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Nightingale began in 1995 as a solo goth rock project of Dan Swanö, designed to explore his brief fascination with the genre, also evident on Edge of Sanity tracks such as "Sacrificed". The first album The Breathing Shadow was recorded and mastered by Swanö alone in the space of a week at his home Unisound studio.

The second album The Closing Chronicles was recorded in April 1996 with his brother Tom Nouga (real name Dag Swanö) acting as producer and contributing some guitar parts. It continues the conceptual storyline that began in The Breathing Shadow to the logical conclusion of the central characters death, as it was intended to be the last Nightingale album.

After this the band went on semi-hiatus, playing a couple of live concerts in small venues around Orebro with future permanent band member Erik Oskarsson on bass and Ari Halinoja playing the drums. The second concert,
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NIGHTINGALE albums / top albums

NIGHTINGALE The Breathing Shadow album cover 3.33 | 8 ratings
The Breathing Shadow
Progressive Metal 1995
NIGHTINGALE The Closing Chronicles album cover 3.14 | 8 ratings
The Closing Chronicles
Progressive Metal 1996
NIGHTINGALE I album cover 4.12 | 4 ratings
Progressive Metal 2000
NIGHTINGALE Alive Again: The Breathing Shadow, Part IV album cover 4.69 | 4 ratings
Alive Again: The Breathing Shadow, Part IV
Progressive Metal 2003
NIGHTINGALE Invisible album cover 4.00 | 4 ratings
Progressive Metal 2004
NIGHTINGALE Nightfall Overture album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Nightfall Overture
Progressive Metal 2005
NIGHTINGALE White Darkness album cover 3.72 | 5 ratings
White Darkness
Progressive Metal 2007
NIGHTINGALE Retribution album cover 4.12 | 4 ratings
Hard Rock 2014


NIGHTINGALE live albums

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NIGHTINGALE re-issues & compilations

NIGHTINGALE Nightfall Overture album cover 4.17 | 6 ratings
Nightfall Overture
Progressive Metal 2005
NIGHTINGALE Box of Rock album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Box of Rock
Progressive Metal 2009

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NIGHTINGALE movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)



Album · 2014 · Hard Rock
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"Retribution" is the 7th full-length studio album by Swedish progressive rock/metal act Nightingale. The album was released through InsideOut Music in November 2014 and is the successor to "White Darkness" from 2007. 7 years is a pretty long recording break, but the lineup who recorded the last album is still intact. Nightingale has now had a stable lineup since 2000. Dan Swanö (vocals, guitars, keyboards) has as usual been busy with other projects in the years between "White Darkness" and "Retribution". Among other things Witherscape, Demiurg, and his job as a producer.

The long break hasn´t affected the fact that "Retribution" sounds unmistakably like Nightingale. It´s not as such a continuation of the sound on "White Darkness (2007)" though, but more an album which includes a wide varity of the good elements from most of their past releases. The music is still semi-progressive rock/metal with elements from both 70s hard/progressive rock, 80s rock/heavy metal, and a strong dose of keyboards in the neo-progressive vein (Marillion, Pallas, IQ...etc.). The neo-progressive keyboards were actually toned down quite a bit on "White Darkness (2007)" in favor of a more hard rocking organ heavy sound, but they make a return on "Retribution", which is generally more neo-progressive oriented than 70s hard rock influenced. The latter influence is still occasionally strong on "Retribution" too though. Dan Swanö has also changed his vocal approach a bit on "Retribution" and generally sounds less raw and delivers more clean singing than he did on the predecessor.

As always the musicianship is on a high level. Swanö has a distinct sounding voice and a strong and convincing delivery and the rest of the guys in the band (which includes Dan´s older brother Dag Swanö on bass, guitars, and keyboards) also perform their parts with great skill. I especially noticed drummer Tom Björn´s contributions this time around and found his performance quite enjoyable.

The material on the 10 track, 44:36 minutes long album is generally well written and both instantly catchy and memorable in the long run, with strong melodies, and great harmonies. For the most part it´s pretty straight forward vers/chorus structured, but the band often take excursions outside that safe formula to maintain the listener´s attention. And with great success I might add.

Upon conclusion "Retribution" is just the comeback album I had hoped it would be (after 7 years I think comeback is a valid word to use about the album). To my ears Nightingale was always strongest when playing neo-progressive oriented music rather than their more hard rock oriented ditto, and it´s great to hear them embrace that sound again. The album is packed in a clean, professional, and well sounding production too, which further helps the music shine. So all in all "Retribution" is another high quality release by Nightingale and a 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

NIGHTINGALE The Breathing Shadow

Album · 1995 · Progressive Metal
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Nightingale's The Breathing Shadow is a gothic rock narrative concept album underpinned by technical metal and progressive rock songwriting and production aesthetics. I personally prefer this one to the sequel, on which Dan Swanö slips back into his more accustomed tech/prog metal style and consequently the unique flavour of the project ended up somewhat diluted; here, he lets his multi-insturmentalist flag fly high and masquerades as the sort of progressive gothic rock band I kind of wish we had more of on the scene. Of interest both to prog fans who like a little goth and goth fans with fond memories of that genre's more progressive moments (like Elizium by Fields of the Nephilim), though Dan's Andrew Eldritch impression wavers a bit and largely the music tends to follow past precedents set by superior goth bands rather than breaking genuine new ground.

NIGHTINGALE The Breathing Shadow

Album · 1995 · Progressive Metal
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"The Breathing Shadow" is the debut full-length studio album by Swedish goth/progressive rock/metal act Nightingale. The album was released through Black Mark Productions in 1995. Nightingale was at this point a one-man side project for Edge of Sanity frontman Dan Swanö, where he could live out his goth and neo progressive rock dreams. An interest that had been hinted at a couple of times on Edge of Sanity´s otherwise death metal oriented albums with tracks like "Sacrificed" and "Black Tears". "The Breathing Shadow" was recorded and mixed by Dan Swanö at his own Unisound Studio within a week in January 1995.

Later releases by Nightingale also embrace hard rock and AOR, but the music on "The Breathing Shadow" can be described as a combination of goth rock and neo progressive rock with a slight metal edge. Picture how a combination of The Sisters of Mercy and The Mission mixed with Marillion and IQ would sound like and you´re half way there.

The music is driven by very melodic guitar riffs, soaring guitar leads and Dan Swanö´s melodic vocals. Keyboards are also used extensively and for the most part feature eighties synth sounds (check out the synth bass in "Gypsy Eyes"). The goth rock element in the sound is mainly due to the low register vocal sections by Dan Swanö and the programmed drums that remind me of The Sisters of Mercy. The material on "The Breathing Shadow" is generally of high quality but highlights that deserve a mention are "Nightfall Overture", "Sleep...", "The Dreamreader" and "A Lesson in Evil". The lyrics form a concept story that is continued on subsequent albums.

The musicianship on the album is strong. Dan Swanö is a multi-instrumentalist and plays everything but the drums. The drums are programmed and if you ask me they could have been a bit more varied. It´s a minor issue though and they don´t ruin my listening experience. Dan Swanö´s vocals need a mention too. He masters both very melodic clean vocals and also more monotone goth rock styled low register vocals. The vocal lines are very melodic and hook laden.

The sound production is decent but it´s obvious that Dan Swanö didn´t have much time to fine tune the sound. It´s a sound production that has taken me a while to appreciate, but I guess you can forgive much when the music is good.

To my ears "The Breathing Shadow" is a pretty original sounding album with it´s mix of goth rock and neo progressive rock, but it´s the strong vocals and the memorable vocal lines that take the prize. The sound production is a slight show stopper but I´d say a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

NIGHTINGALE The Closing Chronicles

Album · 1996 · Progressive Metal
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Nightingale seems to have been conceived as a side-project for Dan Swano to get out all the musical ideas he wants to play with which don't fit his main projects; the first Nightigale album, The Breathing Shadow, is reportedly a mildly proggy goth rock album, whereas this time around the goth influence is restricted more or less solely to Swano's vocal delivery. Musically speaking, the rest of The Closing Chronicles is a sort of light prog metal which goes easy on the progginess - there's just enough mainstream prog metal motifs to convince me that the album hasn't been misfiled, but not enough to really satisfy fans who like their prog metal to be really, really proggy - there isn't any technical pyrotechnics to the extent that you'd get even on a Dream Theater album from around this period. For my part, though I'm not into progginess for its own sake, the album seems to be rather half-baked to me - as though it's a collection of ideas which weren't just not stylistically appropriate for Edge of Sanity, but also just plain weren't good enough.

NIGHTINGALE White Darkness

Album · 2007 · Progressive Metal
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White Darkness is the 6th full-length studio album by Swedish melodic/ progressive rock/ metal act Nightingale. The album was released in June 2007 by Black Mark Productions.

The sound on White Darkness continues the more hard rock tinged sound of the predecessor Invisible (2004). The basis in the music is still melodic rock/ metal with a semi-progressive edge but add to that neo-progressive elements ( I´m thinking Marillion here), hard rock riffing and organ playing. Dan Swanö´s vocal delivery and warm voice is as usual one of the main attractions in Nightingale´s music. I´ve followed Dan´s career since the early nineties and the development in his clean vocal skills from the first clean vocal attempts on the early Edge of Sanity albums to his more and more mature and diverse vocal delivery on subsequent Nightingale ( and other projects) albums, and it´s safe to say that he has grown with the task. Today he stands as a great clean vocalist with a personal voice and a skillful delivery. I like the added hard rock vocal dimension he has built into his vocal arsenal during the last couple of Nightingale albums.

The songs on the album are all quality compositions and while the production and some of the choruses are a bit too polished and nice for my personal taste, it´s hard not to acknowledge the songwriting skill involved here. The music is damn catchy and instantly recognisable as the sound of Nightingale. The band have created their own little niche and their music is actually quite unique sounding. A 3.5 star rating is warranted.

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