The Night Flight Orchestra is an odd band. Who ever could have guessed that members of melodic death metal greats Soilwork and Arch Enemy would get together to release a classic, stadium rock record? Who could have guessed that it would be any good, as well? They did, and I’m thankful for it. Amber Galactic, the band’s third record and their first under Nuclear Blast, is an epic space opera about relationships.
Amber Galactic is a fun record and one that really captures the sounds of the happier sides of classic rock and prog from the 1980s. It’s electronically fused radio-friendly rock never gets too complicated but remains good fun. Bjorn Strid’s vocals see a great workout here, with lots of falsettos and croons to enjoy. Soilwork’s darker, far heavier sound doesn’t allow him the same vocal freedom he’s awarded himself in Amber Galactic. His voice here is consistently outstanding and just as great a fit for this classic style of rock as it is for Soilwork. David Andersson’s guitar work, too, is brilliant throughout. While I would have liked a bit more of the chunky riffs as heard in “Space Whisperer” and “Midnight Flyer”, his incredible solos more than make up for it.
Indeed, the guitar solos just might be the best part of Amber Galactic. Without them (or Strid’s great vocals), I would struggle to get through it – they are truly excellent, face-melting things. The album is very simple and contains little in the way of heaviness – something I personally crave. Despite the style of Night Flight Orchestra’s music not being my cup of tea, however, it is a good amount of fun and great when you want a little cheering up. It’s happy, enjoyable music.
Elements taken from a whole host of classic rock sounds ensure one thing – Amber Galactic is one hell of a cheesy album. It’s synth-heavy sound and simple riffs aren’t what I normally listen to, but I appreciate that they’re doing so well what they set out to do. It’s a joy to listen to on occasion, after spending hours putting myself through angry pieces of death metal. Amber Galactic is a new guilty pleasure.
Amber Galactic Track Listing:
01. Midnight Flyer
02. Star of Rio
04. Sad State of Affairs
08. Space Whisperer
09. Something Mysterious
10. Saturn in Velvet
Run Time: 50:07
Release Date: May 19, 2017
Check out the music video for “Gemini”