Total Time: 48:27
Label: Debemur Morti Productions
THENIGHTTIMEPROJECT come from the beloved Sweden and it is the musical outlet of the Norrmann brothers, who we know from their tenure in KATATONIA from the mid-90s to 2009. They were formed around 2010, shortly after Fredrik Norrmann decided to take his Doom/Death band OCTOBER TIDE off the ice. “Pale Season” is the band’s sophomore album, following the 2016’s self-titled debut.
The music that we encounter in this record, can be easily described as dark Progressive Rock and is strongly reminiscent of the style adopted by KATATONIA in the early 00s. This should not be of great surprise, of course, since the Norrmann brothers spent almost 15 years in the ranks of the Swedish kings of despair.
“Pale Season” is characterized by a sweet melancholy. Its nine compositions take a very laid-back approach with a few outbursts and intense moments. Quite like Post Rock structures I could say, as they start softly and climax towards the chorus. There are tracks though, such as “Rotting Eden” with its intense guitars and “Embers” – built around an addictive recurring riff – in which the band shows us its heaviest face. On the other hand, tracks such as the eponymous and the excellent “Signals In The Sky” that features the enchanting vocals of Heike Langhans (DRACONIAN), show the more atmospheric Doom side of the Swedes, which they reinforce with a subtle use of keys and electronic. The Progressive element is also evident everywhere, with riffs and melodies that remind me of TOOL, OPETH and even SOEN. Alexander Backlund on vocals is quite expressive and his warm voice provides enough emotion to complement the melancholic nature of the album. His delivery is gentle, but the songs would benefit for a more dynamic and passionate one.
However beautiful the music of “Pale Season” is, unfortunately most of the time it goes nowhere, so it works more like background music. Even though, the more I listened to it the more I appreciated it, I did not feel the urge to return to it; Only a couple of melodies were memorable, and the band’s resemblance to KATATONIA deprives them of a personality in a way. But to be honest, this is not necessarily a bad thing, as those who dig this specific genre will probably enjoy the gloomy songs of THENIGHTTIMEPROJECT.
Editor: Dimitris Benetatos
Related Link: TheNightTimeProject – Facebook Page