Chuck Schuldiner Project

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Nightingale - Retribution

Having been a fan of Dan Swanö's work as a musician and producer, I could barely contain all the excitement when I heard that a new Nightingale record was in the works. Having become Dan's main project after retiring Edge of Sanity, Nightingale's progressive rock/metal sound has come to exemplify frontman Dan Swanö's will to keep moving forward as a musician and as an artist.
Now, after 7 years of absence, the band is finally back with a brand new album titled "Retribution"

With this latest release, the band seems to have toned down the progressive element in comparison with their previous albums, opting for more straightforward structured compositions. The guitars are slightly less punchy and less prominent in the mixes for a good part of the album this time around, occasionally leaving more room for the synths to add a stronger 80's flavor to some songs.
Dan Swanö's powerful singing voice is the main point of focus of each song, with every other instrument taking a step back to complement the vocal melodies. The lead guitar melodies are splendidly written but serve mostly as ornaments to serve the vocal melody.
This "poppier" approach, while slight on a few tracks, occasionally change the tone of Nightingales' sound quite significantly. During certain passages I couldn't help but get a strong 80's glam metal vibe from the songs-
Unfortunately, while the album offers some incredibly catchy hooks on a few songs (e.g.: Lucifer's Lament, Forevermore), Retribution suffers from a lack of rhythmic dynamics and a lack of diversity. Pretty much every track on here is a ballad or a power ballad, set roughly at the same tempo, with the same drum groove.
A few songs still manage to stand out from the rest with some powerful hooks, but the rhythmic monotony of the album certainly does not do them much justice, unfortunately. Most of the songs on the album are fairly solid but do not work as well collectively.

Overall, while Retribution occasionally delivers some incredibly catchy tunes, it's overall stripped down song structures and slight lack of diversity prevents it from being an engaging listening experience as a whole. While slightly disappointing on that aspect, this album is still going to please the confirmed Nightingale fans like me who have been waiting for some new material from the band.



Dan Swanö's website

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