Review Summary: No surprise, another solid release by Dan Swano and crew.
How Dan Swano can even put out so much quality material is beyond me. The guy has been around for ages and still kicking ass and releasing consistently good stuff. Nightingale's Invisible
(2004) is another chapter in Swano's storied career that once again lives up to the expectations we've come to expect from anything he's involved in. Remember those old sayings like, "maybe when pigs fly" and "when hell freezes over"? I've got a better one- "yeah, maybe when Dan Swano releases a trash album that'll happen." Accurate and brilliant, I know.
Anyway, the album wastes no time with corny, drawn-out intros; Still Alive
immediately kicks off the record with an upbeat riff as the rest of the band quickly joins in. What jumps out at me is the positivity and happiness conveyed through the music. Swano has largely been involved in death metal, but Invisible
takes place in a completely different realm; here, their style is characterized by only moderately-distorted guitars, clean vocals, and buoyant songwriting that is devoid of blood, guts, death, and any other dark subject matter often associated with heavier forms of metal. Nightingale add just enough technicality to slap on the "progressive" label to the record; with that said, one can most accurately categorize Invisible
as Progressive Rock.
The sound production is super-clean and flawless; think Kamelot, and you'll have an idea of what it's like. While the overall sound is pleasing, it is lacking atmosphere and depth, which from where I'm standing, would have only strengthened the record as a whole. Fortunately, this is a minor setback because Nightingale use a multifaceted approach in songwriting that breathes unique life and personality into all ten songs.
To further exemplify the aura of positivity surrounding the album, Atlantis Rising
paints the picture of Swano traveling on a journey to find the gold and promise of Atlantis; while Swano may be chronicling a fictional trip to the lost city, more than likely he's symbolically describing some event or journey within his own life that he's always dreamed of achieving. In the chorus, Swano sings, I'll see Atlantis rising, burn my bridges no return; I'll see Atlantis rising
. Frankly, it's one of the catchiest melodies I've heard in a long time, and is nearly guaranteed to be stuck in one's head after a few listens.
The album contains no blistering guitar solos, but rather, the group utilize solos of the bluesy-melodic variety that seamlessly fuse to the songs and add to their overall value (an exemplar being in To The End
). Furthermore, Invisible
's greatest asset lies in the fact that it is a dynamic, well-made album in terms of musicianship, yet accessible enough and easy enough on the ears that anyone, and I mean anyone, can enjoy it. We as fans have come to expect nothing but great things from Dan Swano, and Invisible
delivers yet more reasons for us to proudly support Swano and Nightingale. All in all, while Invisible
isn't redefining genres or setting standards, it is a solid record and I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys music.
"To The End"