Andreas Lagios: Bass
Tolis Motsios: Guitars
Dinos Roulos: Drums
All music by Nightstalker
All lyrics by Argy
Published by Small Stone Records (ASCAP)
Recorded and mixed at Shakti Studio, during Dec '11 - Mar '12
Produced by Nightstalker.
Mixed by Dimitris Douvras & Nightstalker.
Engineered by Simon Bloom.
Mastered by Chris Goosman at Baseline Audio Labs.
Cover illustration & layout by Alexander Von Wieding.
Well, this one has been something of a revelation for me as I’d never heard these guys before, despite them having 20 years, two EPs and four full records under their belts. This Greek fourpiece are unashamed worshippers of that 70’s rock stoner groove, and by Odin, they have mastered the art. So many of the riffs on this album are simple and catchy, you instantly forget thoughts of Kyuss and Clutch as you’re tapping your foot, nodding your head and thinking ‘my friends need to hear this!’. The production on Commandos is first rate too, the guitar is full and warm, the bass is near beautiful and you need not worry about the drum mix or the vocal tone. Dead Rock Commandos is that great laid back album you can go back to at any time. If anything it’s so smooth it can occasionally drift by a little too easily, but that just means one more spin to pick up on what you missed the last time. This is a real cracking rock record and anyone into the aforementioned bands, and the likes of Graveyard, need to get on this right now, while I need to go and dig out their older albums!
- Chest Rockwell
Greek four-piece Nightstalker are an intriguing bunch that play straight up rock ‘n’ roll by mixing stoner and biker rock. We’ve been following this long-haired quartet for nearly a decade and are pleased to say Dead Rock Commandos is their best effort to date. Big hooks, great guitar, intense bass, bombastic drums and gruff vocals make this a treasure for fans of Blue Cheer, Monster Magnet or Orange Goblin. The group has been at it since the late ‘80s knocking around Greece playing gigs and releasing independent records. Over their mutual love of ‘70s rock, band founders Argy (singer) and Andreas Lagios (bassist) set about developing a sludgy mix of feedback infused rock that pays tribute to the past while maintaining a modern edge. After the usual tussle of band members, guitarist Tolis Motsios and drummer Dinos Roulos solidified the line up and aided in giving the band their signature sound. Densely heavy right from the start “Go Get Some” sets in motion a Sabbath-like depth to the music where Motsios’ thick guitar riffs and melodic solos reign supreme.
By second track “Soma” the groove takes over with Roulos kick drum and cowbell blowing out the speakers. Argy voice is thick and raspy landing somewhere between Gene Simmons and Dickie Peterson - originally intriguing with just the right amount of whiskey. When he shouts the lyric “Get up / try to find it” one takes notice. The drumming continues to persevere as an important part of the record’s tempo with “One Million Broken Promises”, the organ- drenched “Keystone” and southern-tinged “Rockaine”. But it’s when the drum meets the bass-driven title track “Dead Rock Commandos” that that band move from four-piece bar band to a lethal killing machine. Grapping hold of a strutting riff and a hook-filled chorus give the tune that special edge that takes it to the next level burying it deep within your psyche. “The Underdog” and “The BoogieMan Plan” are fuzzed out retro while the Monster Magnet-like “Children of the Sun” is one for the cosmos. Taking it a step further is the immensely enjoyable “Back To Dirt” with its classic line “Welcome back to earth motherfucker / try to keep your shape.” Get it!
- Todd K Smith
The 4th full length album of Nightstalker came out in stores just a week ago. The Greek heavy/ stoner rock legends return after Superfreak album and rawk our world again.
“Stalker” fans waited for 3 years the next step of their favorite band and Dead Rock Commandos is their reward. Groove, heavy as fuck riffs and badass lyrics combined in a plastic case which will be a collectors item in the next few years. Argy, the frontman of Nightstalker screams "Oh Yeah" in my personal favorite Children of the Sun, one of the year’s best rock songs, getting you speechless. The group makes clear to all motherfuckers that we all going “Back to Dirt” and they reveal their ”Boogieman Plan”. It so simple: they re gonna shoot “Rockaine” to us all. This is the Key-Stone to have fun. A worldwide underrated band returns with a brilliant album, the ideal soundtrack for a rock commando drinking in a bar somewhere out in space. A tripped journey for “Underdogs”. An incredible bass performance by Andreas has to be mentioned as well as the one of its kind Argy’s Voice. Give Nightstalker a chance. They surely convince you that rawk is not dead and also that rock n roll is everything you need…
Fate is inevitable in life. Whatever you deserve to achieve or lose, you will see it coming towards you sooner or later. Nightstalker are established as one of the most important bands in Greek music history. They should be acknowledged for their worth much earlier but this belongs to the past. What is more important, is that they are back after three years and the very successful ”Superfreak” with their fourth full-length (and sixth release in total) ”Dead Rock Commandos”. Once again, they have delivered something worthy of their skills and rich legacy as a band and the fans are already digging the album and discover a new beloved track with each listening.
”Dead Rock Commandos” is a very good album because it is also very simplified in its procedure. No need for trying to sound progressive or unique here, after all, the band has its influences but never set the basis of their sound on them, merely because they wanted to sound closer to what they wanted most, without necessarily thinking of the fans’ opinion (which of course has become more than positive, especially the last five years). This way of thinking and acting, brought Nightstalker to the first place in the hearts of many fans in Greece, considering them the best band of the country and the most promising to continue being full of quality and honest behaviour.
The album is very easy to listen to, without being commercial and without repeating the successful recipe of ”Superfreak”. This time the guys seem to have eased things and the overall result is suitable for all cases. You can listen to the album at home, at work, on the car, when you want to do something creative, when you want to lie down lazy on a bed or a chair, in any case though, the result is always the same. It gets you high and makes you smile. It is a very enjoyable release for which the guys sound like they didn’t press theirselves at all. The best part in all ten tracks and forty minutes that follow, is the feeling that things came pretty natural to them.
Argy’s vocals is a trademark case for the band, without underestimating his former performances, I believe he sounds better and more mature than ever in this album. The certainty pouring from all four members and their back to basics approach to music is something unique which you don’t find that easily in many bands today. That’s why many fans substituted Monster Magnet by putting Nightstalker on their place (especially after the year 2000). The clean and warm production brings the compositions closer to the ear, making you want to repeat the listening of the album.
From ”Go Get Some” to ”The Underdog” which open and close the album, anyone can find his personal favourite tracks. I will choose ”Children Of The Sun” as something really special, accompanied by the rather groovy ”The Boogieman Plan”. I’ve been expecting this album for way too long and I was rewarded by its fresh air and this hidden energy. This time maturity took over all on ”Dead Rock Commandos” and this fixes me quite well. Another interesting and more focused side of Nightstalker awaits all of you who love the band. Embrace this release just like the previous ones and you won’t lose.
- Aggelos "Redneck" Katsouras
Greece's answer to Monster Magnet, active for 20 years and kicking out stoner jams like they mean it. Though at times treading dangerously close to Wyndorf and Co., right down to the vocal department, if you can get past the obvious refernce points, or enjoy Dead Rock Commandos precisley because of them, there are solid stoner tunes to be found here.
- Bobby Bone
The Stoner genre is quite proliferant in Greece and if you are searching for the band that started it all, you just hit the spot. If you don’t have previous experience with the band…well that’s a sin, go download their whole discography right away! “Dead Rock Commandos” moves in the familiar territories of all NIGHTSTALKER albums. The band has created a trademark sound and “Dead Rock Commandos” doesn’t deviate from it. If you are a fan of “Superfreak” you will simply love this one. “Dead Rock Commandos” sounds more in your face and straightforward. In a way it lies somewhere in between NIGHTSTALKERS’ raw early albums and the more polished version of Stoner Rock they presented in “Superfreak”. The quality is maintained high throughout the entire disk while songs sound simply catchier than ever before and this is the biggest virtue of the “Dead Rock Commandos”. I believe that this is not the best album of NIGHTSTALKER but it offers enough to satisfy even the most demanding fans of the band. Maybe now NIGHTSTALKER have lost the advantage of surprise as you demand them to release something nice and from that point of view the NIGHTSTALKER simply delivers the goods without big surprises and drama. Fans of the band start by listening “Go Get Some” as well as the only (let’s call it) surprise of the record, “Children of the Sun”. For the rest “Dead Rock Commandos” is a good place to start!
I`m still a big fan of their MeteorCity output SUPERFREAK, a Stoner Rock record with great songs and it is very sad, that this band did not make the big step forward. From Meteor City to the other leading american label, Small Stone Records. It is a sigh for quality! Nightstalker is a band from Greece! So it is not normal to get two of the most important Stoner labels for the outputs! First I was surprised about that mighty heavy production. Killer! But to say it at the beginning - the material can`t hold the high standard of Superfreak. Why? Sometimes the right chorus melody or stuff like that is missing. It is not a good idea, to repeat single words again and again. The final idea for example to make the songs outstanding. Sometimes it is only boring after some minutes. Sorry for that. Do not understand me wrong, the output is great, but I expected more! Nightstalker play again a doomy version of Monster Magnet (especially the vocals are very very close to Dave) and the songs of course too! Especially the acoustic guitars (a try to make the songs more interesting in my eyes) have a huge comparison to Monster Magnet. But it is a great Stoner Rock record and every Stoner Rock (or maybe Rock fan too) should buy that record, because it sounds fresh and powerful. Listen to SOMA (killer riff), DEAD ROCK COMMANDOS and BACK TO DIRT - they kick ass. Maybe next time again with more hit-singles on the album. All the best and good luck NIGHTSTALKER !
I find it completely unnecessary to introduce Nightstalker since they're one of the most well-known Greek bands and definitely the oldest one with more than 20 years of heaviness on their back. I would simply describe them as the godfathers of Greek heavy/stoner rock scene. So three years after their previous album are back with their newest effort titled "Dead Rock Commandos" released by Small Stone Records.
Honestly they disappointed me a lot with their previous album "Superfreak". It wasn't what I wanted or even expected to hear by 'Stalker. Their 2004 album "Just A Burn" was for a lot of people what "Powertrip" for Monster Magnet. Taking in consideration that I am a big fan of Use, Side FX and Ritual it's easy to understand my disappointment.
So when "Dead Rock Commandos" took its place in my player I was skeptical in what I was about to experience. Fourty minutes later when the first listen was over, nothing had changed in my head. But never mind me and let's take an objective look inside the album.
First of all "Dead Rock Commandos" has nothing to do with "Superfreak". In their previous album production was over-polished (almost MTV-ish) and the tracks were too pop-y at least for my taste. In "Dead Rock Commandos" they made a step back to the basics using a more raw, straight-forward and why not rock 'n' roll production. And that was a right move. This more straight-forward attitude is reflected in their compositions too. The songs are "simpler", they don't lack of groove neither good, heavy riffs and they're having a great amount of passion and soul.
"Dead Rock Commandos" is catchy. Very catchy. Either you'll like it or not, if you give it a listen at least one song will stuck in your head and you'll croon it for hours. Songs are moving more in their Just A Burn era and they're definitely Nightstalkerish. Generally all 10 songs follow the successful Nightstalker recipe, which makes total sense since through the years this is what gave them their reputation and established their name in the heavy rock scenery.
"Dead Rock Commandos" opens with "Go Get Some", a powerful tune that gets you right away in album's spirit. "Soma" is perhaps the catchiest thing I've heard for a long time now. A rock hit, capable of starting a fire on a dance floor. The same applies for the same-titled "Dead Rock Commandos". "One Million Promises" is another up-tempo, straight-forward tune; easily could have been a hidden track from "Just A Burn" while "Children Of The Sun" shows us that they haven't forget their psych side. Slow, groovy with a slight stroke of psychedelia making it my favorite track (along with "Back To Dirt").
In "Keystone" they made a smart move by adding some cool keys in it. But I'm thinking how a track like this or some other tracks/moments of the album are going to be performed live on stage. Since they have one guitarist, no key-player or even somebody responsible for the effects, the songs are going to sound quite different live, something that will work against them.
And since we're talking about gigs, it's time for them to make a step and play a couple of gigs outside of Greece or take part in a fest somewhere in Europe. It's something they had to do a long time ago but - maybe - it's never late, all the more now with Smallstone Records behind them. I completely understand and respect that maybe they don't want to or it's a hard thing to do. But since they're considered as one of the best/biggest Greek heavy bands, I can't see the reasons preventing them of making this move. It's good to headline gigs in your own country but it's even better to play somewhere else addressing to a bigger, new crowd and managing to gain their love and respect.
Finally I have to highlight the excellent guitar work in "Rockaine" which puts it up as one of the album's strongest moments. "Dead Rock Commandos" ending track "The Underdog" is the perfect final touch for.
Overall and by putting my personal taste aside "Dead Rock Commandos" is a good, quality album full of riffs and energy that a lot of younger bands would be jealous of (or possibly lack of). And in case you're a Stalker fan, it's a top notch release which you're going to enjoy again and again until the end of times.
Now if you ask my big fat opinion... I liked it much more than their previous one and it really exceeded my expectations. It isn't what I wanted to hear but at least is better than I anticipated. It isn't even approaching what they did in "Use" (and I wonder how some people found similarities) and it's hard to compare it with "Just A Burn" as well. I found it quite flat and in moments it's like they're over-trying in creating something catchy, leading to more "mainstream", contemporary paths. This is not good or bad by its nature but depends on the perspective you're looking at it. Yes you can't expect from a successful band to make a breakthrough or start experimenting. This is the route they chose to take and their fans obviously love it but to put it simply, it's just not working for me. I surely enjoyed a couple of album's tunes but "Dead Rock Commandos" in its whole left me unimpressed and wondering if they're still leading the Greek Heavy Rock vanguard.
In conclusion, I'm sure many of you will enjoy "Dead Rock Commandos". It's having all the things that Nightstalker stands for. A little more patience until the end of August when it's going to be released...
Doom/Stoner metallers NIGHTSTALKER have been plying their trade for over fifteen years now, and while true success may have eluded them they have still been a very consistently good and well-loved band for a long time now. 2012 brings their all-new studio released entitled DEAD ROCK COMMANDOS. The Stoner genre in general has never been one that allowed for much variation and experimentation so instead of constantly trying to break down new barriers or adjusting their style to suit the trends of the time, nIGHTSTALKER have just kept at what they do best…Highly listenable, fuzzy, slow Stoner metal that recalls the mighty early days of BLACK SABBATH and also the latter day dominance of the genre by MONSTER MAGNET. In the band’s defence, there are a handful of occasions on this album where they try and incorporate a slight modern feel, giving them a little bit of a CLUTCH feel here and there too.
DEAD ROCK COMMANDOS is one of those albums that does feel a little long for it’s own good, and without many pace or tempo changes it has a habit of sort of blending into one big fuzz-fest toward the end. My personal favourite moment of the entire disk is the first two minutes or so of BACK TO DIRT… It starts with a really eerie guitar lick that sounds like something out of a horror movie soundtrack before the vocals kick in with a real gravelly, droning tone singing “Welcome back to earth Mother-Fucker, try to keep your shape.”. I can’t properly explain it here in words but it really is a great little moment that reignites the album right in the middle just when it’s needed most. ROCKAINE does a really good job of bringing out the BLACK SABBATH vibe and the opening track GO GET SOME is a perfect introduction to what you can expect for the rest of the album.
It must be infuriating trying to find a way to stick out in a genre with such little wiggle room, but NIGHTSTALKER seem to have the right idea…Just keep on doing what you do well and the more you do it the better it will be. DEAD ROCK COMMANDOS really does the feel of an album released by a long-time band that have their shit together and Stoner/Doom fans who are used to mono-tempo albums should find plenty to like here.
Rating : 7 / 10
Written By ZeeZee
Nightstalker has been roaming the Greek stonerscene for almost two decades and has gained a small national cult-status. Internationally, progress is slow, and maybe unjustified. For with vocalist Argy, Nightstalker has a unique voice and a very impressive frontman. Their spacerock has always been heavy as hell, with their latest effort ‘Dead Rock Commandos’ to prove for it. Compared to its predecessor ‘Superfreak’, released on Meteor City, Nightstalker has not taken huge steps. The band has switched to the Small Stone label and delivered again what it has delivered before; catchy and rocksolid spacerock. Highlights are titlesong ‘Dead Rock Commandos’, ‘Çhildren of the Sun’ and ‘Go Get Some’. Nightstalker does not break the mould, but acts in style.
NIGHTSTALKER is a band that comes from the land of Homer and Hesiod, of Odysseus and Achilles, of the twisted tale of Oedipus. They have been around since the late 80’s, early 90’s, and since their inception they have been labeled all kinds of things, Grunge, Stoner Rock… But these labels aren’t important, they play Rock N’ Roll and that is all that matters.
This album sounded a lot like a Rock N’ Roll version of BLACK SABBATH, they have that doomy-Sabbathian feel to them but done so in the “simplicity” known to Rock. The guitar playing is what most stood out for me, from the riffs to the solos, it is obvious that Motsios has ability, and more importantly, he has “feel” to his playing. The only thing that threw me off on this record was that the songs tend to sound repetitive since they are pretty much on the same mid-tempo range, and that is why it didn’t get a better rating.
This band would have fitted perfectly in the 60s / 70s alongside bands such as BLUE CHEER, early-RUSH, CREAM. Their songs scream of LSD-induced social revolution, Andy Warhol paintings and dirty hippies.
- Daniel Silva
There is no doubt about it, NIGHTSTALKER is Greece's flagship of heavy rock. This has been proven once again by their fourth album 'Dead Rock Commandos' that is chock full of melodic hooks and scorching guitar riffs which laid the basis for ten powerful tunes. Not forgetting of course the cool, Wyndorf-esque voice of singer Argy, who also founded the band in 1989 (if you want to know more about these days, you may want to read my interview with Argy from 2005). Basically, NIGHTSTALKER delivers consistently great, entertaining albums. Each full-length reachs for a different sound, but always with that great rock 'n' roll engine buzzing underneath. This holds good for 'Dead Rock Commandos' also, although it doesn't surpass the last two records 'Just A Burn' (review here) and 'Superfreak'.
The reason for this is that almost all ten songs never leave the mid-tempo range which leads to a certain sameness. I miss a high-energy song like 'Enough Is Not Enough', what would have provided a little change. On the other hand, however, the included cuts are well-crafted with great attention to detail, and that alone make it all worthwhile. 'Keystone', for example, is equipped with a nice 1960's sounding organ while 'Soma' is driven by a funky groove. 'Children Of The Sun' is no Hawkwind cover version, but a song that would tie in well with Monster Magnet's 1995 album 'Dopes To Infinity'. By the way, this is not meant as criticism but rather the contrary.
'The Underdog' is another great track that is charged with a lot of groove and refined with a barrage of blistering guitar work. The psychedelic elements have almost entirely vanished on 'Dead Rock Commandos' and exist far below the surface. But, first and foremost, NIGHTSTALKER was always a heavy rock band who has only played with psychedelic influences. To sum it up, 'Dead Rock Commandos' is a fine piece of testosterone-driven heavy rock and I hope that the deal with Small Stone Records will put NIGHTSTALKER in the lead.
“The boogie man became Taliban” sings Nightstalker's vocalist Argy over heavy rolling riffs on “The Boogie Man Plan”, crystallising society's need to focus its fears onto someone or something. It's just one example of Nighstalker's ability to say something meaningful in a simple, direct and accessible way. And they rock too!
As befitting a band that's been around in one form or another since 1989 Nightstalker appear to have got their art down pat. Combining memorable, rolling, pentatonic riffs, ballsy bass and drums with astute lyrics, this is rock music with just the right amount of funk. It's music that's not too dense, remembering that these things hit hardest when you have strip things back a little.
Yes it's simple, basic and and raw but hell isn't that what rock and roll is all about?! As we've learnt from blues music, the newest kids on the block are the ones that push the boundaries, but it's the older guys that have perfected what it is they do, however dated they're in danger of sounding. Theirs is a sound that has its roots back in the late '60s, when blues rock started getting heavier, louder and based more around riffs rather than 12-bar chord progressions.
Weirdly, and despite being a band of longhairs, at times they come across as melodically Oasis-esque, (namely on Keystone) albeit underpinned with Deep Purple style organ stabs and decidedly rock riffs. An album that's well produced to show off their heavy, warm valved sound. If rock music's your thing Nightstalker could be the best new (old) band you discover all year.
- Duncan Fletcher
Drop your cock and grab your socks. This one will make you move.
I got my Superfreak on a couple (three) years ago and have wondered from time to time what happened to Nightstalker. Now I know. The squad has accomplished its black-ops mission and returned with a new album - Dead Rock Commandos - this time on Small Stone Records. Hell yes. I'm all gung-ho to hear fresh tunes from the hardened rock veterans in Greece.
Better respect your superiors, soldier. This four-piece has worked for years to earn the high rank of Major in underground rock's most elite special forces. Commanding vocals and laser-guided riffs are deadlier than ever. Their armory of beats and grooves has always been fully stocked with explosive ordinance.
Time to blow more shit up with this assault on the senses.
I feel the piercing sonic shrapnel from bombs like the title track and the opener, "Go Get Some". These guys haven't lost their touch at all. Oh, hell no. If anything, now they're even more experienced and their skills are much more honed. Nightstalker slay me on "Soma" and "One Million Broken Promises". The troops take me prisoner with tracks like "The Boogie Man Plan", "Rockaine" and "The Underdog".
Others, such as "Back To Dirt" and "Children Of The Sun", are much more stealthy in nature, like a Navy Seal sneaking up through the sand and slitting your throat in your sleep. It must have taken rigorous training to be in such fine form. So lethal.
This record will help whip my ass into boot-camp shape with all the head-banging and jumping around while jamming a digital copy of this monster. My neighbors must think I suffer from uncontrollable spasms. I do - but it's not PTSD. They're just side-effects from heavy doses of rawk and will wear off eventually, along with the ringing in my ears.
Dead Rock Commandos should report for active duty on Aug. 28th. The digital version is already on iTunes...go get some.
Meanwhile, I'm almost battle-ready and hoping for camouflage vinyl.
Nightstalker are a Stoner Metal Band from Greece
The members are:
Andreas Lagios (Bass)
Tolis Motsios (Guitars)
Dinos Roulos (Drums)
Nightstalker are a legendary Stoner Metal Band from Greece with over 20 years experience to their credit. They have influenced a whole range of bands in their homeland with their steady mix of Doom, Thrash and later Stoner Metal vibes.
In 22 years they have released a whole range of great releases such as Use, Just A Burn and my personal fave Superfreak.
Well the guys are back with their 4th album - Dead Rock Commandos. A 10 song and 40 minute blast of top-notch Stoner Metal riffs.
If your into Sabbath, Motorhead and Monster Magnet then you will find much to admire here. As these guys are fucking masters of the riff.
These collection of songs are just pure balls-to-the-wall Stoner Metal riffs. There are no long drawn out epic guitar riffs here. Nightstalker know what needs to be done. Just straight in your face head-banging, chest-thumping, air-guitar stoner metal riffs that we are all massive fans of.
Argy's vocals do have a world weary Dave Wyndorf feel to them. And that is no bad thing as Argy adds a truly grizzled feel to his vocals. This is a guy who has probably seen it all and you would not want to mess with him. Not on this form anyway. His vocal performance is nothing short of perfection.
Standout tracks include - Go Get Some, Dead Rock Commandos, Children Of The Sun and The Underdog.
People might say it's not the most original of tunes. But Fuck Em. These guys are one of the true pioneers of the Stoner Metal Scene with 22 years experience backing them up. If these guys decided to release a collection of nursery rhymes it would still sound amazing compared to some of today's newer Stoner Metal bands.
The guys are brilliant musicians and this is backed up with the huge abundance of amazing Stoner Metal riffs on this excellent album.
If you felt let down by Monster Magnet's last album well this is the album they should of made. As this album just fucking rocks from the word go. All I can say.
This is the album that should hopefully propel this band onto a bigger stage as they truly deserve it. 22 years and still going strong. They might have released their most definitive work to date.
Dead Rock Commandos is an absolute joy to listen to. I have been listening to this excellent album non-stop for the past few weeks or so. I have to thank the guys at amazing Small Stone Records Label for letting ourselves reviewing this great album.
My Final Word is that Nightstalker have released a superb album that should appeal to both old and new fans alike. If your a new fan to the world of Nightstalker then this is a great place to start.
Greece may well be on the bones of its arse financially but it seems like they have some serious rock collateral in the bank!!! Nightstalker as a band almost seem as old as the Acropolis by rock music standards having formed in the country as far back as 1989 and releasing several EPs and albums all contributing towards cementing their reputation as a damn fine rock and roll band. Now Small Stone have taken the band under their wing to present them to a wider audience.
So the band now drop “Dead Rock Commandos” and for many this will be their first introduction to their loose stoner rocking grooves. Opener “Go Get Some” pretty much nails the Nightstalker sound in one easy, bite sized lesson. These guys deal in big fat fuzzed up riffs, rolling grooves and languid vocals that bring to mind the ever expanding Dave Wyndorf. The groove continues on through “Soma” with its insistent vocal hook, the title track with its relentless stomp and on through the album.
For such a time served band it’s unsurprising that they wear their brand of rock and roll like a well worn in pair of jeans and sound like a real unit with vocalist Argy leading from the front with consummate ease sitting on the bedrock grooves of drummer Dinos Roulos and bassist Andreas Lagios. Guitarist Tolis Motsios delivers wave upon wave of top notch prime beef in the riff department and is no slouch in the lead department. It’s also clear that these guys have learned their chops when it comes to developing their song writing craft as each song benefits from towering hooks and an economy that makes the most out of quality rather than quantity…why use 20 riffs when 3 great ones will do. This contributes to the uninterrupted flow of the album as it rolls along as a seamless whole.
If I have one minor criticism it’s that Nightstalker don’t necessarily explore the outer reaches of their sound as much as they might with much of the album being delivered in a mid paced groove. It’s a great groove, don’t get me wrong but some variety in tempo throughout would improve the overall dynamic. “Children Of the Sun” does bring the pace down a touch and “Back To Dirt” is a nice semi psychedelic tune that brings prime Monster Magnet to mind but it still occupies that mid tempo area when I am bursting for the band to kick out the jams and hit the gas as I know that these guys could burn up the road if they put their mind to it.
Small Stone have come up with yet another high quality product that should do wonders to lift Nightstalker onto a higher plain in the stoner rock firmament but then this is a label that doesn’t deal in rubbish. Nightstalker sound like a Small Stone band through and through and do nothing to disgrace their paymasters.
- Ollie Stygall
Nightstalker are releasing a new album! This sentence only is enough to cheer up thousands of their fans who lately have the tendency to increase even more rapidly. Greece at last is starting to appreciate its local wealth and the Athenian rockers without further delay, in compare to their past, are returning furiously. Three years after their latest “Superfreak” and in short time, concerning the usual timeline of the band, but without careless moves, Nightstalker are back with their next step.
And so became...”Dead Rock Commandos”! Leaving aside the grand and bombastic title, similar to the ones like “Superfreak”, things here are pretty simple. These old guys (don't forget that the band exists since the early 90's) have found their way to success. After countless gigs the band appears in their best shape ever, Tolis' (Motsios, guitars) mind is overflowing with powerful and catchy riffs while the rhythm section of Andreas (Lagios, bass) and Dinos (Roulos, drums) manages not only to keep a steady beat but also to give a heavy, groovy style and add colorful elements to the sound of the band. At the top of the mountain, Argy spreads his lyrics and proves for one more time that he is one of the best vocalists and frontmen not only in Greece but in the whole heavy rock scene generally.
At “Dead Rock Commandos” 'Stalker are presented even more rock but also more psychedelic than at “Superfreak”. In the meantime they manage to combine their modern sound with heavy riffs that will bring to your minds even the “Use” era. Catchy as hell but not mainstream at all, they included at this album ten songs which match each other in a way that makes you listen to the album again and again. The duration of the tracks leads the listener to a one-way road. To repeat it over and over again until he confidently realizes the splendor of this album.
“Go Get Some”, simple but raw, is opening the album in the most representative way, the title track “Dead Rock Commandos” will surely be the next “Baby, God Is Dead”, namely the track that fans are gonna scream for in the forthcoming gigs of the band. “One Million Broken Promises” is nothing less than a straight-rock dynamite and “Children Of The Sun” is the most psychedelic moment of the album, starting slowly with Argy's distorted vocals and ending up as a doomy but also groovy masterpiece. Though, these are only some parts of an album in which every one will find his own favorite track after a few listenings.
It's already a fact that the Greek fans will love and support “Dead Rock Commandos”. Now, it's about time for the fathers of the Greek desert rock scene to conquer the rest of the planet, Europe and the U.S.. The only thing they need is an opportunity to present under proper circumstances their studio material but also their potential on stage (the only place where someone can realize the greatness of this band). We just wish that Small Stone Records will be the starting point for the global recognition that Nightstalker never claimed but always deserved.
- John Volkas
Except for maybe Socrates Drank the Conium (or just Socrates if you prefer), I’m not sure I’m familiar with any other rock bands from Greece, so it’s gotta be that Nightstalker have ruled the Hellenic Republic outright for the last 20 plus years, their thick-riffed dope n’ roll a mightier attraction than the Acropolis. Living titans of Earth’s heavy realm, Nightstalker have produced a slow, steady, and solid amount of material during their career, and their sixth release, Dead Rock Commandos, is a statement of simplicity and a testament to longevity, proof that you can lay right the fuck back and still push out a powerful blend of dark cosmic groove and dynamite desert boogie. To that end then, Dead Rock Commandos swells with Monster Magnet’s shake-a-delic space bluster, Ozzy’s madman sins, and Kyuss’ green machine hum, but don’t think for one minute that Nightstalker takes their cues from anybody. These guys have been doing it just as long and just as well, and given their origin, it just might be that God is dead, baby, and Nightstalker sits atop the mountain now.
- Jeff Warren
Before I start, I will have to admit something to all of you: Nightstalker is a band that I can, honestly, admit to NEVER coming across before this latest release from Small Stone Records. At least, this band is not coming up in any searches from lists I gathered years ago to the present. I’m not sure how this is possible, but it is. After listening to Dead Rock Commandos, I’m starting to feel a little disappointed that I had kept this band from reaching my ears for all this time. Once again, I can thank Mr. Hamilton for helping me right past wrongs.
Those of you familiar with the band, unlike myself, shouldn’t really be surprised by the band’s sound throughout the album, which remains fairly consistent throughout the album. To me, the sound is best described as a mix between Monster Magnet and Baby Woodrose. There’s not really much else to it; it’s just great, catchy riff rock with a nice fuzzy and groovy feeling, borrowing classic sounds and keeping it relatively fresh. The loud guitars and the Wyndorf-like vocals melt together, and even though it’s familiar you can’t help but feel yourself losing control and being drug deep into the riffage. I’d be crazy to say I would want it any other way.
Allowing myself to truly listen to the album, I really do find myself losing the ability to concentrate in anything else. My mind forces me to wander, and I can’t help but to picture myself driving insanely fast on an empty desert highway with only the music and open road guiding me to wherever it takes me. In “Back to Dirt”, I can’t help but to feel as if I’m in a 5 gum commercial, like this one. The entire album has allowed me to let a surreal reality wash over me, taking me on a trip that allows for the, unfortunately, uncommon reversal of the senses. Instead of music being in the background, it’s reality that takes a backseat.
While the music doesn’t venture into uncharted territory, this album still manages to place itself head and shoulders above most thanks to the atmosphere of the entire album that allows you to escape reality, even if it is just for 40 minutes. It’s a good example of why I’ve found myself attracted to more psychedelic-based rock over the course of a year or so. This album is recommended for fans of Baby Woodrose, Novadriver, and Monster Magnet, or anyone who’s looking to take a little journey without drugs or having to spend a small fortune on fuel. The album’s street date isn’t until 08/28/12, but keep your eyes peeled as it’s bound to be available directly from Small Stone Records well before the record hits the shelves.