Thenighttimeproject - Pale Season
Debemur Morti Productions
9 songs (48' 27")
Release year: 2019
Debemur Morti Productions
Reviewed by Andy

Fredrik Norrman's haunting guitar work graced Katatonia's albums through their most successful period, and in Thenighttimeproject's second album, he offers a similarly melancholic vibe. A master of depressive, vaguely gothic guitar musing, he showcases all his songwriting skills on Pale Seasons. It's not as misery-filled as a Katatonia album, and a lot more muscular than his work on Trees of Eternity, but its introspective rock has many of the same ingredients and prospers accordingly.

Pale Season brings on brother and fellow bassist Mattias Norrman, as well as a new vocalist (a couple of previous members got too squeezed on time committments). At first I thought it was less ambitious than the self-titled debut, but in fact this is mostly along the same lines. While In Mourning's Tobias Netzell was good, it feels like Alexander Backlund's vocals actually fit the sound better. While there are metal elements, this is a rock album, if a complex and proggy one. Most of the time it doesn't get too slow, although not everyone will be a fan of the wanderings of Final Light. Signals in the Sky, the doomiest piece of the lot with Draconian's Heike Langhans guesting, is by far the best track, with Norrman's guitar style calling to mind his previous work on Hour of the Nightingale. But Rotting Eden and Binary keep a steady pace and provide some interesting prog rhythms, although it is a bit strange to hear the drummer from Letters from the Colony playing this slow-moving neo-goth.

Many metal fans might consider this sally of Norrman's to be too slow and melancholy, despite the quality of the songwriting; what would normally be gothic doom on a metal album is diffused into a vague dispiritedness here. But like everything else Norrman's done, it's done very well for what it is. I can see myself listening to Pale Seasons a few times, but based on the band's overall enthusiasm level on Signals in the Sky, I can't help wishing Heike Langhans had guested on a few more tracks.


Killing Songs :
Signals in the Sky
Andy quoted 79 / 100
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