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Old Night : A Fracture In The Human Soul

Old Night's sophomore album succeeds in delivering a layered and emotive experience that may only reveal itself to you after multiple listens.

Old Night have only been around since 2015 but their sophomore album absolutely delivers in spades! It certainly has been awhile I've heard gothic tinged Doom this good. The songwriting is just so professional and polished that despite not grabbing me immediately it most certainly has my attention now!

First off I must say how pleased I was when I heard how layered the guitars were. It just adds so much to even the simpler rhythms. For example during the albums opener, 'Entwined', there's three separate parts often going on at the same time! No surprise I suppose considering there's three guitar players in the band but it's awesome that Old Night have built the songs around them unlike so many others. So it's not uncommon to be treated to clean chordal melodies, rhythm voicings and solo sections all layered together to create a even greater whole. Very impressive song writing. Speaking of solos, there is absolutely no shred here but each and every section where the guitarists stretch out are just so full of emotion that they have a way of drawing you even further into the song and expanding on the mood. They are not here to show off and each and every note counts. Beautifully done, guys, I love it.

OKů third paragraph and i'm still not done gushing about the guitar parts! I have to mention that the cleans are absolutely gorgeous sounding and just enhance so much in terms of mood that they will most definitely make an impact when they come around. Special mention to the bass guitar as well as he is constantly moving providing his own melody through the shifting chords of the guitars. The playing fits so perfectly you hardly notice it unless you're looking for it. Vocally the timbre is fairly deep and certainly fits the tracks nicely as all the lyrics are delivered with passion. I will say that you won't be finding many hooks past the chorus section of the opening track which may off put some people looking for something more immediate. The drumming is admirable as well in the way that ebbs and flows with the music perfectly. Again, this isn't an album where showmanship is awarded but one which demands the songs take precedence over egos. This can be a hard concept for musicians sometimes so its definitely worth noting!

I suppose if had a criticism it's just that after you get grabbed by that opening track, if you're busy doing something else, the album may just pass you by. This is not a riff heavy experience but rather a moody layered one so it demands attention. It's one of those albums that will reward the listeners after a few spins but those of us who are less patient may pass it up. Which would be too bad considering the quality of the music. Still, it would have been nice to have a few more hooks thrown in there but if it risks the atmosphere then I suppose I can live without it.

Sound-wise everything is handled admirably, all the instruments have their spots without overpowering anything else which is extremely important when you're balancing three or even four distinct guitar parts. The trade off is it's not extremely heavy but it's not like the songwriting warrants it, it's just not gonna grip you viscerally. I will say that I do love the way the clean guitar sounds in particular in this mix. It has a lot of sparkle to it and has a way of enhancing the ambience of the tunes that I most certainly appreciate.

All in all, Old Night have knocked it right out of the park with this one. Its only weakness may be one of its strengths in that it's so layered and carefully written that a passerby may not come back to it. We Doom Metal fans are too patient for that though! Give this one the time it deserves and you may find yourself rewarded. Definitely recommended.

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Reviewer's rating: 8/10


Tracklist :
1. Entwined
2. Hearken And Remember
3. Elder
4. Glacial
5. The Reaping Of Hearts

Duration : Approx. 44 minutes

Visit the Old Night bandpage.

Reviewed on 2019-10-30 by Eli Elliott
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