The Night Flight Orchestra
Aeromantic II

If someone were to tell you Sharlee D’Angelo of Arch Enemy (and several other bands) and Bjorn “Speed” Strid of Soilwork (and also many others) formed a band, you’d probably prepare yourself for some melodic death metal near perfection, right? RIGHT?! Well, wrong, buckaroo! Unrelated note to self: Use “buckaroo” in sentences more often.

Enter Night Flight Orchestra, a band I absolutely hated the first time I heard it, despite positive reviews. It was probably just me being a contrarian. Luckily, I found one of their albums, Amber Galactic to be specific, when I was purchasing a couple Bathory albums on CD like the old man that I am from a store’s Discogs shop. This album hooked me immediately, and I bought two more in the meantime, and that’s only been a few months. I know I’ve gotten this far without really saying a word about the music. If you’re here, you probably already know that they’re basically 80s pop. If that descriptor doesn’t float your penis, I can understand that on a metal site, but let me just say this band makes some of the most infectious songs I have ever heard.

Still here? Good. Let’s dive in. After the first couple of tracks being good, but not really doing a whole lot for me, the album really picks up steam on tracks 3 and 4, titled “How Long” and “Burn For Me” respectively. That is not to say anything bad about the first two tracks, but the hooks are just a lot more instant, especially on “Burn For Me,” making it an early standout.

Since this is 80s pop, ballads are definitely not out of the ordinary. However, most of them don’t hit me right in the feels. However, track 8, “I Will Try,” certainly does. Damn, Bjorn. This song is tied with pretty much every other one on the album as my favorite. I could probably end the review right here…but I won’t!

One could be mistaken for thinking track 10, “Zodiac,” was a Michael Jackson tune at first. Just tell me that opening doesn’t sound familiar. This is another one of those songs that didn’t quite work for me… at first. Damn it. However, after just a couple of listens, that chorus hook buried itself in my brain, too. It’s very difficult to pick the best song on this album, but I would have to say this one is in the running.

Nearing the end, the first single from the album, “White Jeans,” is track #11, and I was not on board at first. Despite the video being entertaining, the song itself was not exactly up my alley. Of course, after several listens, its chorus is lodged in my brain and won’t leave.

The last track is sort of an 80s trope, which I also didn’t enjoy at first. It’s called “Reach Out,” and it has that motivational, montage sort of feel like you might see in a boxing or fighting movie of the time. That chorus with the stutter, as I mentioned, didn’t really hit for me until I listened a few times. Sure, it’s stereotypical, but it’s not like this is intended to be the most original album in the world.

So, here’s the overall verdict. If you’ve liked any of the previous material from these sailboat dancing, chauffer cap wearing playboys, then you’re not going to be disappointed one bit. I told you I’d go over some negatives, but there’s really only one, and it’s the 55-minute runtime. However, if you’re listening, singing and dancing in your car, you might just exceed the speed limit and forget about the album’s length. Use cruise control if you can so you don’t get a ticket… Unless you’re one of those who sets their cruise control way above the speed limit, you crazy son of a bitch! Pick this up, take it for what it is, and enjoy the hell out of it. I sure am.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
September 8th, 2021


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