Nightscape - Symphony of the night 4/5

Reviewed: 10-28-05


1. Haunted hill
2. Higher than life
3. Merlin
4. Across the sky
5. Home
6. The serpent king
7. Rage divine
8. Curse and damnation
9. Symphony of the night

Another high quality power metal band is introduced to the genre! Out of Sweden, Nightscape and their full-length debut 'Symphony of the night' quickly grab my attention. I've really liked the CD since the beginning moments of the first spin, and it's in a style that will appeal to most power metal fans for sure. Lots of bands have come to mind while listening to 'Symphony of the night', including Axenstar, Thunderstone, Twilightning, Sonata Arctica, Supreme Majesty, Stratovarius, Dreamtale, and I also hear a touch of bands like Timeless Miracle, Freedom Call and even Heavenly.

The CD is pure power metal excitement from start to finish, with lots of speed, plenty of keyboards (nicely done by Marcus Sundquist), and great guitar work (a few times in harmony) courtesy of lead/rhythm guitarists Joakim Wiklund and Pontus Akesson. There's a slight neo-classical flare, which would make sense, as the band is with Lion Music, who is known for their high amount of neo-classical bands. Nightscape just might be my favorite band from the label in fact, as I can't seem to recall a band that lay down such an exciting performance.

Vocally, Simon Akesson (brother of guitarist Pontus?) is somewhere in the middle of the large list of bands mentioned earlier, with a powerful mid-range to high voice that fits the music very well. There aren't any ballads, and that's certainly a good thing with 'Symphony of the night' in my mind, as I would hate to hear a break from the excitement. I consider track 2 "Higher than life" and track 5 "Home" my favorites, as they have exceptional choruses and also stick in my head more than the others. So not only does Nightscape have all the necessary ingredients, but their songwriting skills are also at a high level, especially when considering that this is a debut.

It's great that a band that isn't really giving us anything new can provide such an exciting sound. Just like with some of the mentioned bands however, there are obviously going to be some songs that are better than others. So taking the next step would be providing more songs that match the greatness of the best output from bands like Sonata Arctica, Stratovarius and Twilightning. Still, 'Symphony of the night' is an outstanding CD that is highly recommended to fans of this power metal style. Nightscape may be around (hopefully) for a long time, as they have not only the talent, but also the energy and confidence to compete with the best bands in genre.




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