If you go into this next listen with an open mind, then that is probably best. TheNightTimeProject is a prog metal collective of sorts, but their music is a bit frightening. Those who are feint of heart at best may want to steer clear of Pale Season in particular. I must confess, I was a bit freaked out by the entire recording. Readers should know that yours truly is on medication for depression, and THANK GOODNESS for that! When listening to these fellows, it is probably best that one NOT be depressed. This stuff can be positively suicidal – that is, until you begin to focus a bit on the lyrics.
Avid prog metal readers may know North from his work with Katatonia. TheNightTimeProject has been going since about 2010, for those of you keeping track. Pale Season is that notoriously difficult sophomore effort, having released their debut in 2016. A couple of personnel changes and world stages later, and here we are digging their latest. Let’s take a look at the tunes, then, shall we?
Opener Hound features some eerie piano and vocal FX. This is kind of a creepy one, and never really quite takes off in my opinion. Rotting Eden, by contrast, is more of a heavy metal dirge – plodding along like a Triceratops. It does feature some heavier guitars, and a nice chugging rhythm. Some good vocal work as well. Binary begins life with a nice guitar intro. There are some angst-ridden vocals, which seems entirely appropriate, given the nature and the attitude of the tunes. This one is kind of creepy again, but it does have some good vocal vibes.
Final Light is a longer, more ‘epic’ prog number, if you will. It also has some heavy metal barre chords, then some cool fuzzy vocal FX. It is another creepy tune, so i guess we can call this a pattern now. Embers has rock riffs and more power chords, plus some nice vocal work. This one is almost exultant, and is a melodic headbanger even, at times.
The title track has a spooky intro, some subdued keyboard work, and is an ominous number. Don’t be scared, reader – things will get better – or worse – mbwahahahaha! Anti Meridian is up next, and this one is very dark, with some extremely heavy riffs. It also features another FX intro, giving way to guitars and drums pounding in our faces. This is a somber, cool, chugging riffer – and its a long one – almost six-and-a-half minutes.
Signals in the Sky is the follow-up, and it’s even longer – almost 8 minutes. It is an upbeat rock number with heavy metal riffs, female vocals and a wicked cool atmosphere – couldn’t ask for more, right? Well, let’s hope so, for North’s sake! Meridian is a very somber, droning dirge, and is today’s closer. Those of you who have been reading may be concerned, but never fear – you may just dig thenighttimeproject – if that’s your thing. I’m not sure if this one is for everybody…
2. Rotting Eden
4. Final Light
6. Pale Season
7. Anti Meridian
8. Signals in the Sky
Playing Time: 48 minutes and 21 seconds
Alexander Backlund - Guitars and vocals
Fredrik Norrman - Guitars
Mattias Norrman - Bass
Jonas Sköld - Drums