Night In Gales, Swedish melodic death from another world
Night in Gales may be the most Swedish metal group hailing from Germany. It’s no secret that the Swedish sound has been representing a goal for many musicians worldwide preoccupied with the means of the death metal, whether they were into the aggressive side, worshiping Dismember, Entombed, Grave, and the BOSS HM-2 pedal, or they dug the more melodic aspects in the Gothenburg scene, starting with Dark Tranquillity and reaching the early In Flames, while the At the Gates heroes have been remaining between these two worlds. Night in Gales started at the proper age for the Swedish legacy devotes, i.e. the apocalyptic mid 90’s. Their demo EP “Sylphlike” reflected the drive revealed within two masterpieces released one year before, “Terminal Spirit Disease” and “The Gallery”. If this was a conscious influence or a matter of hazard, only the musicians themselves know. “Sylphlike” was not only about the Swedish “melodrama” and one could sense traces of the Paradise Lost nostalgia on this record, added to the Night in Gales individual mark of mixing certain tendencies which happened to be in the course of development at the given moment. Gradually, the German band went through all the above mentioned references and beyond, keeping into account the heavy metal tunes resembling British giants such as Iron Maiden and eventually reached the most modern phase with “Nailwork”, which came to be problematic for the fans due to the dim metalcore touch of the songs. If this album was not released, today there would have been probably more enthusiastic ears for the band’s comeback.
While “Nailwork” was believed to be too modern for the fans’ tastes, “The Last Sunsets” might be too old-school given the evolution of people’s perception and today’s most common tendencies in metal music. However, Night in Gales reached the greatest improvement with this new release, which sums up the catchiest aspects in the band’s history. The vocalist Christian Müller took charge again and this line-up change lets the group appear as if it had continued what was left after the “Sylphlike”. It is obvious that Müller’s vocals make a pretty powerful resemblance to Lindberg’s style and there is a constant reminder of “Slaughter of the Soul” throughout the latest album. There are a lot of Arch-Enemy-like harmonies here and various passages hinting at Carcass’ “Heartwork” as well and many other well-established riffing manners.
Among many tremolo sections, classic death and thrash riffs, melancholic guitar themes and twin sections, the rhythm takes control like an alert and makes way for some fascinating dynamics. The acoustic interludes are right in their place, although they are not as intense as this series of songs required, they rather bring feelings of illness, but this doesn’t cancel the fact that “The Last Sunsets” is the most energetic piece written by Night in Gales so far and therefore it’s unstoppable. It’s almost impossible to find negative details on this record if you still find the traditional school of the melodic death metal appealing, not to mention the enchanting sound of the record, which was mastered by the same Dan Swanö, who ensured the quality of the previous release as well, namely “Five Scars”. Although the new album was handled by the same engineer, the difference is huge, this time the sound is fat and I believe this is more suitable for Night in Gales than those “small” drums and laid-back guitars typical of the very early 90’s. The presence of a couple of vocalists specializing in different extreme metal approaches is another cool thing about “The Last Sunsets” given that they emphasize some particular fragments with pretty distinct imprints which make things unpredictable. Torchure’s Martin Matzak, ex-Morgoth’s Marc Grewe, Christian Mertens of Dark Millennium and V of The Wake came to complete Müller’s restlessness with rich vocal ranges and they increase a lot the drama on this album.