The European region was overflowing with talented Melodic Death Metal bands in the ‘90s. Incidentally, many came from the Scandinavian region, but Germany also threw their hat into the ring. A German scene that included bands such as Crematory and Atrocity, there was also one going by Night in Gales holding their own.
Formed in 1995, the band rather swiftly signed on with Nuclear Blast Records and made a big impression on listeners with their 1997 debut album Towards the Twilight. What can only be described as Melodic Death Metal done right, they followed up in 1998 with the slightly different Thunderbeast. From here the band evolved, altering their sound a bit again for 2000’s Nailwork, as well as 2001’s Necrodynamic.
Then, another decade went by before any new material was released from Night in Gales. With that, the 2011 return, Five Scars, was highly reminiscent of the band’s early years. Exciting for fans, unfortunately another seven years would come and go before the release of 2018’s The Last Sunset. However, the curious thing was, that while longstanding Vocalist Björn Gooßes was no longer in the picture, Christian Müller returned on vocals for the first time since 1996!
A very interesting turn of events, it has been seemingly the most active period of Night in Gales since Müller return; with the very impressive Dawnlight Garden put out in 2020, before they returned in 2023 with eighth overall studio album, The Black Stream. Released on September 29th through Apostasy Records, with Müller on vocals, Tobias Bruchmann on bass, Frank and Jean Basten on guitars, along with Adriano Ricci on drums, Night in Gales has hit their best stride since the late ‘90s into the early 2000s.
No doubt a testament to their dedication and persistence, the best part of it all is the most recent outputs from the band are stellar Melodic Death Metal of the older school variety… and The Black Stream is no exception. Consisting of eleven songs, it has melodies that are dark and captivating, and a feel to each track that takes you back in time. Now, this is not to say that Night in Gales progress is stagnant, it just means they are bringing listeners a sound that was highly distinguishable a little over two decades ago, and honestly, still is today.
With this, the songs are tightly crafted and offer plenty of variation. Prime examples of such include “Tears of Blood,” “Gone Forever,” “Transition of Doom,” as well as the outstanding title-track. This is while others must listen include “Return to Chaos” and “The Eternal Fall.”
In all, The Black Stream continues the quality level of material that Night in Gales has put out consistently since The Last Sunset. That said, it should please their dedicated fans quite well. And if you happen to be someone who enjoys the earlier period Dark Tranquillity, among others, yet never really gave Night in Gales a chance… the time is now. For all these reasons, Cryptic Rock gives The Black Stream 4 out of 5 stars.