A Sanity Deranged
Review by Alex on September 16, 2019.
Portland’s Nightfell have put their chisel to metal and carved out a melancholic, muscular and moody monument of blackened death metal. I've said it many times over, but I am going to reiterate it here, I hate depressive metal but when the songs are this good, it usually leaves me no choice but to sit and listen. Can these guys play a tune or what?!! A Sanity Deranged is their third full length record and it baffles me that I’ve never once heard of Nightfell until now. Six tracks of emotionally piercing music awaits you; songs that squeeze-out your darkest most wistful and forlorn thoughts line by line, though simultaneously channeling high amounts of rage and anger.
A Sanity Deranged can make you want to cry and start a fight with a mammoth at the same time. I was left asking, ‘how there's not been more said about this band?’, and even more, ‘how is the music so fucking good?’; my questions would be answered mockingly as it turns out the big man, ‘Tim Call’ of Sempiternal Dusk, Terror Oath, Weregoat, Mournful Congregation (and the list goes on) is but half the members fronting the project; that would explain why the atmosphere is so spot-on and the music is of a near flawless pedigree. Apparently he handles vocals and drums here and it shows vibrantly through the musically just how impeccable his contributions are on A Sanity Deranged. He brings the same dedication and high quality as heard on his other projects regardless what role/s he may be playing. The second half of the lineup, Todd Brudette who is also a part of many side projects, more notably his metal project Tragedy being a crust punk/doom metal-oriented band, handles guitars, vocals, bass and goodness does he do a sensational job. I’m guessing Tim Call laid the death metal vocals given his involvement in Sempiternal Dusk while Todd Brudette took care of the crust punk barks having been involved with Tragedy. Their teamwork on A Sanity Deranged is something to behold, its two persons, but the music speaks in a tone of 1, as though it was all supervised and executed by a single entity.
Turbulent like a landslide or avalanche, yet as serene and tearful as raindrops trickling down a window pane, A Sanity Deranged explores and exploits mellow doomy passages, death and black metal riffing, harsh barks and growls to remind the listener/s of just how vulnerable and temporal the mortal shell and existence is. March to the d-beat death and black metal parade of ‘No Life Lives Here’ onward to the dimming luminescence of ‘(As Now) We Must Succumb’ and 'To the Flame', then drown in the lachrymose of ‘Sanity Deranged’. The nihilism runs unhindered all through these recordings and feels like you’re listening to a cross between MGLA and Abstracter as the cold, lifeless character of the songs push against your consciousness like brick walls closing in slowly around you.The intensity on this record is bewildering, same can be said about the amount of detail to be extracted. Every note, accurately carved to convey despair, dread, despondency, anxiety and misery; startlingly projecting sorrow and agony, mercilessly picking at your emotion’s song after song; so much psychological agitation evinced its near inescapable.
I won’t recommend a song for you, what I can say is go into this blindfolded, begin from the very first song to the end and you will see A Sanity Deranged plays like a story, to understand, appreciate and get a clear perception of the image being molded and modeled, you would have needed to explore it in its entirety.
Rating: 9 out of 10