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The Night Flight Orchestra – Amber Galactic Review

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Classic Rock

Release Date EU: May 19th, 2017

 

Tracklist:

  1. Midnight Flyer
  2. Star Of Rio
  3. Gemini
  4. Sad State Of Affairs
  5. Jennie
  6. Domino
  7. Josephine
  8. Space Whisperer
  9. Something Mysterious
  10. Saturn In Velvet

 

The starting point of The Night Flight Orchestra can be dated to 2006. It was during a Soilwork tour through North America when Björn Strid and guitarist David Andersson realized their common passion for classic rock. So, what’s more, obvious than starting a band? No sooner said than done! Partners in crime could be found easily. Sharlee D’Angelo, Jonas Källsbäck, Sebastian Forslund and Richard Larsson, all great musicians, joined the show and what followed have been two awesome records that didn’t go further than staying at an ‘insider-tip’ level. Things chance now with the band has inked a contract with Nuclear Blast. This deal gives the band and their music finally the attention they deserve.

The eagerly anticipated new album “Amber Galactic” hits the shelves as we speak and it’s a highlight in 2017, probably ending up in many 2017 charts.

“Midnight Flyer” introduces you to a galactic world of classic rock. Already these first four minutes are melodic rock fireworks that you should have heard. Keyboard soundscapes create a melodic platform on which the gently singing guitar can shine. Strid’s excellent done vocals are the cherry on the cake of this classic rock spectacle. It’s amazing how much his voice differs from what we know from Soilwork. The great thing about the album is that it comes with many musical variations without losing the bigger picture. “Star of Rio” for example comes with background singer and a piano, both integrated in a very good way.

The outer space journey continues with “Gemini”, a track that reminds of space rock from the 70’s. You must be deaf if this music doesn’t put a spell on you. It’s almost a bit of disco pop that’s included, something I better shouldn’t have said because it might scare off some of you. However, this song is a smasher and could achieve quite some airplay. It’s a perfect hybrid out of hard rock and brilliant melodies. The rock’n’roll roots get into focus with “Sad State of Affairs” while “Jennie” is a more dramatic and bombastic tune that reminded me partly of Queen and Journey. Not too bad references though. The first track beyond the five minutes is “Domino” which comes with a strong Toto vibe. This song feels like a vacation for ears and mind in hectic days. We’re talking about an anthem that is big, and the same goes for the rocking “Josephine” which comes next. Each of the songs includes a lot of passion and dedication for this kind of music, a fact that makes the album to a refreshing and dynamic one. The Russian spoken words samples come back throughout the album and also “Space Whisperer” doesn’t make a difference.

We’re coming closer to an end but there are still two tracks to come. An energetic AOR smasher, entitled “Something Mysterious”, keeps your good mood alive. The guys show the full potential of AOR, a style that easily turns into something more boring. These guys though have a sense for melodies that’s far beyond average. The Night Flight Orchestra reinvents a genre that had its heyday decades ago.

The by far longest tune on the album is also the final leg of this thrilling journey through mind-blowing rock. Epical seven minutes, called “Saturn in Velvet”, sum up everything you’ve heard before. Almost like in a rock musical the song comes with brilliant melody lines, unexpected twists and musical perfection. This song combines the catchiness of Abba with the hardness of classic rock, leading to a bombastic result that is really hot.

“Amber Galactic” is more than an album. It’s a spectacular moment in rock and a ‘must have’.

 

Reviewer: Markus Wiedenmann

Rating:  9/10

 


 

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