Have you been enjoying the summer so far? If, like me, the COVID-19 boycot of summer festivals has cast a few shadows over these sunny days, it’s high time I introduced you to a band that will put that lovely smile right back on your face. So grab your favorite drink, sit back, and relax for NIGHT’s fourth album, “High Tides – Distant Skies,” set for release on 11 September 2020 via The Sign Records.
NIGHT are four Swedish classic rockers with a heart for the purity of guitar-driven music. They formed back in 2012 with SAXON and JUDAS PRIEST influences getting them started on their rocky journey. Their previous release, “Raft of the World,” put them on the radar, with fans eagerly awaiting their next studio effort. Now it’s finally here, and it definitely doesn’t disappoint!
With “High Tides – Distant Skies,” NIGHT takes a whole new direction, leaving their comfort zone to create a special fusion of the styles with which they previously experimented. Whereas “Raft of the World” relied more on proto-metal influences, this newest record brings classic rock back into the main spotlight. This doesn’t mean all previous styles are abandoned, rather, they are incorporated to enhance the classic rock elements. This makes NIGHT‘s latest a lovely blend to discover.
Where “Raft of the World” was quite dark, “High Tides – Distant Skies” is a lot more upbeat and atmospheric. A lot of this evolution comes from the switch to single coil guitars, which have a much lighter sound. I am impressed by how many classic influences I spotted during my playthroughs. I grew up listening to DIRE STRAITS and SCORPIONS, whose technically skilled melodic guitar arrangements seem to be channeled here. Frontmen Oskar Andersson and Sammy Ouirra do Mark Knopfler proud with their undeniable talent.
The vocals by the aforementioned dynamic duo may not be the highlight of the record, but they fit the mold very well and they do have their moments. That said, the vocals are subordinate to the instrumentals and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The drums by newcomer Linus Fritzson, for example, hold the tracks together with verve and vigour, as the snappy intro on “Shadow Gold” accentuates. Joseph Max on the bass closes the lines with ultra-groovy vibes, creating something utterly vibrant and infectious.
At times reminiscent of early ’70s Woodstock, “High Tides – Distant Skies” is a fantastic record to enjoy on a picnic blanket in your backyard. Easy to listen to, yet stunning performances by all musicians smoothly pave the road to success. The change in songwriting process is a welcome one and a thought-provoking new direction for NIGHT.
Written by Jana De Boeck
1. Shadow Gold
2. Burning Sky
3. Crimson Past
4. Falling In The Black
5. Running Away
6. Here On My Own
7. Lost In A Dream
8. Give Me To The Night
9. Under The Moonlight Sky
Oskar Andersson – Guitar, Vocals
Sammy Ouirra – Guitar, Vocals
Joseph Max – Bass
Linus Fritzson – Drums
The Sign Records