Nightingale
The Closing Chronicles


4.5
superb

Review

by AllGabrielsAreGlass USER (4 Reviews)
May 2nd, 2012 | 12 replies | 2,414 views


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Another Piece Of Gold.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Nightingale is the project that has displayed Dan Swano's softer side and his love of Progressive Rock, and has arguably become one of his most well known projects with the exception of his work in the death metal realm with Edge of Sanity. Straight off from The Breathing Shadow,Which was Nightingales first and so far , only attempt; at playing gothic rock, Dan Swano teamed up with his brother Dag and decided to take the project into a new progressive oriented direction.

The Closing Chronicles is the album that displays a darker side to this love of all things progressive; as it is without doubt the darkest album that Nightingale has released thus far. A casual listener of Nightingales first album and then this one, without knowing who the band was, would be forgiven for thinking they were two different entities. Whilst The Breathing Shadow had a kind of dark energy The Closing Chronicles instead takes a far more laid back approach, introducing keyboard atmospherics and the piano into the bands sound spectrum. This new sound really is what contributes to making this album the darkest and most emotional Nightingale release; and is handled extremely well by both Dan and Dag throughout. Prime examples of this being Thoughts From A Stolen Soul, So Long (Still I Wonder) and Intermezzo.

The track lengths seperate this from other Nightingale releases, as two of the tracks stretch to nine minutes in length, and are easily the standouts of the album. Both display this newfound use of atmosphere and keyboard extremely well as on each Dan creates soundscapes that work to great effect, not just because they work well on their own, but the fact that it acts as something as a backbone for the rest of the music, letting it flourish and give it life. Dan and Dags guitar work functions in a similar way, showing admirable restraint and doesn't really get to flashy or impressive, but more than makes up for it in how it contributes to the overall tone.

Two of the tracks are out and out rock tracks and are the only that display Nightingale at their most energetic, they juxtapose against the longer, atmospheric tracks and are also highlights, especially Steal The Moon, an extremely upbeat song and a ray of sunlight on an otherwise incredibly dark album. The musicianship throughout is, instead of atmospheric and laid back, incredibly energetic and cant help but make you feel good inside when you listen.

The album also notable for another reason as well, it is a conceptual album. Conceptual albums have always been something of a fragile thing for most bands, as, for the most part, they tend to approach it as something of a magnum opus. The result at best does indeed go down as the bands classic material, or an aimless, bloated, direction less bore counted as a stiff "Trying too hard" attempt. The execution here, however, is wildly different and this different approach is what really elevates the album to new heights. Dan wastes no time in long drawn out intros or sound effect interludes to support the story he is telling and instead opts to convey the story through vocals and atmosphere only. This approach does occasionally slip up, as witnessed by Intermezzo, easily the weakest track on here.

Going in a completely different direction than originally intended is always a challenge for any band and here Dan manages to take that approach admirably, easily making this one of the best Nightingale releases so far and a superior offering than The Breathing Shadow. Essential listening for any fan of Dan Swano.


user ratings (33)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
AllGabrielsAreGlass
May 2nd 2012



431 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Feedback definitely appreciated, even if editing is down at the moment.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
May 2nd 2012



5610 Comments


Despite some spelling and phrasing errors, this is a good review, have a pos.

I had always wondered how this band sounded like.




Edit: I will detail the errors later, i don't have much time right now.

Digging: Mekong Delta - In A Mirror Darkly

AllGabrielsAreGlass
May 2nd 2012



431 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks, much appreciated. Yeah the bands style on these early releases varies wildly, from the laidback prog here, real fast prog on I or the goth on The Breathing Shadow, but after that the three kinda merge to form one if that makes sense.

CaptainDooRight
May 2nd 2012



26190 Comments


good album, i own them all

Digging: Deniro Farrar - The Patriarch II

BallsToTheWall
May 2nd 2012



44164 Comments


Nightingales have sick armor.

KjSwantko
May 2nd 2012



8717 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review Gabe. The Swano-approved Nightingale page on Facebook posted a link to your review fyi: http://www.facebook.com/nightingalesweden

AllGabrielsAreGlass
May 3rd 2012



431 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Aw thanks a fucking lot KJ. That feels really good to get noticed.

Seriously, thanks so much [Infinity]

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
May 7th 2012



18165 Comments


I need to check this out.

Great review, pos'd.

Digging: Benoit Pioulard - Hymnal Remixes

AllGabrielsAreGlass
May 7th 2012



431 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks Jamie ;) And yeah, this stuff rules, how much of Dan Swano's stuff have you been exposed to so far?

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
May 7th 2012



18165 Comments


I'm only really familiar with Edge of Sanity. His solo album, Moontower, is also on my list of albums to check out.

AllGabrielsAreGlass
May 7th 2012



431 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah DEFINITELY check out Moontower, actually I'd recommend you listened to either I or The Breathing Shadow before this cause in my view their more accessible and also cause their all multi conceptual albums, though your more proggy in your taste than me so I think it's really down to you. Cheers.

CaptainDooRight
May 7th 2012



26190 Comments


Moontower is so good



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