Album number 2 from Sweden’s Night Viper picks up with the energy of the debut with ‘No Escape’, sometimes verging into a thrash spectrum, and then as the album progresses to the expected traditional metal, often in a rock n roll style. The first few tracks are all cool, listenable, but not as remarkable as I found with their debut. It is not until ‘Ashes’ when a more sinister use of chords comes to the forefront that the album becomes balanced and really grows. Similarly a sense repeated for ‘Lady Bad Luck’ and ‘Going Down’.

I have found the vocals are really up front in the mix, perhaps too much for me, you have to listen hard to get the music behind them. It may be the files I am listening to of course, as they do vary in volume between tracks. ‘All That Remains’ finally exhumes emotion, something I wanted from the start, it’s just a shame it’s the closing tune.

There is also less emphasis on the doomier and sinister metal that I found on the debut. ‘Exterminator’ seems a lot more basic hard rock, that’s what I feel comes out on this second album. Overall, a good record, I preferred the debut, but I san album of two halves with the latter picking up the slow and relatively ambiguous start, but it’s still a strong effort.

(7/10 Paul Maddison)