The Night Flight Orchestra: Amber Galactic (Nuclear Blast)
Björn "Speed" Strid and David Andersson will probably be best known respectively as singer and guitarist of melodic death metal/metalcore Soilwork but in parallel they have experienced a fluffier career as the 80's loving AOR driven rocking of The Night Flight Orchestra. The album covers are spacey, neon drenched pieces that contain hard rocking numbers that you would hear on any mid 80's American rock album. This record opens with the keyboard friendly Midnight Flyer which is the sort of song Blackmore recorded with Graham Bonnet and Joe Lynn Turner with David Andersson and Richard Larsson taking the roles of Blackmore and Airey duelling in the solo sections.
I must say Speed's vocals are so suited to this music, he has always been a good vocalist in Soilwork but here he really shines, very Bonnet-like delivery on the soulful Gemini and the bluesy Sad State Of Affairs. The band also features Sharlee D'Angelo (Arch Enemy) on bass, Jonas Källsbäck on drums and Sebastian Forslund who plays congas, percussion and guitar so it's a bit of a Swedish supergroup that have come together to recapture the classic late 70's to mid 80's melodic-driven rock and they have done it very well.
This is their third album and once again it's at a very high level from the funkier stylings of Domino to the saccharine Josephine which continues the traditions of naming big ballads after women while Space Whisperer draws from their namesake ELO and Something Mysterious blatantly copies from Survivor. Amber Galactic would have been a million seller in 1985, with the music scene the way it is now that won't happen but you can indulge at hope in some of the best melodic rock of 2017 get on board with The Night Flight Orchestra it's a wild ride indeed. 9/10
Other View: When Daylight Is Gone (Self Released)
We're a bit like the Starship Enterprise (NCC-1701) here at MoM, we like to go boldly and seek out new bands from around the world, now there are hundreds of bands releasing albums every month from all over the globe and some are terrible but some are thankfully great. As many of you may have noticed I'm the progger in the group, if it's complicated and a little OTT I'm probably going to listen to it. Italian progressive metal band Other View are one such band, after a little digging I found that this the band's second full length record, their first was more straightforward power metal affair but this one takes their sound to exciting places.
Vantage the song that starts the record has synths to die for, they are really the lead instrument here relegating the guitars to the background. When The Daylight Is Gone is a very modern progressive album that sounds takes it's cues from Haken, Coheed & Cambria and Circus Maximus there's a lot of edm style electronics from Matteo Cidda on Dead, thick riffage from Van and Francesco Tuscano on Carnivore which is an ode to the lycanthrope and Lon Hawk's vocals are emotive and soar high with clarity and passion especially on Lightyears which is a superb 80's style rocker. In the outer reaches of the Milan music scene Other View are a band that you may not know but I urge you if you like concise but progressive metal with melodic touches this 8 song record will really get your blood flowing, live long and prosper Other View this is very good work. 8/10
Imperivm: Rome Burns (Virus Records)
As you can probably see Imperivm are a band that deal in Roman history, their name is in the Latin style (v's no u's). It's useful then that they come from Italy so this is their history and they can treat it with respect. Personally I love an album that deals with history and I'm especially drawn to the lyrics on this record as it deals with Ancient Rome, now I've got a degree in Classics so I always find it interesting to see how bands interpret the stories of the era into song, where as Ex Deo do this with blood gore and death metal, Imperivm take the Sabaton route of doing it with histrionic power metal.
This means guitar/keyboard duals galore, rampaging drums and galloping basslines throughout, the songs all deal with historical events, the opening salvo of Last Breath sounds like Helloween (the overarching sound of the band in general) and deals with the end of the Republic with the Ides Of March. The almost choral title track is built on big organ riffs with orchestrations, while Spartacus Never Dies is a rampaging rally against Pompey The Great. The vocals of Spartacus (yes the band use pseudonyms) are good suiting the power metal backing, he doesn't sky scrape but they are by no means gruff and his European pronunciation is endearing.
Mostly the band are versatile ably dealing with folk metal on Behind The Alps, the Maiden-like The Final War and the ballad No Wife No Queen with ease. Rome Burns is a great power metal album based on a subject I hold dear, I can see myself playing this album a lot and in our continuing journey to find new bands Italy's Imperivm really stand out. 8/10