The Night Flight Orchestra is back with an album, which could be easily characterized as a time capsule. A journey through time and space, which takes you back to where AOR used to reign and have its glory days, at the end of the 70s/beginning of 80s. A shiny and magnificent era, which is inspiration number one for Sharlee, Björn and the rest of the Co. These guys have excelled this specific genre and have taken it to another level of quality and greatness.

From the introductory tune of “This Time”, you really get the feeling that this is a great record in front of you. You put the record on play, close (or keep your eyes open, it doesn’t matter really) your eyes and let yourself on this spectacular journey. I said journey. Well, all those bands from that era (Journey, Foreigner, Toto, and Boston among others) have direct or maybe indirect connotations here. “Turn to Miami” puts you in the driver’s seat of an old Mustang or Corvette, convertible of course, driving through the Ocean Drive and enjoying the ideal combination of music, sunset, sense of absolute freedom, while you sing the refrain along with Mr. Strid. This overwhelming 80s feeling is all over the record, and actually is the factor number one why we absolutely love this album! The keyboards, the mellow guitar tunes, the anthemic choruses and overall ‘feeling’ are definitely conquering the listener. “Paralyzed” is on the decks, and you are already enjoying the Pear Mojito cocktail in a highball glass with your friends at the beach bar, between the Palm trees and the sandy beach. This is the absolute summer record, no doubt about it!

Isn’t that great, when you have members of Death Metal bands, such as Arch Enemy or Soilwork, with a different background, to get together and deliver so inspiring, authentic and catchy AOR tunes? Don’t you think that the levels of musicianship or quality of their work justify the fact that, ‘Sometimes the World Ain’t Enough’? Well, these guys have well surpassed the boundaries and limits and labels of ‘what kind of musician I am characterized, based on what music/genre I play’. They do it so fucking well. In such a convincing way. And when you think that they have mastered it with their previous release “Amber Galactic”, their comeback record gives you a lot of goosebumps and puts you in a party mode. Everything is done here in a majestic way. I love the way they treat the keyboards or the harmonies in general on this record, ‘Moments of Thunder’ is an excellent example of this. And definitely, Björn Strid is so charismatic and it’s really interesting to see his mellower side with The Night Flight Orchestra, very unlike Soilwork of course, however, he is at the top of his form and he absolutely loves it all the way! “Lovers in the Rain” or “Can’t Be That Bad” are another two examples of this glamorous side of his. And these ones could easily be the music themes of many 80s TV-series or films. Nostalgia at its best!

This record is absolutely my favorite so far within 2018, and I just can’t help than listening to it again and again. It makes you feel so nice and brings back a lot of ‘memories’ with its glamorous, nostalgic and retro overall feeling. And these guys deserve a huge credit for making ANOTHER fantastic record.

♦ 9/10

Antonis Mantzavinos