The Night Flight Orchestra - Amber Galactic

The Night Flight Orchestra - Amber Galactic

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(CD, Nuclear Blast, 2017)

Yup, the mighty ‘80s are almost everywhere these days; you can find ‘80s-inspired TV series, movies’ remakes, ‘80s-laden commercials, and even fashion seems to follow the ‘80s trend, with the bold stripes and the vivid colors all over the place... So, it’s almost inevitable seeing music following this frenzy (and I’m not talking only about all these revival Synthwave bands that pop up lately like mushrooms after a rainy evening) that wants the Disco-infused decade sneaking in every aspect of our life. It seems that the modern metallers of THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA are already into this synth-heavy ’80s sound where melody and catchy grooves have the first word, and their third full length “Amber Galactic” is the palpable proof. So, let’s see what the known melodic Death Metal musicians in this lineup have in store for us here...

If I was about to use one sentence to describe this album, I'd say KISS-meets-ABBA-and-DURAN DURAN-in-a-TOTO/FOREIGNER-concert”. Yes, it may sound a bit much / oversaturated but truth is that THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA have produced a multi-colorful album with tons of synth-based melodies and groove guitars that guarantee to rock your world, day or night. Opening track “Midnight Flyer” (that by the way was my first contact with these guys’ sound) presents a band that knows what is doing, meaning that all the guns are in place and ready to fire with confidence and the finger right on the trigger; the building-up tense intro, the speedy attitude and on top of everything, Björn Strid’s fitting-like-glove-in-hand, dynamic vocals are the success recipe that will instantly hook your ears and prepare your appetite for more. “Star Of Rio” seems to follow a KISS-infused rhythm, with some hand-clapping and Björn’s Paul Stanley-type of vocalisms, while following “Gemini” seems to carry all the ‘80s virtues (Disco rhythm, dancefloor mood, catchy ‘o-o-oh’ chorus) and therefore is straight candidate for the most irresistible track off “Amber Galactic”.

Isn’t that enough to convince you to (at least) give this album a chance? If it is not, then there is more KISS-like moments with “Sad State Of Affairs” (love the fresh drums here), a DURAN DURAN infusion (of 1982’s “Rio” album) on “Jennie”, a Saturday Night Fever / TOTO - “Africa” vibe wrapped around “Domino”, and a SURVIVOR - “Eye Of The Tiger” breeze coming from “Something Mysterious”. Yes, it surely feels like these guys have intensively studied every aspect of the ‘80s Pop Art / music and served it in a tall glass here, but let me tell you that the result doesn’t feel over-done or cheesy at all - on the contrary, it’s refreshing, showcasing the band’s high-quality musicianship and boldness to do whatever feel confident about, and it shows.  So, be sure that you can invest on this album without second thoughts, and let the ‘80s breeze to chill the summer-y, hot nights that are ahead of us...

What’s the final verdict then? I really loved “Amber Galactic” and I’m sure it will revisit my CD player in the near future too. I have one question though that seems to be the trap that is inevitable to not fall into; what should we be expecting in the next venture off THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA? A re-visit in the ‘80s would feel like reheated food from the microwave, while something totally different (and more Metal-oriented) would sound and feel a bit disconnected to this offering. Well, only time will tell...





01. Midnight Flyer
02. Star Of Rio
03. Gemini
04. Sad State Of Affairs
05. Jennie
06. Domino
07. Josephine
08. Space Whisperer
09. Something Mysterious
10. Saturn In Velvet


Björn Strid - Vocals
Sharlee D' Angelo - Bass
David Andersson - Guitar
Richard Larsson - Keyboards
Jonas Källsbäck - Drums