The Night Flight Orchestra - Amber Galactic album review
Lock up your legwarmers and stalk your prey in the night
At the dawn of the 80s, a strain of hooky progressive rock was born, tailor-made for fighting montages. From Rocky to Karate Kid, 80s prog rock accompanied a spectrum of iconic training sequences with spellbinding musicianship, chest-pounding choruses and corny lyricism. It was into this space that The Night Flight Orchestra stepped in 2007, boasting members of Arch Enemy, Spiritual Beggars and Soilwork, and their latest serves up a full-on classic rock space opera, complete with female space commanders wearing pearl necklaces. Which frontman Björn Strid insists is un-ironic. Reverentially mining the synthdriven onslaught of Asia and Fates Warning, Amber Galactic serves up a feast of chunky riffs, heroic choruses and bursts of synthwankery, but it’s hit or miss. The album is front-loaded with galloping opener Midnight Flyer and the fist-pumping Star Of Rio, while mid-tempo filler like Josephine and Something Mysterious vanish into the black hole of generic 80s soundtrack rock. Still, if it’s a fun guilty pleasure you’re after, look no further.