It felt like everything was going to be against me when I pressed play on this latest album from German metallers Night In Gales. It appeared to have all the hallmarks of clinical, bop-along Euro-metal and a realistic chance of utterly switching me off inside 18 seconds. I am glad to report, though, that I was pleasantly surprised.
Dawnlight Garden is a melodic death metal album that very much draws on the Swedish blueprint. As obvious as it may sound, the comparisons to scene stalwarts At The Gates are abundantly clear. In tracks such as the stomping ‘Winterspawn’ and the blitzkrieg of ‘A Spark In The Crimson Eclipse’, the pacey rasp of the vocals is drawn straight form the aforementioned band’s copybook.
Production here is exquisite and probably does venture into the territory of OCD at some points when the lack of rough edges take a little away from the absolute nastiness of the tracks. However, overall, the balance is maintained throughout and, coming in at 41 minutes, never outstays its welcome.
‘Dawnlight Garden’ brims full of heavy emotion and highly accomplished musical brilliance. Chilling yet warm, it works well – and that was something I least expected.