Nightfist The Epic

[Temporary Residence; 2003]

Rating: 2.5/5

Styles: instrumental rock, ironic metal, post-rock
Others: Queen, Metallica, Iron Maiden

Being an instrumental band is as hard as trying to dig yourself out of a 20ft hole. And when you throw a glossy keyboard into the mix, you’re just digging yourself in deeper. The keyboard work on The Epic does give a cinematic quality to the songs, but only in an animated PG-13 Disney movie sort of way. Grueling guitar riffs blanket the album, spitting out those licks you always hear when walking into a Guitar Center. Epic, isn't it?

On The Epic, the five strapping young lads from Menlo Park, California that make up Nightfist do the impossible by providing uplifting metal tunes. The keyboard brightens the songs, but at the same time come off cheesy when coupled with high-rise guitar solos. Wow, after only listening to this CD for the fourth time, I’ve been relegated to using adjectives like "cheesy." That has to be a record. Yet, with Nightfist playing in the background, any other word choice would be bad journalism.

Just when I think the absurdity had leveled out, "Chapter 4: Arabian Gunparty" kicks in. The sped up "arabian" riffs bewilder me. If a video was filmed for this song, the members of Nightfist jamming between cardboard pyramids would surely be involved. Nightfist just comes off as some metal revival joke. Sure these guys can play, but the album sounds like it was created in a bubble wrapped box positioned in some sterile laboratory outside Nevada. Give me a mess-up, a hiss, a muffled string, anything! Without the aid of vocals, I feel like I could be listening to the product of some teenager with Fruity Loops on his computer and a bunch of midi presets.

Nightfist is destined for an arena rock platform. They spew forth triumphant metal tracks with pre-packaged power, and nothing more. I’m sure some pro wrestler will be using The Epic as his/her entrance music soon enough, and frankly, I think that’s what Nightfist is striving for.

1. The Prologue
2. Chapter 1: The Hero's Overture
3. Chapter 2: Acidrainfuckhell
4. Chapter 3: Herman Spectre Legacy V
5. Chapter 4: Arabian Gunparty
6. The Epilogue