Nightingale - Invisible (Black Mark Records) 2004
1. "Still Alive"
I love it when I get a CD from a band I am unfamiliar with and it just totally floors me. Such is the case with Nigthingale. I know nothing about this band, other than a friend suggested them and sent me a couple CDs to check out. I received "Still Alive" and "Invisible" at the same time and decided to listen to "Invisible" first. After doing some research I sort of wished I would have listened to "Still Alive" since the opening song here, is the end of the story/concept from that album. Regardless, the song starts this CD off great! Apparently Nightingale are a side project of Dan Swano from Edge of Sanity, along with his brother Dag. Their influences seem to be that of 1970's progressive masters like Yes, Nektar and perhaps King Crimson. Musically, they have a lot in common with bands like Spocks Beard and Threshold. The music is melodic and progressive, but also heavy and cohesive. Many modern progressive bands seem to think that progressive song writing means writing a song that lacks hooks or anything tangible. That is not the case with Nightingale. I would put "Invisible" in the same camp as Dream Theater's "Images & Words". Not that I would necessarily compare them to Dream Theater, but there was something very memorable and catchy about the "Images & Words" album. The very same can be said of this album. The songs flow together well. They flow from heavy, hard rockers to more melodic numbers, but nothing here seems like an exercise in technique over substance. As well, we are given tasty solos, melodic, clean vocals, and *GASP* repeated choruses. I will most certainly be looking for more Nightingale to add to the collection.