Night – High Tides -Distant Skies (The Sign Records)

Sunday, 27th September 2020
Rating: 9/10

Gravitating towards a proto-metal meets classic rock sound with numerous 70’s-inspired trademarks, Night hail from Sweden and have been establishing their style through a series of singles, albums, and EP’s since their first release in 2012. High Tides – Distant Skies as the fourth full-length represents another platter where passionate vocal melodies, steady twin guitar antics, and powerful rhythm section activities come together in buzzworthy song structures. When names like Thin Lizzy, Blue Oyster Cult, Uli Jon Roth-era The Scorpions, and the subsequence NWOBHM offshoots elevated the genre to that next level, energetic and striving to attain interest in a new audience clamoring for more.

Returning again to producer Ola Ersfjord (Primordial, Dead Lord) who worked with the band on 2017’s Raft of the World, the nine songs possess a wide array of diversity, including straight piano action and bluesy, Mark Knopfler/Dire Straits-like acoustic to electric guitar lines on the third cut “Crimson Past”. As guitarists Oskar Andersson and Sammy Ouirra set the table as a duo the best they can – serving up twin lines and supplementary power chords with primal intensity to channel the proceedings into this uplifting aural swarm – be it more Thin Lizzy-esque during opener “Shadow Gold” or adding a little Wishbone Ash against some uppity AC/DC-like licks for “Falling in the Black”. The cultural comfort comes naturally, be it through a gallop natured effort such as “Here on My Own” or a pumping, high-spirited offering that “Give Me to the Night” delivers. Oskar doubles his role for Night as the main singer, and his softer approach may not align him with the Halford, Dickinson, Dio classification, but his nostalgic, mournful nature again has that semi-alternative, throwback affect that most will have no trouble surrendering to and singing along with from first note to last. Bassist Joseph Max and drummer Linus Fritzson get a chance during the instrumental section of closer “Under the Moonlight Sky” to boogie a bit within the playful tempo, an added bonus that conjures up a bit of The Night Flight Orchestra magic.

Hard to resist and clocking in at a perfect vinyl length 37 minutes, High Tides – Distant Skies keeps the Night style front and center for creating an entertaining and satisfying throwback metal/hard rock record.

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