The sound of Night’s third album ‘Raft of the World’ takes further steps towards a proto-metal sound they’d hinted at on the very rigid early NWOBHM sound of the previous album ‘Soldiers of Time’. The pace is slowed for drama, the guitars set to Fleetwood Mac levels of heaviness, and the overall sound flows outward at a carefully heavy pace, not unlike Demon‘s classic debut album ‘Night of the Demon’. That quasi-threat of Blue Öyster Cult type riffing is just as exciting as it was when fellow Swedes Ghost busted out with their debut, but Night seems like a band that is set on avoiding modernity at all costs. Metal heads who need push, power and pompous shredding that you’d find in a lot of retro bands will be underwhelmed here. As I stated previous this is proto-metal without even an ounce of Led Zeppelin riff juice to kick around. Think of it more as if Enforcer‘s ‘Diamonds’ was done in the style of pre-80’s Budgie instead of Scorpions. The vocalist has the right tone for this type of music, I had to check if it was actually the guy from Enforcer. It isn’t!
Style notes aside, the tracks here are all very similar in approach and sound. Songs like “Time” and “Surrender” don’t hit as hard as they should because the songs around them sound so similar. Upon repeated listens the chords they’re hitting aren’t distinct outside of mood-shaping and the result is a big blob of chilled-out but NWOBHM-serious attitude and repeated song structures. It isn’t too much of a good thing, though, it is the same 4-5 tricks taken from 70’s classics re-spun into almost-metal. At some point I’m bored of bands trying so hard for a retro sound when they aren’t capable of writing “hits” or at the very least memorable songs. As much as I enjoy the trippy ride on ‘The Raft of the World’ it sticks in my mind as a one-trick-pony experience that never leaves the safety of it’s intended style. It is “just OK” stuff and a quick fix for the nostalgic or maniac fan, but it won’t stay with me for long outside of the two tracks I mentioned.
|Released||September 1, 2017|
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