Do you remember the first time anyone gave you a pig in a blanket? For those who are wondering what pigs in a blanket are, it is a sausage wrapped up in bacon. Pork on pork, people! Or that time when you had something awesome and then added sauce? Awesome sauce, people!
The only way to best describe The Night Flight Orchestra’s latest release Amber Galactic is a pig in a blanket covered in awesome sauce! Rarely do you listen to an album with a smile on your face from the off. Immediately from the opening bars of ‘Midnight Flyer,’ you know this isn’t your usual Rock album, it is just a little bit special. Retro is the word. A flamboyant ‘80s feel in this track, with over the top keyboards and a guitar solo Thin Lizzy would have been proud of, announces Amber Galactic with great aplomb.
For those unfamiliar with The Night Flight Orchestra, it is a Swedish Classic Rock super group formed in 2007 by Björn Strid and David Andersson while they were touring in the USA with their band Soilwork. They were later joined by bassist Sharlee D’Angelo (Arch Enemy, Spiritual Beggars, ex-King Diamond), Richard Larsson (Von Benzo), Jonas Källsbäck (Mean Streak) and, more recently, Sebastian Forslund (Kadwatha). Rich with experience and undoubted talent, the unlikely group have a mutual love for Classic Rock, and not just your paint by numbers version; we are talking the work of the masters here, big, bold and impossible to ignore.
‘Star of Rio’ kicks in and you can’t but help get an early Van Halen, AC/DC vibe off the riff, and with Björn’s vocals there is a hint of Sammy Hagar in there. The up-tempo number just draws you into its contagious melody and foot tapping back beat. As ‘Gemini’ opens up, again that galactic vibe is continued with the whimsical keyboards and flanger / chorus pedal on guitars. The whole vibe of this song just sums up Jean Claude Van Damme or the A-Team having a serious “montage” moment, whilst they gather their shit together to fight their mortal enemy in the closing scene of a cheesy ‘80s movie. It is a big awesome sauce moment on this album, with yet another classy guitar solo from Andersson. The quality of musicianship on this album is there for all to see.
Check out the official video below:
‘Sad State of Affairs’ has yet another gorgeous opening riff. You just cannot ignore this glorious tune. A huge chorus and an addictive melody mean that it is just stuck in your head all day long! ‘Jennie,’ again with an orchestral sounding opening, makes a huge statement about what The Night Flight Orchestra are all about. When asked about the direction of The NFO in the realm of Classic Rock, Strid explains with a chuckle: “Most other classic rock bands sound like weed or LSD – we sound like cocaine.” No doubt when you hear this original sounding album you will agree. ‘Jennie’ might be the closest thing to a power ballad on this album; it again is a sublime piece of retro appreciation from The NFO.
‘Domino’ – oh my god again, you’re killing me here with the ‘80s feel! Just think Steven Segal and Kelly Le Brock smooching to this after a post martial arts warm up. It’s a master class in the form of musical time travel. Check out the official track video below.
‘Josephine’ continues the Classic Rock infested theme with another glorious track filled with retro emotion and passion, and again another beautifully executed solo for the six-string wizard that is David Andersson. ‘Space Whisper’ this time exchanges the six string solo with a keyboard frenzy reminiscent of the likes of Jens Johansson from the early days of Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force. ‘Something Mysterious’ is the penultimate track from this fine collection of 10 instantly classic and beautifully penned songs. As Amber Galactic comes to a close with ‘Saturn in Velvet,’ you will know you have witnessed something unique here, by no means a half-hearted attempt to recreate the magic of days gone by, but a more personal take on what Classic Rock means to The Night Flight Orchestra; and it is stunning.
Amber Galactic was recorded at Handsome Hard Studios in Lund, Sweden.
The album follows The Night Flight Orchestra’s two previous releases, 2012’s Internal Affairs and 2015’s Skyline Whispers.
1. ‘Midnight Flyer’
2. ‘Star of Rio’
4. ‘Sad State of Affairs’
8. ‘Space Whisperer’
9. ‘Something Mysterious’
10. ‘Saturn in Velvet’
11. ‘Just Another Night’ BONUS TRACK (limited edition digipak, vinyl)
12. ‘Fly Tonight (Never Rewind)’ BONUS TRACK (Japan only)
The album is available now:
Ltd Digipack CD
Double Etched Vinyl
Ltd Double Etched Violet Sparkle Vinyl
THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA members:
Björn Strid – vocals
Sharlee D’ Angelo – bass
David Andersson – guitars
Richard Larsson – keyboards
Jonas Källsbäck – drums
Sebastian Forslund – guitars, percussion
NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS UK