Bart M. : 'Nights In Distortion' is the new album by the band Owl, and it is a very intense journey. The influence of Christian Kolf is clearly audible; he is one of those German musicians with a very typical sound, a sound that is everything but German (and with that I mean bombastic, over the top and a lot of solo guitar) but very, very heavy and addictive. Born out of the pain and grief that this life so often brings us, especially the passing of bass player René Marquis, the shadow in which this album places the listener is black as night.
It starts off with 'We Are Made Of Twilight' in which the quiet but grand intro creates a warm atmosphere that invites you to get immersed as the mind readies itself for the turnaround to the heavier, more depressing half of this song. From this point forward we find ourselves in a world of delicious riffs, sharp, enticing rhythm sections and anguished vocals, that all play an important part in painting the atmospheric landscapes that comprise this album. Every once in a while we seem to hear influences by other bands, but it is fair to say that Owl stays very far away from conventional rules and styles. The album is strong and does not attenuate at any point. On the contrary, it seems to slowly build up to a climax and we eventually get it in the shape of 'Madness Is The Glory Of This Life'.
It is clear that Owl, like so many people who find salvation in heavier music, is struggling with the harder matters of this existence, and the dark, slow music reflects this. This makes the despair and frustration of knowing this world will spin itself into damnation anyway as good as tangible. I am very glad this band managed to, even under the dire circumstances, finish this album; 'Nights In Distortion' is the only right title for this sludgy monument, an ode to the impermanence of everything.