Nightingale "The Closing Chronicles" CDPosted on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006 @ 12:42pm » permalink
In the early stages of my worship of master Swedish musician Dan Swanö, that is to say around eight years ago, I discovered Nightingale via their second (and best) full-length, "The Closing Chronicles", which had been released a few years prior in 1996. At that time I had only heard some Edge of Sanity (1996's "Crimson" is another outright classic, buy it immediately – that must have been an amazing year for Swanö) and Dan's "Moontower" solo album, so little did I know that this particular CD would throw my Swanö obsession into overdrive – much less remain one of my favorite Dan Swanö-related releases. Hell, it might be the favorite, I can't quite decide!
More so than other Nightingale releases, for some reason I've always looked at "The Closing Chronicles" as kind of a darker version of Journey. It doesn't really sound like Journey at all, what with those darker atmospheres and its conceptual sort of progressive rock-esque underbelly, so I'm not sure why I think of it that way, but it must have something to do with the album feeling "big" and "epic" in terms of just fucking rocking. I really don't know, but I'm fucking telling you, people… this fucker is jam packed with impeccable songwriting and killer vocal harmonies all around. It's amazingly catchy, really, and with no lack of musical aptitude, which isn't always the case with memorable tunes. And I never realized how long some of these damn songs are before, either! It must be all that rocking, but several of the cuts top seven to nine minutes, and with only seven tracks in all it's a 42-minute record nonetheless.
I just fuckin' love this guy. I'm consistently floored by how amazing and diverse his talents are in terms of various genres of songwriting as well as handling numerous instruments and vocal styles. It's worth noting that this entire record was created by Dan Swanö and his brother, Tom Nouga (a.k.a. Dag Swanö, which is not the least bit confusing, ha) – where Dan took on guitars, keyboards, drums, all of the vocals, and wrote 90% of the music and lyrics. Nouga, on the other hand, contributed bass, some rhythm and lead guitars, and wrote rest of the music. Nouga produced, Swanö engineered and mixed. Impressive.
It's incredibly hard to decide which two songs to post from this one, too. There are so many amazing tracks. Just when I was sure that I'd include "Thoughts From a Stolen Soul", I realized it was nine minutes long… and then "So Long (Still I Wonder)" kicked in and I remembered how much I love its vocal performance and lead work. Decisions, decisions.
Nightingale has since released three more records and they all kick ass, so in my longstanding haze of Swanö infatuation I recommend each wholeheartedly. The band's debut is the only Nightingale release that's a little boring to me, but regardless pretty much anything Dan Swanö's a part of tends to interest me. If you don't like this shit then I must regretfully inform you that your taste in music is simply that of ass. So buy it and drastically improve the quality of your collection: