Review: The Night Time Project – Pale Season 7.8

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  • The Night Time Project
  • Pale Season
  • Doom Metal/Prog/Rock
  • Sweden
  • June 28th, 2019
  • 7.8/10

Bandcamp (Vinyl)

A unique album to all the fans of darkness and doom. I would like to express my appreciation to @north2night, the mastermind behind this band, for providing me with the lyrics. 

Bloom to Rot

When I decided to write my review on this album, I thought it would be quite an easy task, since the band members are such big names and associated with such colossal bands (Katatonia, October Tide, Letters from the Colony) that throwing those names in the middle of the review would be enough. 

This, however, could not be further from the reality; as I listened to the album more and more, I realized that it is such a hard task to pinpoint a genre (or even an array of genres) to this effort. It is so effervescent at times and so morose at others, so technical in some parts and so soul-stirring in others that it is almost impossible to for this album to be put into one category; so elusive it is to genres and so liberally it roams above all borders that you can’t help but move with it beyond the boundaries and relish this opportune moment of dark musical ecstasy. But I would say if one word could encapsulate the essence of this album, and if I were given the liberty to coin a title, that would be “Progressive Doom Rock” (not to be confused with what is traditionally regarded as Occult Rock, AKA Doom Rock). It is as technical as such big names of prog metal as Opeth, as gloomy and depressive as Katatonia or Riverside, and it so overtly strives to step away from integrating harshness and brutality of the metal scene and focus more on the ambience that rock music would allow. This in parts has led to treading so off the path that they have actually incorporated dominant electronic sounds into their work, a feature to which I am averse.

But such electronic miscalculations (I would prefer to call them so as the musicians are all so well-established within Metal that one wouldn’t think otherwise) cannot dull the overall impact of this work. Having gone through this album, what lingers in mind is the dismal picture of a pale season, whether the literal denotation of it, which can be the long, icy Swedish winter, or the figurative pale season of our lives (read middle age or whatever name you tag on it). The general ambience of the album, from the first note to the last, is the said gloom. Songs like “Anti Meridian”, “Pale” Season” and “Hound” reflect this mood more manifestly while “Signals in the Sky”, “Embers” and “Final Light” showcase the more technical and melodic aspect of the band’s capabilities. And it is this blend of the two which sets this album apart from many other works of the same nature.

The lyrics, too, have played a part in creating the truly pale atmosphere that the band has had in mind. The subject matters are relatively limited to life experiences, personal (Final Light) and communal (Signals in the Sky), all through dark lenses of dismay. One disagreeable issue I would like to address, however, is the lack of harmony between the language and the sound. By that I mean, even though they language is intended to be poetic, and poetic it is (at least at word level), the sound of the verses sung is not a harmonious one. Rhyming is almost non-existent and literary devices, such as alliteration or assonance are seldom put to use. This has resulted in the words being separate from the threads of the music, thus impairing the natural flow of the songs.

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The cover is a painting by Denis Forkas who has a really interesting style. There’s definitely a palpable aesthetic and a scene that lends itself to imagination with the distant framing. Check him out. – Carcassbomb

All things considered, this album is a satisfying aural experience, diverse in execution, yet unified in the representation of concepts. The highlight of the album is no doubt Signals in the Sky, where the dainty and ethereal voice of Heike Langhans (of Draconian and Ison) has transcended the song to an elevated elation. So if you are a fan of such bands as Katatonia, October Tide, Opeth, Letters from the Colony, Porcupine Tree, Riverside, and others in between, this album is a must have on your shelf (or wherever you keep your physical or digital archive). 

 

 

 
 
 

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