Ignorance Is Bliss
Review by Santiago Puyol of Metal Temple.com
NIGHTBLADE is a British Alternative Rock and Post-Grunge band. Formed in 2010, the band has released three albums so far, “Ignorance is Bliss” being their last, following 2013 “Closer to the Threshold”. With a modern sound, the band takes on cues from the 80’s and 90’s alternative scenes and expands on them. This 10-track, 55-minute collection of songs packs many lengthy and meandering compositions.
The album gets started with the title-track. Some nasty and playful riffing makes the backbone of “Ignorance is Bliss”. It is an expansive, even if a bit repetitive, opener. Although it makes for a high-energy and catchy start, it could have been a little shorter. Mark Crosby vocals are a bit reminiscent of the gnarly side of Axl Rose from the 90’s, with a dash of Anthony Kiedis conversational style.
“Steering the Wheel” comes next, a mid-tempo rocker with Post-Grunge vibes. Its driving rhythm pounds along. The song has a powerful chorus with a cynical feel that makes it stand out. In between the three- and four-minute mark, on its bridge, it falls into heavier territory, getting even darker.
A deep bassline carries over bits from “Steering the Wheel’s” main vocal line into “Only You”, making both songs flow nicely. Tim Cutcliffe’s bass appears on the forefront here. NIGHTBLADE succeed in building tension on the verses, releasing it on another powerful, emotional chorus. The songwriting is strong enough to guarantee the song does not feel overlong in spite of clocking just over six minutes.
Two lengthy tracks, over the seven-minute mark, sit in the middle of the record. A strong one-two punch that make for the best section on the album. “Never Take For Granted” comes first, with its beautiful clean guitar intro. Crosby’s vocals evoke a mournful and heartfelt Mikael Åkerfeldt here. Some noisy guitar bits add a nice texture. A sprawling ballad with emotional soloing that fully explodes into the last minute, with noisier distortion and pounding bass, while Rich Lawley lets loose on his drum kit. Then comes “What If”, opening with some weird, almost random samples (a car, broken glass, water, etc.). A funky yet slightly menacing bassline courtesy of Cutcliffe anchors the track. Some RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS and even PRIMUS vibes appear here. It is a dark, memorable song, easy to listen despite its length.
NIGHTBLADE follow the intense middle point of the album with three simpler, less memorable tracks, that still manage to be quite effective. “Further from the Truth” has some 80’s Glam touches and really tight playing from the whole band. “Take Me As I Am” is a bit repetitive and returns to the Post-Grunge sound. “Immune to It All” has a nice groove and rich textured sound.
“Find the Strength Within” follows a similar pattern to “Never Take For Granted”, returning to the combo of vulnerable vocals and echoey guitars. There are even touches of piano this time around. A great change of pace for the album and palate cleanser before “Stop”, a fun rocker that ends the album with high energy.
“Ignorance is Bliss” is a solid and fun record, with some memorable tracks, emotional moments and splendid musicianship.
Nightblade: The story so far.…
The nucleus of Nightblade was formed in 2010, consisting of Mark Crosby, Dave Parish and Bill Fitzsimmons. After a stuttering start with various drummers, Richard Jones was finally chosen.
The debut album “Servant To Your Lair” was released in 2011 and Nightblade’s first tour soon followed. With the help of the mandatory article in the ubiquitous and highly regarded Metal Hammer magazine, the album attracted a lot of interest.
Whilst 2011-12 was mainly spent touring the UK, the band began work on their follow-up album “Closer To The Threshold”.
This much-anticipated album was released in 2013, with Richard Jones being replaced by Rich Lawley on drums.
The album was very well received both in the UK and internationally, scoring an average of 8 or 9 out of ten. Powerplay magazine described the album as “excellent” and were “just short of awarding it the full set of stars.”
It got the same reaction and score in Japan’s largest rock magazine Burn.
The album led to an extensive tour, including gigs at the legendary 100 Club in Camden, and at the O2 where coincidentally the Black Sabbath reunion gig was taking place right next door. Nightblade were delighted to be able to hear the Sabbath soundcheck whilst in the process of carrying out their own.
Next up in 2015 was the launch of the “Crisis Has No Prejudice” EP. It proved to be very popular, getting lots of airplay, and with the title track receiving great recognition and reviews, it again received an average score of 8-9 out of ten.
Numerous high-profile gigs followed which saw Nightblade taking to the stage with highly regarded international acts such as Snakecharmer, Wolfsbane and Diamond Head.
With a reputation for consistently producing a solid blend of exciting and attacking rock music, Nightblade have attracted fans worldwide, particularly in Germany, Japan, Scandinavia and Europe in general.
Nightblade: The next steps.…
Now with a settled, not to mention formidable line up of Mark Crosby on vocals, Sam Morse on Guitars, Tim Cutcliffe on Bass, backed up by Rich Lawley on Drums and keyboards, Nightblade’s combined creativity is a force to be reckoned with, producing fresh, innovative, inspiring and poignant material at a startling pace. Their new album “Ignorance Is Bliss” heralds a venture towards an alternative rock sound which is really quite remarkable, delivering powerful melodies, anthemic choruses and instantly infectious hooks.
Brimming with enthusiasm for this new direction, Nightblade are going for the jugular with “Ignorance Is Bliss”!
“New single Only You by Nightblade.
Nightblade have really made it with this song, a piece of driving rock that will hook you straight away.
This sounds like an instant hit single that should be heard loud in any arena venue.
With songs like this, that could be where Nightblade are heading!”
Steve Göldby, Metal Talk