A rock and roll powerhouse for more than two decades, Greek heavy heads Nightstalker got their start founded by frontman Argy in 1989. They were a far cry then from they band that 2012 finds them, but they held onto “best kept secret” status and managed to survive the grunge movement, the semi-commercialization of stoner rock, and, to date, the Euro. In 2009, they released their MeteorCity debut, Superfreak (review here), and to follow-up, they present their brand new, self-produced effort, Dead Rock Commandos, on Small Stone.
Seems kind of ignorant to say a band that had already been around for 20 years at the time were making a debut of sorts with Superfreak, but as it was their first album to really get a North American push, it’s not much of a surprise to find Dead Rock Commandos released through another US label. All the elements that make heavy rock what it is are there: Fuzz distortion, catchy hooks, classic rhythms and an ultra-straightforward, keep-it-simple approach render Nightstalker not nearly as foreboding as their name might imply, and Dead Rock Commandos proves they’re very much alive after all this time. The songs are varied, engaging, familiar but still unpredictable. Sometimes there’s just no arguing with rock done well, so I won’t waste my time to try.
I’ve included the band’s bio to help give some sense of their history. Dead Rock Commandos is streaming in its entirety on the player blow. Please enjoy:
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Formed in Greece, in late 1989, by singer (and at the time drummer) Argy and made truly stable with the addition of Rotting Christ bassist Andreas in 1992, Nightstalker managed to meld their heavy rock influences with funky rhythms and grungy melodies to create a whole new beast.
With all these elements in place they released the first EP in 1994, titled SideFx. With the release of their first full-length album, USE, in 1996, the band established themselves and their own trademark brand of dark heavy sounds. 2000 saw a slight shuffle in membership as well as a new EP, The Ritual, which found Nightstalker treading further in to the realms of deepest, darkest psychedelia. Lineup fully entrenched, the ensuing pair of albums, 2004′s Just A Burn and 2009′s Superfreak garnered the band a new and loyal following across the world.
Which sets the stage for their newest dark masterpiece, Dead Rock Commandos. Another album’s worth of raw rock ‘n’ roll simplicity, filled with stunning riffs and electric haze. More heavy sounds, groovy rhythms and intense bass playing all merging with the power of Argy’s vocals, which is the secret to the music of Nightstalker that has kept the band going for more than 20 years and made them one of the most important bands in the history of the European Hard Rock scene.