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Night In Gales: Towards the Twilight
Night In Gales is a young German that debuted with their Razor 7 and
followed up with a mini-CD called Sylphlike not so long ago. Their style
could be easily described as melodic Swedish death a-la In Flames and Dark
Tranquility. The quintet is very young; judging by their pictures, it looks like
they are in their early 20's. Everything in this album just screams of the
famous Gothenburg style that has recently replaced the old Swedish standard of
playing brutal death metal with its more refined version. Of course, a lot of
these bands owe a whole lot to the forefathers of the scene like Judas Priest
and Iron Maiden; Night In Gales are no exception.
So what about the album? Well, it's not as great as one would imagine. To be
honest with you, Sylphlike didn't impress me at all. The biggest problem
that I had with it was its absolute lack of originality. Frankly, I've heard it
all before - ultra-melodic hooks combined with sped-up twin guitar harmonies. In
this sense, Towards The Twilight is no exception either. Highly melodic
and offering some galloping rhythms throughout the album, it bears a strong
resemblance to what the Swedes have been doing for the last 2 years. However,
this album also bears a lot of resemblance to what bands like Dark Funeral are
doing. Thus, there is more to what Night In Gales are doing. Aggression is
definitely there, and even when the music gets too much into the "being too
musical for its own sake" territory, they find their way out rather quickly. I
guess the main fault of the album is its thin guitar sound that becomes very
irritating at times. Out of all the songs here "Avoid Secret Vanity" takes my
vote again for being the best track on the album (as it did on Sylphlike).
However, again - some of the tracks are just too soft to fit well with the
overall maliciousness of the band's material. For example, "Slavesun" has some
of the wimpiest parts that I've heard recorded on any black/death album. This
does a lot of disservice to the band, making their music way too accessible for
my likes. Of course, this makes the CD an enjoyable piece of work from an
aesthetic point of view, but it is destined to get old rather quickly. Face it
guys - the harmony is definitely present here, but it lacks the edge that the
other Gothenburg bands possess in abundance. Night In Gales, however, would
rather go for the "nice tunes" and this is not exactly what makes your music
On a more positive note, I must admit that the musicianship here is extremely
tight. The guitar duo of Frank and Jens have gotten so much better on their
instruments since the release of Razor. I must also note that the lyrics here
are very intelligent, obviously being influenced by some classic poetry from the
past centuries including Lord Byron and such. All together, the music does
deliver this feeling of the dying beauty of a twilight world the band has dreamt
of as the title suggests. I also must mention that the band doesn't limit
themselves to just death or black metal as far as their musical affinities go.
Again, there is a lot of NWOBHM influences here; but who doesn't have them
nowadays? Yet, if this bunch will continue evolving in they way they are right
now, they may face an identity crisis in a not so distant future. Whatever
happened to those razor sharp riffs At The Gates were so famous for? Why not
take this as the basis for your sound?
So, when all is said and done, what are you left with? A rather decent melodic
album, indeed, which is solid piece of metal. Yet at times it gets a bit too
soft for it's own sake. However, I see the potential in the band, provided that
they decide to emphasize them being metal in a full sense of the word.
Hopefully, Nuclear Blast will back them up, so Night In Gales will be able to
live in harmony with their idols while weaving their magic web of melodies and
haunting echoes of the worlds beyond our imagination in their music.
Added: January 1st 2004
Reviewer: SoT Archives
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