This interview is a treasure. This band changed the way of making melodic metal with the album “Towards The twilight”. NIGHT IN GALES, after musical and member renovations, returns to its roots. Jens Basten (guitar), takes us into his latest production "Dawnlight Garden".
Let us start by saying that it's a pleasure to have the band on our pages. NIGHT IN GALES was part of our growth in the '90s, and we remember those years with sweet nostalgia. What comes to your mind when you go back to the '90s? “…It was the time of the rising Death metal boom. Florida, UK, and Stockholm first, Göteborg, a little later. Some of us played in a band called INTESTINAL ULCER before we started from scratch with NIGHT IN GALES. We played the caveman-style of melodic death back then, which was something between early PARADISE LOST, CEMETARY, and AMORPHIS. Bands like THERION, XYSMA, or EDGE OF SANITY was the hot shit for us young ones back then. As the totally metal addicted freaks we were, our youth consisted of rehearsing, visiting as many concerts as possible, and doing party all week long. Perfect times. As we started with NIG, it was all about the paper and pencil underground scene. There was no Internet back then. There were many International letter correspondence day by day, printing and cutting thousands of flyers, making trades, running a little distribution mailorder to get rid of all the traded goods, and organizing first exchange gigs with underground acts…”
Very few bands have managed to capture the attention of a scene with the first demo, and you did it with "Sylphlike" right in the year when releases like "Slaughter of the Soul" and "The Gallery", just to mention two, revolutionized what was done in melodic death metal previously. How did you appreciate these releases? “…When "The Red In The Sky…" and "Skydancer" were released, a whole new chapter was about to begin. The melodic death, as we knew it from the doom-death acts before, was taken to the next level. A logical development of the somewhat stagnating standard old school Death metal back then. For me, both "The Red In The Sky…" and "The Gallery" marked the band's zenith already. Indeed, both albums are milestones in melodic death metal and a firm guideline for us and many other bands that followed…”
After the first two iconic albums, a more solid career was in sight, but it was the opposite. You went into a descent, and after that, you guys split up. What was not working? “…Indeed, we ruined very fast what we built up within a few years. But we never broke up. After "Towards The Twilight", we made many wrong decisions, mainly to open our style for Death n' roll vibes and Thrash and progressive/experimental stuff, including more clean vocals and different production. We did untypical cover artworks and everything. There were too many heads with too many other ideas rising in the band, simple as that. It was hard to find out and realize while it was happening. With the departure of our first drummer Christian (later DEADSOIL, now HEAVEN SHALL BURN). We managed to win our focus partly back and recorded the "Ten Years Of Tragedy" in 2005 and a few tracks for promotion a few years later in 2008, but stayed unsigned until 'Five Scars' in 2011. The years between 2005-2012 were not good ground for the original melodic Death metal, as Metalcore and Deathcore ruled big time back then…”
As it became more visible worldwide, the Swedish melodic Death movement incorporated mainstream elements and sacrificed sound in search of larger audiences. Still, not all melodic Death metal bands survived this mutation." READ MORE...