Label: Nuclear Blast Records
I do not know how many people believed that almost 10 years after that drunk conversation between Björn Strid and David Andersson which resulted in the creation of The Night Flight Orchestra that the project would still exist in 2017 and that its third album would be released. With a Nuclear Blast Records contract and most importantly with stable quality releases. The line-up is very impressive with Sharlee D’Angelo (Arch Enemy, Spiritual Beggars, ex-King Diamond), Richard Larsson (Von Benzo), Jonas Källsbäck (Mean Streak), and the newest member Sebastian Forslund (Kadwatha). Successor of the intense Deep Purple-ly ‘Skyline Whispers’ of 2015, ‘Amber Galactic’ returns to their debut’s roots ‘Internal Affairs’ (2012). (Almost) All those involved with the retro sound, dive in the past to gain inspiration, exhaust the 70’s-early 80’s, while musically the move towards the occult, like Thin Lizzy / N.W.O.B.HM. influences. The Night Flight Orchestra make a different move, creating music that was worshiped in the 1980s but not necessarily by the metal audience. Or not just that. Flirting with pop music the band creates guitaristic hard rock, with intense AOR elements and melodic lines. And if the lyrical themes look naive and easy to digest, their music sounds extremely serious and not consequential. Very elaborate compositions, overflowing easy listening without sounding cheap, with amazing refrains which stick to your mind’s melodies. We hear intense Toto elements in the album but how many years has been since Mr. Lukather has written a similar composition to ‘Domino’? Of course there is also the influence of Styx (check ‘Gemini’), Survivor and Foreigner and enough Journey aesthetics. While not lacking the 70’s sounds from Boston and Eagles. Made for air-play and relaxed cocktail – the record’s songs could have been on the soundtrack of any 80’s movie on videotape or in the Miami Vice theme. Nostalgic enough but with modern characteristic production. ‘Midnight Flyer’, ‘Sad State Of Affairs’ (reminds us of ‘Unmasked’ KISS) and ‘Gemini’ stand out. It’s worth it.