Artist: The Night Flight Orchestra
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
The Night Flight Orchestra has been one of Musicalypse’s collective favorite bands since the release of their memorable third album, Amber Galactic (2017). With its follow-up, Sometimes the World Ain’t Enough (2018) being an equally big hit, we were naturally enthusiastic for more material a mere 2 years later, though we likewise weren’t as easily convinced by the new singles. Aeromatic was released on February 28th, 2020, and though we didn’t have the time to review it in advance, we nevertheless thought the album deserved a review.
Listen along on Spotify:
The album begins with the longer “Servants of the Air,” making it clear that these guys are really steering into the “flight” part of their name. I’m not sure how they manage to make their music sound like it was made by a flight crew in space, but that is definitely the soundscape I hear. “Divinyls” was one of the first songs released and while it took a few listens to appreciate, it has become a personal highlight from the album with its catchy melodies and faster pace.
“If Tonight is Our Only Chance” has a light marching beat and matches nicely with the 80s general vibe but is less memorable than one would hope. “This Boy’s Last Summer” opens with tinkling synths and a more lively, catchy beat that grows on you with each listen, while “Curves” stood out with its slower, groovier tempo and interesting lyrics. “Transmissions” has is again more laid-back with interesting lyrics with more flight themes, while the title track puts a little more oomph into its inherent funkiness, though loses me a bit in the chorus.
“Golden Swansong” shows the band channeling their inner Toto, and while this particular slow, pumping beat has never been my favorite musical style, they did a great job of replicating that classic sound. “Taurus” has an upbeat intro and the synth dances around as Strid comes in on vocals.
“Carmencita Seven” ends on a bit of an oriental sound and “Sister Mercurial” is a somewhat catchy song with a good solo but still manages to have limited replay value. The album closes up with “Dead of Winter,” which opens with a quick yet windy synth line before picking up into an intro where the drum fills also stand out. The stomping beat goes well with the funky synth and guitars
While it may be possible that this song takes a bit more time to grow on the listener, it doesn’t quite live up to the quality of its two predecessors. Perhaps this album came out a bit too soon, or maybe one could theorize that the band is having trouble balancing their enthusiasm for this project with their other bands, resulting in this album feeling less catchy and memorable than Amber Galactic and Sometimes the World Ain’t Enough. However, it’s impossible to call this a bad album and while perhaps I’m simple not as enthusiastic about this particular type of music, fans of new wave and those who are big into 80s music may enjoy this album more than me.
Rating: 7/10, 3.5 stars
1. Servants of the Air
3. If Tonight is Our Only Chance
4. This Boy’s Last Summer
8. Golden Swansong
10. Carmencita Seven
11. Sister Mercurial
12. Dead of Winter