pure Hatred, Riot & Rhythm, Tasty Lixxx, Deathmocracy, Wolves in the Throne Room, Future Disorder and Edge of Oblivion. I've just recently reviewed Skelator so the scene is obviously still striving. But, compared to what came out of Seattle before that list pales in comparison. Not only did you have tier one bands like Metal Church, Queensrÿche, The Accused (more of a crossover band really but still relevant), Forced Entry, Sanctuary/Nevermore, Heir Apparent and Fifth Angel but you also had cult bands like Watchmen, TKO, Q5, Reverend, Serpent's Knight, Taist Of Iron, Bitter End, Terrorist, Byrd, Waxwing, Rottweiller, Mistrust, Faustus, Braindead, Culprit, Coven, Death Squad, Re-Active, Cyperus, N.M.E. and Hammerhead. Heck, even the Christian metal band Bloodgood came out of this rain soaked city. Maybe it is all the rain and the fact that the area is so grey that has caused so many to turn to hard and heavy music as a means of escape. Who knows? Seattle is just one of those gold mine places when it comes to heavy metal. That brings us to Nightshade a band that has ties to several other Seattle metal bands. In fact you could consider Nightshade to be a continuation of Q5. Towards the end of Q5's days vocalist Jonathan Scott K, guitarist Rick Pierce and bassist Evan Sheeley decided it was time for a change. Along with the name change came a change in style as Nightshade is more power metal bordering on thrash. Q5 always played beautiful melody filled heavy metal. Note that Nightshade still has some melody although this is more power metal not unlike a heavier Lizzy Borden. Yes, I frequently dog on Amazon customer reviews so I know this next bit will shock. When I first looked into this band one of the reviewers on Amazon actually gave what would be an almost spot on description of this band when he stated that it was like "Lizzy Borden meets Testament". That really is a close call as Nightshade plays a nice and crunchy version of power metal with just enough of an edge and eye towards garage metal to give it this underground feeling. Sure this album might be fairly typical of 1991 and the American power metal scene in general although I'd wager a buck that Nightshade has more than a little amount of renegade appeal to them. This is certainly one of those albums that power metal fans will love and I can't rave enough about just how "metal" this album sounds.