Exorcist – Nightmare Theatre Review

I got really excited when I received this re-release promo the other day. After all it’s a classic. That’s why I got a bit confused. Should I write a Classic review of a regular one? I decided to proceed as I always do with re-releases that is to write it as a regular review. And here we are with this all time classic in our hands.

I have a short story with this Exorcist “Nightmare Theatre” as I remember going to record stores and seeing it everywhere. As a teenager I got puzzled with the album cover. In the end of the 1980s people still would get puzzled or amused or even ashamed of that kind of cover. However, I never had the chance to listen to it. Maybe because no friend of mine bought it and kindly lent it to me as I wouldn’t dare to buy it on my own. Time went by and I forgot about Exorcist and “Nightmare Theatre” until I ran into some report about it in some Metal webzine or something like that. Then I noticed the album was considered a classic and most of all one of the pioneers of Death Metal what to me is an overreaction because what one listens here is the good old 1980s Blackened Speed Metal Hell with all its features and characteristics “Riding to Hell” tells. In no moment I consider it some sort of Death Metal thing. I’m not saying that the album isn’t good. It is as I see it now. It’s not the first time I listen to Exorcist “Nightmare Theatre,” however I confess that in the first time I didn’t pay really good attention to it. Now that I have to listen to it as a fan and as reviewer I’m paying much more attention as the album deserves. There are pretty good songs around here as the opening track “Black Mass.”

Sometimes as in the end of “Riding to Hell,” “The Banishment” and “Spin Your Heads around Backwards” the speeches inside the album may sound to be part of the soundtrack of some 1980s B horror movies as the lots of films that were produced in that time. Now I recall to hear some kind of talk of the band being a prank. In fact, there was no names in the cover, only monickers, no band photos, no nothing to make the musicians recognized. But as  legendary Virgin Steele singer David DeFeis (“Damian Rath”) now confesses he was the mastermind of this precious gem. Even so he didn’t disclosed the name of the other band names.

The fan will find here the precious sonancy of 1980s Blackened Speed Metal Hell. Sixteen tracks played at the speed of light and lots of ferocious, thunderous vocals and acid guitars. In some way, “Nightmare Theatre” sound as if it were a concept album as the songs follow a path. Pure filthy of the 1980. Many may say the album is outdated, but I guess this one should warn the thousand of bands that are recreating this sonancy right now as I speak.

Exorcist “Nightmare Theatre” was re-released on May 28th via High Roller Records.

Track Listing:

  1. Black Mass
    2. The Invocation
    3. Burnt Offerings
    4. The Hex
    5. Possessed
    6. Call for the Exorcist
    7. Death by Bewitchment
    8. The Trial
    9. Execution of the Witches
    10. Consuming Flames of Redemption
    11. Megawatt Mayhem
    12. Riding to Hell
    13. Queen of the Dead
    14. Lucifer’s Lament
    15. The Banishment
    16. Spin Your Head Around Backwards

Watch “Black Mass” video here: