I only heard of TheNightTimeProject when doing a recent review of October Tide, and the two bands couldn’t be more different. Alexander Backlund’s vocals are smooth and soothing as they convey their despondence accompanied by his and Fredrik Norrman’s melodiously melancholic guitars. Jonas Sköld’s gentle time keeping is emphasised by the runs on Mattias Norrman’s bass as the two work together to keep the backline solid but never overpowering.
The beautiful crackle of a needle being dragged through grooves of vinyl opens the slight acoustic guitars of “Hound” as the deep broody whispered vocals slowly rumble along with them.
The bass melody keeps things rooted in “Rotting Eden”, as the soaring vocals and keyboards take on an allegro edge before the death growl takes you by surprise and the guitar leads flow then head back to the steady verse rhythm.
The infectious tom-tom rolls and simple but intriguing guitar riff with the overlaid keyboards keep the languid vocals on “Binary” as more of an accompaniment than focal point, which works rather well.
Watching the video for “Final Light” settled my desire to review the album, the song itself works through numerous movements from rather upbeat to dark and doomy all while never changing its molasses like pace.
The heavy riffing in “Embers” is a complete contrast to the syrupy vocals that roll off Alexander’s tongue, but it is their docile pace and volume that makes the song far lighter than it could have been otherwise.
The title track “Pale Season” is weird in the sense that while it’s definitely full of sadness and sorrow, there’s also this uplifting melody trying to break through, and it very nearly does.
The beautiful bass riff that is embellished by that of the guitars has the vocals carry a haunting melody all their own on “Anti Meridian” as it meanders its slow way to noon.
What I’m finding amusing about Heike Langhans, who does guest vocals on “Signals in the Sky”, is that I’ve reviewed the last 3 albums she guested on, but have yet to actually listen to the band she’s actually in. That said, her ethereal vocals fit the slow gloomy song perfectly and give that extra touch of forlorn melody that the grey skies outside could only wish to match.
Wrapping up the album, we have the languishing “Meridian” that slowly fades out amid a myriad of subtle sounds to leave you feeling rested and refreshed. Perfect music for this English winter weather in June.
(8/10 Marco Gaminara)