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Nightingale: Breathing Shadow

Although 1995's Breathing Shadow is listed as the debut of Nightingale, it is technically a solo album for Dan Swano. Nightingale was created as Swano's alter-ego from his death metal band Edge of Sanity, and the two bands couldn't be any more different. While EoS is brutal yet melodic death metal, Nightingale is a throwback to 80's hard rock & AOR, with plenty of progressive metal & prog rock elements. On the debut, Swano plays all the instruments and sings the entire CD in clean mode. The feel is a little darker than the Nightingale albums that would follow, with a slight gothic touch, featuring plenty of keyboards, Dan's tasty, melodic guitar style, and what sounds like programmed drums. Opening cut "Nightfall Overture" is a splendid way to kick things off, a real progressive/gothic number with layers of keyboards, fluid guitar lines, and Swano's rich vocal delivery. "Sleep..." is a hypnotic rocker with muscular lead guitar melodies and dreamy vocals, while "Dream Reader" is an upbeat pop/prog number that mixes elements of 80's Genesis, Peter Gabriel, U2, and Mike & the Mechanics. Catchy AOR can be heard mixing with gothic rock on the sinewy "Higher Than The Sky", and fans of keyboard laden symphonic prog will love the grandiose sounds on "Return to Dreamland", "Gypsy Eyes", and "Lesson in Evil", all of which have more than a little in common with bands like IQ and Pendragon. Swano also gives us a haunting and moody prog number called "Eye for an Eye", complete with emotional vocals, yearning guitar work, and lush keyboards.

Darker than subsequent Nightingale releases, and certainly far removed from the death metal he created with Edge of Sanity, Breathing Shadow is still a marvelous debut that shows the many talents of multi-instrumentalist/singer Dan Swano.

Track Listing
1. Nightfall Overture
2. Sleep...
3. Dream Reader
4. Higher Than The Sky
5. Recovery Opus
6. Return to Dreamland
7. Gypsy Eyes
8. Alone?
9. Lesson in Evil
10. Eye for an Eye

Added: December 7th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Black Mark Records
Hits: 2535
Language: english

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