NIGHTINGALE – Retribution (2014)
The beginnings of Swedish singer Dan Swanö was in the extreme metal territory, but in the middle ’90s he feel that needed to explore new musical territories, then Dan created NIGHTINGALE. What started as a side project next to his main band Edge Of Sanity became a more serious band during time that released so far six records, with the last one came out in 2007 and it took till 2014 to release a new album.
To be released next November 11th, NIGHTINGALE’s “Retribution” is a fantastic return and a CD that should be ranked on many ‘best of’ lists this year.
“Retribution” contains 10 great tracks which reflect the hard rock / melodic progressive side of Swano very good. When I listen to the first triple (“On Stolen Wings”, “Lucifer’s Lament” and “Chasing the Storm Away”) I felt reminded to bands like TEN and Magnum.
This is melodic hard rock that has an essence of slight progressive arrangements flavoured with some traditional hard rock elements. The instrumentation, the lead & backing vocals and the overall atmosphere puts you in the mood of very classic stuff performed with class and style.
After this very melodic beginning of the album, “Warriors of the Dawn” is a song where the prog parts are a bit more represented in the song structure. In addition the tune has a gloomy vibe that makes it different too. The highlight is the chorus in this song. Superb.
Next “Forevermore” is a groovy, midtempo hard rock tune with a bit of Allen / Lande on it, followed by the elegant acoustic semi-balllad “Divided I Fall”, a very emotional composition with piano, acoustic guitars and a great vocal line.
Then we have a bunch of killer tracks like “The Voyage of Endurance”, a pushing rocker that combines catchiness and complexity before Nightingale has another highlight on the tracklist: “27 (Curse or Coinsidence)” has an acoustic verse but gets more powerful in the chorus. The sense of Swano when it comes to great arcs of melodies is amazing. And everything sounds so light and easy going – as it would have been easiest thing on Earth to write those brilliant hard rock songs.
With “The Maze” Nightingale enter again the more dark side of life. The tune is a bit slower compared to the others yet it has a riff that gives you some goose bumps. This is one of the more progressive numbers with a lot of keyboards played by Dan himself together with his brother Dag.
With “Echoes of a Dream” the album also got a bouncer that easily keeps the level of the nine earlier heard songs. Anchored in classic rock the silent, almost 6 minutes long anthem, is a treat for your ears.
Read this carefully: some weeks ago appeared the new Allen / Lande album, and it’s a really good one. It will be quite difficult for Nightingale’s “Retribution” sell more than those popular singers project, but it should.
Nightingale does not have the marketing, ‘the name’ and even an attractive artwork cover, but it’s better than the last Allen / Lande album.
This is a terrific collection of songs flying with ease between traditional hard rock, melodic progressive, melodic hard rock and even it owns a pinch of power AOR on a couple of tracks.
Do yourself a favor and don’t miss Nightingale’s “Retribution”. It’s awesome.
01 – On Stolen Wings
02 – Lucifer’s Lament
03 – Chasing The Storm Away
04 – Warriors Of The Dawn
05 – Forevermore
06 – Divided I Fall
07 – The Voyage Of Endurance
08 – 27 (Curse Or Coincidence?)
09 – The Maze
10 – Echoes Of A Dream
Dan Swanö – Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Dag Swanö – Bass, Guitars, Keyboards
Erik Oskarsson – Bass
Tom Björn – Drums