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Night – High Tides - Distant Skies Award winner

Night
High Tides - Distant Skies
by Mike McMahan at 19 June 2020, 9:08 PM

The fourth album from the Swedish quartet NIGHT, “High Tides-Distant Skies, is set to release on September 11, 2020. The record is a departure (as a follow-up to the critically acclaimed and more Metal-minded “Raft Of The World”), in that the band has concentrated more on the writing process and putting the rhythms and melodies in the forefront. They have also developed a more Seventies era feel in their sound, dragging a litany of influences with them. Andersson and Ouirra share both guitar and lead vocal duties, while the bottom end is adeptly held together by bassist Joseph Max, and newcomer Linus Fritzson, of AMBUSH fame, on drums.

Opening things up, with a rather tasty drum lick intro, is “Shadow Gold. This song is a pretty cool rocker, bringing forth the strong seventies’ influence that I spoke of. The band has gone with a single coil guitar sound, which seems a little less heavy handed than the Gibson humbucker thunder of the past. It is obvious from this cut that the songwriting process has certainly changed. While the lyrical content is nothing overly exciting, it is very solid.

“Burning Sky” has a bit of a heavier feel to it, and at times puts me in mind of both Uli Jon Roth era SCORPIONS and earlier BLUE OYSTER CULT. The third cut, “Crimson Past” has a guitar tone that almost seems to channel Mark Knopfler and DIRE STRAITS. I don’t mean a little bit; I mean I double checked to make sure he wasn’t doing a guest appearance. This is also the song that first truly “hooked” me on the record, with a great vocal and strong musical presence throughout.

“Running Away” carries on with more of the same. The song is well crafted, with a solid rock guitar intro and tremendous lyrical content. An absolutely screaming guitar solo doesn’t hurt matters here, either. This song has actually become my favorite cut from this nine-song album. The band hits a stumbling block with the UFO tinged “Here On My Own. The song is solid enough, musically speaking (which is where the UFO influence hit me); but it falls short with a vocal delivery that is choppy and metered poorly.

Overall, this is a cool direction from these guys.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship:10
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Shadow Gold
2. Burning Sky
3. Crimson Past
4. Falling In The Black
5. Running Away
6. Here On My Own
7. Lost In A Dream
8. Give Me To The Night
9. Under The Moonlight Sky
Lineup:
Oskar Andersson – Guitar, Vocals
Sammy Ouirra – Guitar, Vocals
Joseph Max – Bass
Linus Fritzson – Drums
Record Label: The Sign Records
     


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Edited 26 September 2020
 

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