September 2023 Album of the Month: Night in Gales – The Black StreamTuesday, 3rd October 2023
Within melodic death metal circles, those truly in the know have Night in Gales near the top of the most influential and finest of the many acts the genre has to offer. The Germans have returned with The Black Stream, which also warrants inclusion as our September 2023 Album of the Month.
When they made a huge underground splash with their 2011 comeback album Five Scars, many metal lovers old and new were piqued by their skilled and keen interpretation of the famed Gothenburg sound. Lead vocalist extraordinaire Björn Gooßes departed not long after, and a lesser band would have crumbled upon losing such a vital cog. Not Night in Gales, who brought back Christian Müller, who featured on the band’s landmark debut EP Sylphlike in 1995, only to depart before debut album Towards the Twilight. Gooßes shoes are nearly impossible to fill, but if anybody could pick up where he left off, it absolutely had to be Müller. Since his return, the band haven’t missed, releasing modern classics in 2018’s The Last Sunsets and 2020’s Dawnlight Garden.
This quintet still doesn’t get nearly enough reverence for their immense and undeniable contributions, but that aside, they’re amongst the early acts that are still making music to such a high level of quality (alongside Dark Tranquillity, Ablaze My Sorrow, Withering Surface, and a few others). Night in Gales continues to further cement their legacy with The Black Stream, and it certainly doesn’t get much more hard hitting and masterfully composed. This will stand as one of the year’s best, and no melodic death collection will be complete without it.