They’ve released this album on April’s Fool but they’re surely not fooling around.
Their official Facebook brands them as death metal, but I think metalcore is more accurate. Melodic metalcore in the case of this particular album, as the guitars work have more groove and melody to them than before.
Also the occasional growls of Adrian Westin in “Protest To Survive” and “These Wounds Won’t Heal” don’t qualify for death metal – his general tone comes out in high screams, much closer to hardcore punk than death. Maybe now his successor Christoffer “Stiffy” Andersson (who’s also his predecessor, by the way) will make the sung parts sound more growling and “deadly”, as he used to do precisely in early By Night and Dødz, and still does, in another level, in What Tomorrow Brings. But for “Sympathy For Tomorrow”, hardcore punk it is.
The opening track, “Built To Last”, won me over with its ominous guitar licks and menacing shouts – both Adrian’s alone as the gang vocals in the chorus. I’ve always been a sucker for gang vocals, I confess, and this album is full of them, which earns them extra kudos from my part.
The cranking riffs and, once again, the whole band screaming “think for yourself” and “take the power back” are the highest moments in “The Fear Of The Unknown”.
“Through The Hands Of God” has a very special guest. Does the name Peter Dolving ring any bells? But don’t think it’s the former The Haunted frontman that makes this song one of the best in the album. Its whole aggressive composition with melodic interludes does, and it was probably why Dolving got involved with it in the first place, becoming the cherry in the top of the cake and not the other way around.
The technical vein which other reviewers have mentioned regarding By Night is most clear in “Protest To Survive”, while “These Wounds Won’t Heal” is both the most melodic and darkest – as the title itself hints off. Guess its short length (2:39) is due precisely to being so different from the rest.
But the shortest comes next in the form of “Blind”. 28 seconds of rage, whose 8-line Swedish lyrics were taught to their fans on Youtube so they could sing/scream along at this year’s Metaltown. I call it “the grindcore moment of the album”.
“Lies And Betrayal” is another track that shows you all the By Night potential, to the point that the band chose it for a promotional video. Love the guitar solo on it.
As this review is getting long, and I’ve used all adjectives possible, I’ll just say that “Loyalty”, “Awaken” and “We, Together As One” follow the same powerful and quality path of the others. Same with “The Black Core”, but here I can add another note – it’s instrumental.
When I write for webzines, I’m forced to rate an album. When I do it for my own Front Row Forever, I prefer not – I already said what I have to say in words, adding a grade seems pointless, and sometimes unfair. But if I had to rate “Sympathy For Tomorrow”, I’d probably give it a 9/10.
Label: none (self-released)
Producer: Johan “Myran” Örnborg
1. Built to Last
2. The Fear of the Unknown
3. Through the Hands of God
4. Protest to Survive
5. These Wounds Won’t Heal
7. Lies and Betrayal
10. We, Together As One
11. The Black Core