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Nightly Gale : ...And Jesus Wept

Night In Gales, Nightingale, Nightly Gale... how many more derivatives of the same noun will we have to suffer? Has originality died in picking band name as well as in writing music? Were all the other names taken, when this band decided to call this gathering as it did?

Poland, land of National Socialism, black metal, dubious history and good music (mostly), a land that gave birth to Christ Agony, Lux Occulta, Vader and this, relatively new outfit, a land not known by any means as an exporter of doom, unless you know something I don't...

Nightly Gale consists of three entities, dual vocalists, guitars, bass, keyboards and programming done by the triplet (no drums here), and I fell upon this album accidentally, upon a trade I had done, not being aware even to its existence, only this other guy's recommendation, so here I am, writing about this curiosity…

To what design does Nightly Gale fall? What is the cubicle to which it can be fitted? What is - given and considering it being a new and rising force within the doom metal realm - this album's importance if any, if at all? What does Nightly Gale add to the human pool of knowledge, emotion, music and art in general? Has originality arisen its ugly head out of almost-oblivion and was manifested, reincarnated through this band, holding a new message, carrying a new hope for underground, extreme, doom or other non commercial music?

No, I did not fall from my chair unto the floor when I was, rather superficially, listening to '...And Jesus Wept' for the first time. Okay, I thought, they have quite a unique style, but this pseudo-originality seemed to me just that; forced and non organic, as if the band members tried so hard to sound 'special' that the outcome was all but this; blend of styles, mix of flavours, force-fed originality, something fake even, if to use harsh words...

There is nothing wrong in trying to write original music, hell, it is even a blessed effort, but it should come from inside and not from countless external influences that all in all sum up with a been-there, done-that, heard-it-all-too-many-times-before sort of feeling...

All the above mentioned was what I thought, felt, on initial listen, and I know too good than to let myself be trapped in that same mistake, the mistake of all mistakes when writing about music: Never, never to judge a recording on first listen. Not even on the second one, not even on the third round. Never. It is a mistake too easily committed, too often repeated, and not such a wise thing to do in general, if one considers oneself as a serious music reviewer.

I admit, '…And Jesus Wept' is not the most challenging listening experience out there. It is by far not as bleak, dissonant nor dark as other musical works in the realm of doom. So what? So are not many other good bands, so are not so many other good albums...

... And then it hit me: What am I really looking for? Is it heaviness for the sake of heaviness, or darkness for the sake of being dark? Am I forgetting the most important factor in listening to music: the enjoyment it generates in me? So no, this album is neither dark nor heavy-as-fuck, but this album is beautiful and very wise. The trio of musicians has managed to incorporate successfully so many elements into those sixty minutes of epic blackened (dark?) doom metal, in such a prefect and awe inspiring way, it almost came as a surprise that after so many years of listening experience, some anonymous band manages to revive my dying hopes in metal and its creativity, originality and musicianship. The more I listen, the more I get connected to this album, the more I listen do I find it being quite outstanding in its sheer genius. I am not being bored, not even remotely, I always enjoy it, and I did mention, as I recall, that enjoyment is the most important issue where music is concerned, didn't I? Beyond the gibbering of who's heavier, who's darker, who's more this and who's less that, should we ever stop this infinite word abuse and concentrate on which music delivers joy into our hearts and which music leaves us empty, hollow and indifferent?

Nightly Gale cannot leave one's heart empty, due to the fact this album is overflowing with emotions so blatant, so strong that any human soul should be moved, if for a bit, by the screams, the soothing vocals, by the sad tunes or by the eruptions of pure anger and hatred. This album portrays such a vast spectrum of sounds, vocals, stylistic influences, so many feelings are at work here, that anyone can find something here to call his own.

The array of styles here is interesting and quite unique. Not too often do I find an album within which I can find blackish heart-tearing anguished screams that sound so genuine it is a phenomenon in its own right. The clear vocals that stand as opposition to the wild, hysteric and crushing screeches, the voice of reason, the voice of tranquillity, if you wish... Think of Garm of Arcturus/Ulver in his pseudo-operatic best performance and you'll get an idea...

The song arrangements are unique as well, incorporating some electronics, strange ambiences, some spoken lines, whispers and some remote jazz-fusion influences, especially in the guitar solos, which reminded me of the early works of Nocturnus, for some reason. Hell, they even harness a saxophone or the sampling of one, into their solos. Think Pink Floyd, think of the 'A Momentary Lapse of Reason' album and you'll get the idea.

This album is sad, yet strangely uplifting, two emotions that are colliding, clashing one into the other, simultaneously, and that is what's so hard to comprehend here, but what is also so very beautiful in this recording...

After writing so much, and actually saying nothing, but leaving a mere shadow of this work of art that has really to be heard, ten times in a row to absorb and understand it's not yet another gothic metal band we're dealing with here, after saying so much about nothing, I will just finish off this lame review with this:
This album has to be heard to be believed. This is one of the purest forms of emotion and beauty being recorded and one of the rarest gems of keyboard-driven doom/dark metal I had the pleasure of listening to in a long, long time. The amount of sonic information contained therein, the ideas, the musicianship; all is just perfect; in timing, in playing, in executing one of the most interesting, original-sounding slabs of doom metal I have heard in quite some time. Highest recommendations.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. I'm the Only Way
2. In Despair of Solitude
3. And if I Say that You Died
4. Cutting God's Throat
5. Place Where You Are

Duration : Approx. 60 minutes

Visit the Nightly Gale bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Chaim Drishner
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