Symphonic powermetal is perhaps the most unique heavy metal sub-genres to have been created, a bizarrely brilliant combination of operatic singing, sweeping guitar solos, and enough energy to rally a war-cry amongst a group of angry vikings. Adhering closely to this criteria is today’s Band of the Day, the Belgian sextet Nightqueen, a group well-deserving of their royal title. Leading the group is Lady Hellen, the new vocalist for Nightqueen, whose voice totally dominates their songs through her musical prowess and immense talent.
Do not be fooled in to thinking that Lady Hellen’s powerful voice is the only attraction to Nightqueen though, as the band consists of five other extremely proficient musicians, each of whom have ample opportunity to showcase their talent. The solos by guitarists Rex Zeco and Adagio are about as old-school as you can get, reminiscent of those from classic 1980s metal bands such as Iron Maiden and Queensryche, a nugget of pure, unadulterated heavy metal goodness. Keyboardist Gio Zuccari creates haunting symphonic soundscapes, while the combined efforts of drummer Ken Martin and bassist Paddy Lee lay the foundation of the tracks, occasionally rising to the front for a brief, intense solo, proving that they are not simply there to keep the beat.
While other modern heavy metal bands are interested in getting louder, faster, and heavier until they produce a heaped mess distorted of sound, Nightqueen are far more interested in looking back towards bands within the NWOBHM period, taking influence from their bouncy, uplifting style of play. From this, Nightqueen effectively manage to cherry-pick the best elements from the 1980s heavy metal scene and infuse it with their own contemporary style of play. This mixture of old and new is something special, and you would be mad to pass over such an immensely talented band.
Nightqueen’s most recent album, rEvolution, is out now and available here.