NIGHTINGALE - Invisible
April 27, 2005, 14 years ago
Do-it-yourselfer Dan Swano and his Nightingale concept are still humming along, coming up with hummable hard rock songs that are a joy to deconstruct or headbang whole. Swano's production is elegant - no other word for it - and his sonorous vocals are a perfect fit to the band's heady brew of progressive, blues and pan-'80s metal moves. Drummer Tom Bjorn has the deft touch of Ian Paice, balancing artfully groove and innovative yet tidy fills. I hear Ratt, Vanderhoof, Masterplan, Ark and the new Russell Allen in here, along with Heep, Purple, Magnum, post-Rodgers Bad Co. and Martin-era Sabbath, Swano building each track ambitiously, pacing the record nicely, layering vocals, tweaking the sounds, resulting in nice aural surprises everywhere. It's a record and a band conceived by a guy who is encyclopedic in his knowledge of what sounds good, reads good, is novel, is melodically something fresh. If, indeed, Swano is even capable of writing in clichÈs, he's obviously smart enough to strip them all out before the final cut. Every proposal, every offering, every sculpture on here is that good.