As cult of a melodic death metal band to come out of the underground, Germany’s Night In Gales watched their career (and contemporaries) whiz by in the blink of an eye at the dawn of the last decade. After disappointing album sales for 2000’s Nailwork, the band was dropped from Nuclear Blast Records, all the while In Flames, Soilwork, and Arch Enemy rang up big sales numbers and mondo-big tours. Where once the band was in the thick of the scene thanks to the bristling Towards the Twilight (1997) and crisp Thunderbeast (1998), they were simply an afterthought. Once 2001’s Necrodynamic came and went, the band quietly went on hiatus.
After a ten-year layoff, the Germans return with the excellent-beyond-belief 5 Scars. With the band’s melodic tendencies back in place, Night In Gales rips off a dozen charming, memorable melodic death metal jams that quickly recall the scene’s glory mid-90’s era, all thanks to a throwback production job courtesy of Dan Swano (Edge of Sanity, Bloodbath). But it’s the songs that matter most, with “Days of the Mute,” “5 Scars,” and “Tides of November” quickly becoming some of the best jams the band has ever kicked out, with fluid harmonies, near-perfect solos, and singer Björn Gooßes’s feral rasp. It could be the comeback of the year.
Being that we’re so enthused about 5 Scars, we quickly snagged Gooßes for a round of questions about his band’s reformation, the new album, and how they plan on regaining some ground lost during the previous decade. Here’s how the razor-throated frontman responded…
Blistering.com: First off, was there any particular reason why Night In Gales went on hiatus?
Björn Gooßes: Well, no particular reason you could point your finger at, but around the release of Necrodynamic, a few things happened that were like only semi-cool... trouble with the record company, a cancelled tour, decreasing sales, line-up change etc. I guess we were indeed a bit disillusioned and probably we also needed to find out again what we as a band were about. I mean, none of our albums sounded the same, and though I still like the musical approach on our last album Necrodynamic, we may have taken it a tiny bit too far in terms of taking another big step away from our melodic death metal roots. Don´t get me wrong, I would never negate Necrodynamic or anything like that, but I think apart from the business aspects we also needed a creative time-out, trying to not get entangled in something wrong somehow...
Blistering.com: Were you turned-off by how the industry was shaping up, or was it just a natural move?
Gooßes: We for sure were turned off, but not by the music industry in general. We were just not lucky enough to sell enough albums for Nuclear Blast when they started to become really big, and like I said, around the release of our first album for Massacre, Necrodynamic, a few things happened that made the situation even worse. It always takes two to tango, but finally you never like the industry when your band is doing not so well, but you do like it when your band does, right? So it´s all in the eye of the beholder, and until now we´re quite happy with how Lifeforce works, so let´s cross our fingers it will be all good!
Blistering.com: What brought you to sign with Lifeforce?
Gooßes: Even in the brave new world of digital distributions, band-led DIY labels or Amazon, you still need a label after all. Lifeforce showed some serious interest in us, and they have a perfect size for a band like Night In Gales. Their deal is pretty fair and that´s it.
Blistering.com: For a veteran band like yourself, was it difficult to come back after such a long layoff?
Gooßes: Absolutely not, because all of us have been recording and releasing music with different bands such as Deadsoil, The Very End, Grind Inc or In Blackest Velvet. We were busy all the time, just not with Night In Gales. Jens [Basten, guitars] even came up with new Night In Gales material once in a while throughout all these years, but except “Bloodsong” from the 2008 demo, Five Scars is all brand new stuff.
Blistering.com: What did you miss the most while you were away?
Gooßes: I think we surely missed the live shows. I mean, we were active in other bands, but Night In Gales definitely did some great tours and festivals. This band took us all over Europe and even to Japan, and apart from Deadsoil´s US tour all other mentioned bands didn´t tour that much yet. Plus, we always felt we had more to give. We never split up as you might know, even if other bands may have half a dozen splits and comebacks in ten years. This band just needed a long and healthy sleep to return stronger than ever. So here we are!
Blistering.com: Did you pay attention as to what was going on with metal? Better yet, are there any bands out there that inspired you to come back?
Gooßes: As I said, we never quit recording and releasing music, we never turned our backs on the metal scene. So we were always aware of what happened around us. And damn sure we often thought about if it´s a good point of time to come back while writing Five Scars. But you know what? There´s probably never a perfect time to return for a small band like us. I mean, even if Five Scars may be successful, it´s not like hundreds of thousands would have been anxiously waiting for us, you know? So no, there´s no band that “inspired” us to come back. It´s been only our hungry souls ha-ha!