With fellow Swedes Nestor breathing down The Night Flight Orchestra’s neck with an imminent new album to be released shortly, fans of this quirky style of AOR/melodic rock will be spoilt for choice.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: The Night Flight Orchestra
ALBUM: Aeromantic II
LABEL: Nuclear Blast
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Bjorn Strid – lead and Backing vocals * David Andersson – guitars * Sharlee D’Angelo – bass * Sebastian Forslund – guitars, percussion * Jonas Kallsback – drums * John Manhattan Lonnmyr – keyboards * Anna Brygard – backing vocals * Anna-Mia Bonde – backing vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 Violent Indigo * 02 Midnight Marvelous * 03 How Long * 04 Burn For Me * 05 Chardonnay Nights * 06 Change * 07 Amber Through A Window * 08 I Will Try * 09 You Belong To The Night * 10 Zodiac * 11 White Jeans * 12 Moonlit Skies
WEBLINKS: FB Page
Last year in 2020, we had the first Night Flight Orchestra ‘Aeromantic’ album, now in 2021 we have the second installment. These guys have been a permanent fixture at GloryDaze over the last five years, but recent discussion on our forum by some members raised the suggestion that Night Flight Orchestra have now run their course, and that the fresh ideas have now dried up.
Personally, I’m not quite certain that’s the case as feedback elsewhere across the digital domain still holds the Night Flight Orchestra in high esteem. As the saying goes, you’re only as good as your last album, the proof in the pudding will be how this album stacks up, so lets take a closer look.
Night Flight Orchestra are known for their big sound. Two guitarists, juicy keyboards and upfront vocals. You get all this and more on the lead-off ‘Violent Indigo’. To be honest, this is how I like my melodic rock in 2021, and to hear it as early as track 1 was a welcome surprise. ‘Midnight Marvelous’ sees our Swedish friends kick up their heels in stomping fashion, the Nord inspired keyboard solo plus the stinging guitar solo really do add some punch.
‘How Long’ is propelled by a steady backbeat, a nifty synth arpeggio throughout, with powerful bursts coming to life on the huge sounding chorus. On this one Bjorn Strid leads from the front, with the rest of the band delivering their A-game. ‘Burn For Me’ is the templated NFO sound heard on their previous albums. The tip-tap piano is a familiar element and at some stage I expected the band to pull it out of the hat, and they duly delivered.
‘Chardonnay Nights’ is a great name for a song, we drink plenty of the stuff in Australia and New Zealand so we appreciate the connection. This is kinda funky but not totally overblown, and to confirm this isn’t really yacht rock on steroids either, just in case anyone was wondering. There’s more hot keyboard and piano work to be found on ‘Change’, and by now I’m thinking this album is smelling like roses at the halfway point.
I love the near hi-tech AOR of ‘Amber Through A Window’, where Night Flight Orchestra keep it light and fluffy. Very nice. ‘I Will Try’ continues this style, a bit of Toto and perhaps some Canadian bands keeps the whole thing ringfenced to the 80’s. ‘You Belong To The Night’ is another upbeat number, the melodies are slightly Asian sounding, even the rhythm section takes on a disco vibe. All good by me.
‘Zodiac’ by way of contrast sounds more stripped back, I didn’t quite engage with this one so much, but the penultimate track ‘White Jeans’ is Night Flight Orchestra at their upbeat best where they turn up the energy levels a few notches including galloping guitars and those ever-present keyboards among other things. The album doesn’t really have a ballad, but the closing ‘Moonlit Skies’ is the nearest Night Flight Orchestra get to a midtempo track, mostly this is a subdued affair though it does lift on the chorus and solo sections.
People will hear this album differently but the underlying takeaway with ‘Aeromantic II’ is that it is very melodic and not so overblown and bombastic as previous albums. In fact, I was waiting for Bjorn Strid to turn up the screws and go into full-blown vocal power mode, but he doesnt. He sounds totally on-point throughout and keeps things in check.
With fellow Swedes Nestor breathing down Night Flight Orchestra’s neck with an imminent new album to be released shortly, fans of this quirky style of AOR/melodic rock will be spoilt for choice. Let NFO be the entree over the months of September and October 2021 because this album as far as I’m concerned – doesn’t disappoint. Raise your glasses. Clink clink..
Burn For Me
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