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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 extreme.

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
Hits: 3500
Language: english

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