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Nightingale: The Closing Chronicles

The Closing Chronicles from Nightingale might just be the greatest prog rock album you have never heard. Released in 1996, Dan Swano's melodic prog antithesis to the death metal sounds of Edge of Sanity is a breath of fresh air, an album brimming with gorgeous melodies and tasty instrumentation. First and foremost though are Swano's excellent vocals, all sung in a clean style which actually sound like no other singer. In fact, many have remarked that Swano's death vocals in Edge of Sanity are also on the unique side, so it goes will come as no surprise that when he kicks in the melodic vocals here with Nightingale that he continues to raise the bar.

Providing the instrumentation here is Swano on guitar, keyboards, and drums, while Tom Nouga handles bass, rhythm and lead guitars. Kicking off the CD is "Deep Inside of Nowhere", a real memorable prog rock piece led by Swano's addicting vocals and plenty of majestic keyboards. "Revival" might just be the album's best track, a mini-epic that is as powerful as it is catchy, complete with chunky metal guitar riffs, hooks aplenty, and Swano's commanding vocals, which reel you in hook, line, and sinker and never let go. The more laid back and funky "Thoughts From a Stolen Soul" follows, featuring some wicked Hammond organ riffs and plenty of bluesy guitar solos from Nouga. The atmospheric and moody "So Long (Still I Wonder)" has an almost Pink Floyd feel to it, right down to Nouga's tasty guitar leads and Swano's emotional vocals and spacey keys. Good symphonic, hard rocking fun can be heard on "Steal the Moon", a song that has its share of pop elements to go along with the upbeat guitar riffs and punchy rhythms, and after the brief vocal/keyboard piece "Intermezzo", the band launches into the 3-part mini-prog epic "Alive Again". This one features some stunning acoustic & electric guitar work, layers of keyboards, and Swano's compelling vocals. Picture a cross between early Marillion, Pendragon and Arena and you have an idea of what to expect on this one.

Those who have followed Dan Swano's career as a metal vocalist, musician, and producer probably are aware of his love for 70's styled progressive rock, a love which comes out fully here on The Closing Chronicles. Filled with never ending melodies and classy instrumental bits, this is certainly a CD to seek out and enjoy for years to come.

Track Listing
1. Deep Inside Of Nowhere
2. Revival
3. Thoughts From A Stolen Soul
4. So Long (Still I Wonder)
5. Steal The Moon
6. Intermezzo
7. Alive Again:
I. The Release
II. Shadowland Revisited
III. Breathless

Added: October 26th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Black Mark Records
Hits: 4290
Language: english

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