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Of Allies - 'Night Sky' Album Review


1. Night Sky

2. 17

3. Collapse

4. Apparition

5. Run

6. Waiting For You 7. Lost Not Found

8. Drifting

9. Open Sea

10. Solace 11. CMD-Q 12. Glass House 13. Stranded 14. In Low Light

It's not quite how people might define Prog but it's a step beyond the usual fare. Of Allies "Night Sky" is sonically a very Modern Rock record, but the ghosts of Prog are somehow always evident in a good way.

The title track (as good a statement of intent as one could hope for) "eases" us in somewhat brutally with a series of impressively tight musical twists and turns and heavy riffs before warbling to a fade out. All the songs here are succinct, but while these pieces are brief statements of purpose, taught and sharp, they certainly do not suffer from being unremarkable.

"Run" sounds very much like it would be an excellent choice for a single in this reviewer's opinion, it certainly has something of an instant charm that will grab listeners. "CMD-Q" is one that I'll bet gets the audiences jumping. Meanwhile "Glass House" starts with an almost Blade-Runner Vangelisesque intro building to a personal highlight on the album. In something of a re-statement the final song "In Low Light" finishes in a similar way to opener "Night Sky" bookending what is an intense 38-minute ride.

The band have created a balanced and compelling piece of work in "Night Sky" and the songs here are all well composed, tightly performed and just the right balance between brutal and restrained. Nowhere here is there the kind of flash over-complication some Prog bands are notorious for, instead the whole album feels perfectly balanced. Not that it is missing any of those twists and turns that keep things interesting in music, with gentle interludes like "Apparition" giving short respites from the intensity of some of the rest of the album, dynamics are certainly not something this band struggle with.

If this is the kind of intelligent brutality we can expect, I for one will be looking forward to hearing from these guys again.

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Review - Mike McLaughlin

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