Nightingale came to life in 1994 as an ”ego project” by multi instrumentalist and producer Dan Swanö. A short-lived but powerful crush on Goth rock acts like ROSETTA STONE and SISTERS OF MERCY and an obsession for the groove of tracks like ”The night comes down” by JUDAS PRIEST and ”Belief” by THE MISSION formed the songs on the first album THE BREATHING SHADOW that came out on BLACK MARK and JVC in 1995. Goth metal classics like ”Nightfall Overture” and ”The Dreamreader” made sure the album got the good reviews it deserved and the world demanded a follow up.
In 1996 Dan teamed up with his brother Dag ”Tom Nouga” Swanö (He adapted a stage name to avoid confusion due to the similarities of Dan and Dag) Together they wrote and recorded the album that stills stands as the most ”classic” NIGHTINGALE release ”THE CLOSING CHRONICLES” when the band performed live at the Prog Power 2001 in Atlanta, Georgia they played the whole album back to back to prove that the tracks only gets better and better!!
The press loved THE CLOSING CHRONICLES and it scored some 5 out of 5 reviews claiming it to be Swanö’s finest work to date. After a few live shows with a temporary line-up NIGHTINGALE was laid to rest and Dan started writing for the third UNICORN album and Dag continued with his solo works.
Years later Dag played Dan some re-recordings of his most classic solo material and to their surprise it sounded very much like what could have been the third NIGHTINGALE album!! With half the album already written Dag joined forced with Dan together they revived NIGHTINGALE and wrote and recorded the album ”I”
In many ways ”I” was the first album. The project turned more into a band waiting to happen and a distinct sound was shaped out of the collision between their different musical roots. Around Christmas 2000 the brothers teamed up with Erik Oskarsson (ex. Blackbird) and the drummer Tom Björn (also in Memory Garden) to get a live act together. The four piece worked out great and the two new guys were hired on the spot.
With the new line-up the band started the writing and the rehearsals for the 4th album ”Alive Again” The album was recorded by the band at various local studios and mixed by Dan at his home studio ”The Room”. The album ranges from the hard rocking opener ”Shadowman” through the A.O.R. flavored vibes of ”The Glory Days”, to the 12 minute epic ”Eternal” and the straight forward punch of ”State of Shock”.
The reviews this far have been incredibly positive and it looks like NIGHTINGALE will finally get the recognition they deserve.
In June 2003 NIGHTINGALE was the first band in 12 years to play a rock concert on the island of Cyprus. 1000 people showed up at the amphitheater and the concert was filmed and broadcast by Cyprus national TV station. The band also made a much talked about performance at the local morning TV show.
NIGHTINGALE played to a very enthusiastic crowd at the ProgPower festival in Holland in October 2003 and in June they recorded the new album ”Invisible” (release October 2004) which is destined to become another classic Nightingale album. In the winter of 2005 the band re-recorded the 10 year anniversary album ”Nightfall Overture” and in April 2005 the band made a headline tour of Germany to support both releases. In December 2005 the band played a much appreciated show in Oslo supporting the excellent British progsters Kino and in April 2006 the band headlined the Progeny festival in Moscow.
2007 saw the release of White Darkness. Recorded from 2006-2007, Dan recorded, mixed, mastered and produced the album in the rehearsal stage of a local theater group for a big and beautiful natural ambiance. Tracks like ”The Fields of Life”, ”Trial and Error” bring back 70’s hard and progressive rock with lots of synthesizers.
A nice fan driven compilation of demos and rare material was released in limited quantities called Box of Rock in 2009.
In the last years the band have been writing songs and played some nice shows in Sweden, Finland, Holland, Belgium and Romania.
In July 2013 the band will lock themselves up in their own studio in Kumla, Sweden, to record the drums for their new album. The first that will be released on another label than Black Mark, and it will hopefully a bit more available to the public than the previous releases.
This time around Dan Swanö have written the most of the material. After many years of a sharpened focus on getting his mixing-career, he finally turned the ”writing-mode” switch back on and created some of the best NIGHTINGALE material yet.
The lyrics will be written by Erik Oskarsson and Tom Björn. Dag Swanö have provided one of his best songs ever, probably called ”Chasing the storm away”. With its ”driving groove” it’s even a candidate for a major hit-single 🙂
The track ”Stalingrad” is used as soundtack for the movie about the Stalingrad madonna. A trailer can be found in the Video section to the right.