Nightingale Alive Again: The Breathing Shadow Part IV

Despite Dan Swanö's history with Edge of Sanity, Bloodbath and a mind-boggling list of other metal bands, Nightingale has never really been metal and with Alive Again: The Breathing Shadow Part IV there is no doubt: this is rock. The album abounds in '70s prog influences ("The Glory Days," "Shadowland Serenade") but, at times, it's simply straight-ahead rock ("State of Shock"). If you're familiar with previous Nightingale releases you will recognise the frequent musical allusions, fitting for part four of a multi-album story. Alive Again's art rock pours out in the lengthy "Eternal," whose softer moments owe as much to Nightingale's new "band" status as to Swanö's weakness for AOR. Dedicated metalheads may have a bit of trouble with this one on first listen, but the songs are so perfectly shaped - in structure, instrumentation and production - you're practically guaranteed to find yourself singing along in no time. (The End)