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The Night Flight Orchestra - Amber Galactic album review

Lock up your legwarmers and stalk your prey in the night

Cover art for The Night Flight Orchestra - Amber Galactic album

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.

Camped out in Southern California, Joe pens features, reviews albums and covers live shows for Metal Hammer and Classic Rock. When he’s not bothering his neighbours with Rammstein, Joe’s typically off playing ice hockey, fumbling around on a bass or letting his dogs guilt him into a nice long walk.