The album kicks off with “East Of The Sun West Of The Moon” and we immediately get that early 80’s post-punk vibe…the subdued vocals over the hypnotic percussion and rhythmic guitars giving off an indie-esque melancholic tone, harking back to the likes of THE MISSION. The low-key melody compliments the dreary gothic tones well and despite being a generally lengthy opener, it satisfies and it’s a strong start. “The Night’s Ablaze” continues the album with another similar, early post-punk effort albeit more up-beat with more of a general hook and vocal melody…the bass line though simplistic carries the track and there are elements here that would appeal to fans of KILLING JOKE for example; strong stuff this…brilliant.
The early proto-goth vibe is solidified by standout track “It’s All Gone” with its sombre yet melodic guitar; the track as a whole slow enough to capture the torment and pain, but still up-tempo enough to create a truly entertaining nostalgic bubble…all of the hooks yet all of the throwback simplicity, this is what long-time fans long to hear. “The Rain Still Falls” returns to that overdone lengthy delivery; properly embracing the gothic tendencies but also utilising darker indie-rock elements as found in the likes of EDITORS or SPECTOR…before the rest of the album descends into a disappointing crawl. “On A Little Snowy Field” being a prime example…it’s that slow you could have mowed the field itself and regrown it, waited for it to snow AND built a snowman before the song finishes. “Black River” drones on for over seven minutes with some minimalist, middle-eastern inspired instrumentation, while “Cold Light” returns to those brooding, dreary indie tones, though it does deliver on the vocal front; very much exuding passion, almost drawing sympathy from the listener.
Overall, Long Night have delivered well enough here, and their ability to recapture the early sounds and tones of that original, goth-rock aesthetic is impressive. A perfectly fresh throwback to the genres formative years, they’re definitely a band for all of you OG goths to check out. Some of the tracks are a little flat, there’s a fine line between moody and boring, with some of the tracks needing a little more bite, but “Barren Land” is certainly showing signs of life.