Nightingale started as one of the many projects of Swedish musical genius Dan Swano way back in the mid-90's as a one-man band. However, with each release, it grew and developed into a full-time group with the addition of Dan's brother Tom Nouga on guitars, Memory Garden drummer Tom Bjorn and Godsend bassist Erik Oskarsson. Since Dan has worked with all these guys in various capacities before, there's no doubt that they all have a great chemistry going on together.
The previous Nightingale album Alive Again not only completed the four-album concept story, but it also hinted that Tom Nouga would get to do more songwriting, and therefore take the band into a more hard rock driven territory with Dan still holding on to his prog rock roots. That said, Alive Again was an instantly catchy hard rock record with huge 80's synths and gripping choruses. Invisible continues to walk on the same path as Alive Again, but it's more forthright, perhaps featuring Dan Swano's most direct vocals to date. Dan does still sing in his unique dark style, but it certainly isn't as low and deep as his stuff with Odyssey, or Nightingale's The Closing Chronicles and I records. The songwriting duties are split 50/50 between Dan and Tom Nouga, and to my surprise, I'm more gravitated towards the stuff penned by Nouga this time.
"Still Alive" and "Invisible" kick off the album setting the tone with catchy and somewhat bluesy guitar lines, huge choruses and nifty acoustic arpeggios. However, it's with the start of "A Raincheck on My Demise" that Nightingale's trademark synths are woven into the mix, often evocative of 80's AOR and neo prog bands' work. Dan also goes for a slightly more aggressive delivery at the end of this song putting a big smile on my face. Favourites include "Atlantis Rising" for Dan's incredible singing, the killer keyboard and guitar trade-off and Erik's rhythmic bass pattern; "The Wake" because of its haunting acoustic intro and drumming; and last but not least , the epic masterwork "Stalingrad" that contains an amazing synth solo played by Tom Nouga, spellbinding drumming and some more aggressive singing from Dan. Also, note the familiar melody line in "One of the Lonely Ones" which is a recurring theme from "Eternal" on Alive Again. I really like the way it was added to the song.
Having mixed hundreds of albums in his career, it's safe to say that Dan Swano understands sound and the production on this disc is brilliant. I also have to mention the great work done by Gyula Havancsak on the dark artwork and perfect imagery presented in the CD booklet.
- Still Alive
- A Raincheck on My Demise
- Atlantis Rising
- To the End
- The Wake
- One of the Lonely Ones
- Worlds Apart