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

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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.

Joe Daly

Hailing from San Diego, California, Joe Daly is an award-winning music journalist with over thirty years experience. Since 2010, Joe has been a regular contributor for Metal Hammer, penning cover features, news stories, album reviews and other content. Joe also writes for Classic Rock, Bass Player, Men’s Health and Outburn magazines. He has served as Music Editor for several online outlets and he has been a contributor for SPIN, the BBC and a frequent guest on several podcasts. When he’s not serenading his neighbours with black metal, Joe enjoys playing hockey, beating on his bass and fawning over his dogs.