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THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA Aeromatic II

By Daniel Höhr, European Correspondent
Tuesday, August 31, 2021 @ 11:43 AM


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THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA
Aeromatic II

Nuclear Blast, 2021




The promo of THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA‘s new album, Aeromatic II, labels the genre of the release as ‘Rock‘ and says it‘s for fans of FOREIGER, TOTO, EUROPE, STYX, NIGHT RANGER, SCORPIONS and SURVIVOR. Yeah, absolutely, because that‘s basically what TNFO sound like. And yet the five-piece from Sweden do not just go down well with AOR fans – fans of ARCH ENEMY, SOILWORK and the like will also greately appreciate TNFO, mainly because SOILWORK‘s singer Björn Strid and guitarist David Andersson together with ARCH ENEMY‘s bassman Sharlee D‘Angelo are in the band. The quintet is complemented by guitarist and percussionist Sebastian Forslund and drummer Jonas Källsbäck, the latter of MEAN STREAK fame. THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA ingeniously combine the Melodic Death Metal and AOR worlds and it was at an TNFO show in Cologne, Germany a few years back that I actually saw folks in ARCH ENEMY shirts dancing to eighties-style rock tunes.

TNFO are not only a good fun sort of band, they are also incredibly productive, bearing in mind that TNFO is still some sort of side project for the members. Including Aeromatic II, the Swedes have published six albums since 2012, the last four on Nuclear Blast. Needless to say, Aeromatic II is the sequel to Aeromatic, TNFO‘s 2020 release, which came out just before the COVID-19 plague struck. One week into the tour, members of the band and crew got sick and that was it. The rest of the tour didn‘t happen and the band got stuck at home – like most of us. Instead of getting bored and putting on weight, the musicians got creative, wrote songs and recorded Aeromatic II.

And what a bloody brilliant album this is! Some mysterious keyboards at the beginning of the opener “Violent Indigo“ soon develop into sort of a keyboard riff on top of a steadily stomping mid-tempo quarter-note groove as if to remind the passengers on board of the night flight that the band have a new keyboard player, John Lönnmayr, in their ranks. The new recruit adds an entirely new dimension to the sound of the band, who deliver exactly what you expect: catchy rock tunes with the right dose of seventies-to-early-nineties extravaganza, a pinch of irony and, above all, stellar musicianship. And while Björn Strid and his bandmates do what they do best, their music also shows development, which is also due to John Lönnmeyr‘s input.

While TNFO‘s choice of musical devices has never been narrow, it seems that they extended their range of styles a fair bit on Aeromatic II. “How Long“ was labelled by the band themselves as “DEEP PURPLE on cocaine“ – and indeed, this anthemic song is vaguely reminiscent of DEEP PURPLE‘s Slaves And Masters album with a dose of The Battle Rages On feel. “Chardonnay Nights“, on the other hand, is a danceable party number evoking hot summer night. It is impossibe to stand still when “Burn For Me“ is playing, an uptempo rock ‘n‘ roller bursting with positive energy and a shout-along chorus with high earworm potential. “Change“ best embodies the vibes of the Golden Age of AOR and the nostalgia-crammed galloping rocker “White Jeans“ is also one of the many highlights on this album. On “Amber Through A Window”, the Swedes add a generous dash of eighties style prog elements including unexpected key changes and clever rhythm patterns.

Each one of the 13 tracks on Aeromatic II is a gem on its own and it is certainly not an exaggeration to say that THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA have once again outdone themselves. Great songs, superb performance, outstanding recording – but I guess what I really want to say is that Aeromatic II is yet another great excuse for Death Metal fans to hit the dancefloor.

5.0 Out Of 5.0


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