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Night in Gales - Dawnlight Garden

Night in Gales
Dawnlight Garden
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 27 July 2020, 3:57 AM

NIGHT IN GALES is a German melodic death metal band who formed in 1995. “Dawnlight Garden,” is their seventh full length album, in addition to having several EP s and demos.  They have always been pretty consistent over the years, releasing solid album after solid album but nothing that has ever blown me away.  Still, if you want solid melodic death metal that is a throw back to the earlier days of the genre, then it is hard to go wrong with any of their albums including this one.

Their original vocalist, Christian Muller, left the band after their very first release, 1995’s “Sylphlike.” He returned for 2018’s “The Last Sunsets,” and “Dawnlight Garden,” once again features him on vocals.  No offense to the other vocalist that replaced him in his absence, Bjorn Goobes, but I much prefer Muller’s style so it is a continued boon to have him sticking with the band. As mentioned, NIGHT IN GALES over all style is that classic melodic death sound, not too far removed from the Gothenburg scene. “Dawnlight Garden,” continues that trend and basically picks up where the previous album left off.  The albums production is clean but there is a veil of raw power over it, making “Dawnlight Garden,” sound more intense and passionate that a lot of other modern melodic death.

Vocally, MULLER sounds somewhat like the famous Tompa from AT THE GATES .  He isn’t a carbon copy but that higher pitched death growl that allows much of the lyrics to be understood is reminiscent of the legend.  He does throw in plenty of low growls to offset any possible monotony. The album begins with the intro “Atrocity Kings,” which is an uninteresting waste of time.  It is forty seconds of garbled spoken word mixed with ambient noises.  It does lead into the next track well enough but ultimately it does nothing for the album.

Fortunately, the next track “Beyond The Light,” is a much better song and with its fast paced, high octane energy.  The drums and riffs make up the basis of the song and give it the kick but the melodic bass forms the foundation that allows it to stick out in my mind, especially in the song’s middle portion where the bass and lead guitar work very well together. The title track, “Dawnlight Garden,” is next, making an early appearance.  This was a good idea because it is one of the album’s best track and is a real ear grabber.  The opening melodic riffs are catchy and provide an opening for the drums to build up the song’s momentum.  The song alternates between fast paced melodic sweeping and heavier riffs that are a bit less chaotic but lay down a heavy low end to contrast the more melodic beginning.

The awkward titled “Beasts Leave Tombs Again,” is actually a banger of a song.  The first twenty three seconds do much in a short amount of time to conjure up images of some sort of ancient beast crawling out of his hole to feed once more.  The rhythm guitar’s tight, lower tuned riffs ride up top the double bass for a devastating combo.  The more melodic lead guitar weaves in and out of these  riffs until the song’s middle portion around the 1:58 mark where the entire band drops the hammer down. “The Spectre Dead,” is possibly the best song on the album.  The opening melodies are tasty, dashed with a frantic style that leads into a galloping pace where the vocals are screamed/barked out at an exciting cadence against the musical back drop.  The harmonies at the 1:46 mark really bring out the song’s atmosphere and provide a nice segue back into the heavier portions.

The last two tracks, “Choir Of Unlight,” and “The Bonebed,” are both interesting tracks but the pacing is something killed by their placement.  “Choir Of Unlight,” is a heavier, more methodical track focused on tortured vocals and rumbling drums that would had made one hell of a finisher for the album.  The actual last track, “The Bonebed,” is a well done instrumental that feels like it should had been the real intro. Pacing issues aside, “Dawnlight Garden,” continues to show that NIGHT IN GALES is one of the more underrated bands of the melodic death scene—and it also proves that they aren’t stopping any time soon and, at this point in their career, will probably never make a bad album.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Atrocity Kings
2. Beyond The Light
3. Dawnlight Garden
4. Winterspawn
5. Beasts Leave Tombs Again
6. Kingdom
7. The Spectre Dead
8. A Spark In The Crimson Eclipse
9. Through Dark Decades
10. Choir Of Unlight
11. The Bonebed
Christian Muller – Vocals
Jens Basten – Guitar
Tobias Bruchmann – Bass
Frank Basten – Guitar
Adriano Ricci - Drums
Record Label: Apostasy Records


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