German melodic death metallers Night In Gales are a band that has been around since the so-called demise of death metal in 1995, when it was at its lowest point in popularity and all things black metal were taking over and causing controversy at every opportunity. They have stuck it out and are now in a position to unleash their sixth album The Last Sunsets through melodic death metal label Apostasy Records. Night In Gales have had a pretty solid line up and we now have the return of original vocalist Christian Muller. Night In Gales have looked back within themselves and their sound, taking their time to release the album that they wanted to release. So is it any good?
Well, opener and title track of the album, “The Last Sunsets”, pays homage to the Swedish scene and a lot of this can be contributed to the production of none other than Dan Swano of Unisound fame who needs no introduction. Perfect sound, where everything is clear and you can hear every instrument and every chord that they make. With “The Last Sunsets” you could think you would be listening to Mirrorworld-era Eucharist and when the vocals kick in, Slaughter of the Soul-era At the Gates… but Night In Gales have added their own influences to their songs.
At age 40, Christian still has some set of lungs on him and can sing/growl with the best of them. Catchy, melodic and well structured riffs that will get any crowd moving in the live environment come from brothers Frank and Jens Basten and are a pleasure to hear. Backed up by talented rhythm section with bassist/vocalist Tobias Bruchmann and drummer Adriano Ricci, this is a very strong start to the album and one that I have played on repeat numerous times. Night In Gales change tempo flawlessly and you cannot help but feel immersed in the musicianship on show here. Great start to the album.
Another great example of Night In Gales changing the tempo is when second track “Dark Millennium” starts off with a nice melodic riff before the down-tuned guitars kick in and blistering blast beats come in, and the we settle down to more melodic death metal. Vocals are much more in your face with this track and as you all know, I love my dual vocals. This is a prime example of why they add so much power and diversity to a song. The next song that really caught my attention was “Architects of Tyranny” which again has blistering riffs from the Basten brothers which is everything that any death metal fan would worship, backed up by excellent drumming and double bass by Adriano once again.
“The Spears Within” mixes things up beautifully from the melodic to the downright rotten. The pit will get moving with the blast beats and swirling riffs that just gets this head banging. There is plenty of At The Gates worship here but when it sounds this good, who cares? I think this is one of the definite highlights of the album as everything just fits beautifully together with some of the best riffs of the album on this song. I also liked Christian’s vocals more on this track than any other.
Another highlight is “In Pain, In Silence” which starts off with a light intro and just when you think that this is a ballad, darker and more sinister riffs come in and the mood gets more intense as the song progresses. Swirling, twisted riffs followed by blast beats and heavy double bass and Christian reaching the lowest growl that he can muster makes this another excellent addition to the album.
Album closer “Dust and Form” is a worthy number to round things up, with more of their affiliation with a variety of Swedish bands previously mentioned. This song is more of the mid-to-fast paced variety and again Night In Gales know how to grab your attention. The song just sucks you in with the different tempos; you just have to appreciate again the musicianship on show here.
There is not one bad song on the album, which is a collection of very good songs that deserve to be heard. It’s hard for any band to sound original and different these days but when bands like Night In Gales sound this good, band references are thrown out the window. Just immerse yourself in the talent on show here and raise those horns in appreciation of death f**king metal.