Nightingale
The Breathing Shadow


3.5
great

Review

by Karl V.H. USER (81 Reviews)
March 13th, 2009 | 47 replies | 7,704 views


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Metal for the light-hearted.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

Nightingale, one of the many side projects by the now cult-metalist phenomenon Dan Swano, strikes on a much different chord than his other self-indulgent bands. You see, Swano is a man with multiple personality disorder and he plays this to his advantage with each band he performs in. If you are expecting a full on blast of Edge of Sanity or the wonderfully progressive stylings of Moontower, you might as well just scream “Sell Out!” to one of the most unique frontrunners in the history of metal. The Breathing Shadow will bring many surprises to Swano fanatics, and the The Breathing Shadow shows an interesting side of a musician who is a closet retro geek.

Swano’s love for retro 80s electronic music/ power ballads and very few notes of distorted guitar are the first things fans will notice. I know a lot of you are sitting there whining about this fact but I will let you know that it’s more thoughtfully executed than your average cock-swinging hair metal impersonation. Instead of relying on the typical topics of drunken breakups and love-gone-terribly-wrong, Swano channels his efforts into mid-tempo tunes through clean, reverb drenched melodies that are beautifully intertwined together with his heartfelt, poetic lyrics. I would presume that fans of typical Swano outings can only handle these types of mid-tempo songs for so long unfortunately, but relieve is around the corner. Just as the song ‘Higher than the Song’ kicks in, Swano quickly changes things up and injects a powerful chorus with simplistic synth effect that feels catchy and yet relaxing at the same time. ‘Alone?’ and ‘A Lesson in Evil’ reinforces his love of 80s tinged melodies and are some of the standout highlights on the album. As ‘feel good’ as this sounds, Swano trips over his own game throughout the album, slowing things down to a crawl and utilizing ideas that just run out of steam. This is rather dominant in the instrumental ‘The Return to Dreamland’ where the listener gets to the point of questioning ‘Didn’t I hear this before five minutes ago’? Another unfortunate fact of the album is that Swano seems to have great difficulty matching his mighty roar (as heard on Edge of Sanity) with an equally beautiful singing voice, that seems to fall flat on its face throughout the entire album (for great contrasting vocals, refer to Opeth). Swano’s forced, baritone singing only dampens what could be an album with some replay value for a generation of 80s fairy metal lovers.

As many times as Swano has hit the mark over the course of two decades in the metal industry, there will always be a misstep by someone who has become very self indulgent with their side projects. Still, you have to give credit where credit is due. Swano is always taking chances with his music and that’s what counts in the end. The Breathing Shadow is far from a disaster and could be looked at as a stepping stone to bigger and better things (especially in the vocal department). As proven evident on Purgatory Afterglow and Moontower, Swano is in full control of his metal repertoire. On The Breathing Shadow, Swano has learned from his slight mistakes and used them as a catalyst to become an all around great metal musician.



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user ratings (34)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Wizard
March 13th 2009



18746 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I absolutely love Swano but this kind of felt like a side project gone wrong. I don't know though, I can't compare it to his other albums by this band because I have yet to hear them.

Feel free to critique (please do actually) and glad you read the review.

Digging: Triptykon - Melana Chasmata

Willie
Moderator
March 13th 2009



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I guess I'm one of the few people that doesn't really see the draw of Swano's bands. I admit to only hearing a few, but none of them have really grabbed me.

Digging: Teramaze - Esoteric Symbolism

TricksterGRex
March 13th 2009



2087 Comments


I'm in the same boat, Crimson was a huge snooze fest.

Willie
Moderator
March 13th 2009



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

That album I have heard, and I wasn't very impressed.

Wizard
March 13th 2009



18746 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

WHAT?

Crimson wrecks both of your faces ten times over.

Moontower is one of my favourite albums of all time.

Time to do more Swano hw boys hahaha.

TricksterGRex
March 13th 2009



2087 Comments


Mediocre prog death imo.

Wizard
March 13th 2009



18746 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This needs to be in the metal section as well and one of the staff ('clears throat'...Willie) needs to change the name to The Breathing Shadow. No 's' on the end of the title.

Wizard
March 13th 2009



18746 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Trickster, I'm going to cyber strangle you!

TricksterGRex
March 13th 2009



2087 Comments


Probably not before my soul is crushed by this massive pile of doom metal I currently have.

Wizard
March 13th 2009



18746 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sweet dude. I've been on a huge tech-metal fest lately. I need stuff that helps focus my mind on summoning intellectual demons from the depths of my darkest nightmares.

No?

TricksterGRex
March 13th 2009



2087 Comments


You should get some Catacombs or Celestiial for that. And if that shit gets too heavy get some Intaglio, it's more melodic.

Wizard
March 13th 2009



18746 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Never heard of them but I will look into them. What's your msn username, if you don't mind my asking?

TricksterGRex
March 13th 2009



2087 Comments


Eh, I don't use msn.

Wizard
March 13th 2009



18746 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I was gonna throw you a few albums.........

Wizard
March 13th 2009



18746 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

(sad face)

TricksterGRex
March 13th 2009



2087 Comments


Got AIM?

Wizard
March 13th 2009



18746 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Msn and Facebook are my only tools of social destruction.

You can add me as Karl Van Horik on facebook.

TricksterGRex
March 13th 2009



2087 Comments


Dammit man I don't have a facebook either.

Willie
Moderator
March 13th 2009



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Moontower is one of my favourite albums of all time.
Is that the one with all the bad keyboards on it? If it is, I've heard that one too.
This needs to be in the metal section as well and one of the staff ('clears throat'...Willie) needs to change the name to The Breathing Shadow. No 's' on the end of the title.
What? You can do those things yourself ;) Go to "edit band" on the band page to change the genre and go to "Edit reviews" on your profile page and click this review to change the album title.

rasputin
March 13th 2009



14504 Comments


Edge of Sanity is elite.



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