top of page
NewProgAlbums.png

Album Review

Have a new album you'd like us to review?  Let us know.

All That Should Have Been
5

5

Stars

All That Should Have Been

Night Wilds

815

#

USA

I approached Night Wilds’ debut album, "All That Should Have Been," with both excitement and a healthy dose of skepticism. Delivering a rock opera that captivates from start to finish is no small feat, especially for a debut. But Night Wilds, hailing from Seattle and Montana, managed to deliver an exceptional first album that deserves every bit of my high rating.

Clocking in at 63 minutes and spread across 17 tracks, this album is an immersive journey that hooks you from the eerie opening monologue to the closing tongue-in-cheek humorous final track. Unlike many concept albums, "All That Should Have Been" is a genuine rock opera, weaving a continuous narrative that explores the harrowing story of a boy performing in a sinister circus, desperately seeking an escape from his cruel reality.

The comparison to Pink Floyd’s "The Wall" is inevitable. While Night Wilds doesn't sound like Pink Floyd, the album's feel and concept are reminiscent of "The Wall’s" exploration of a young boy's struggle in a harsh world. The band manages to draw such parallels while carving out their unique sound, at times nipping at the Pink Floyd sound, while at other times diverging entirely.

Night Wilds

The album's ability to tell a compelling story while delivering musically complex and emotionally resonant songs is a rare achievement. This is the sort of original album that absolutely should draw people to prog, as it highlights all the things we love about the genre.

The album's raw emotionality is palpable, especially in tracks like “New Jerusalem” and “City of Strangers.” “New Jerusalem” starts as a delicate folk tune and crescendos into a prog-rock epic, highlighting the album's dynamic range. The haunting refrain, "Stop crying, or I’ll give you a reason to cry," encapsulates the oppressive atmosphere of the album's narrative. "City of Strangers" delves into the protagonist's realization of his self-imposed mental imprisonment, a theme that will resonate deeply with many listeners.

The production quality is top-notch, with sessions recorded at renowned studios like Robert Lang Studios and London Bridge Studios. The album benefits from the contributions of veteran musicians and engineers, including Tom Hall and Ben Smith, which adds a layer of polish and authenticity to the project. Night Wilds’ decision to use analog recording techniques and real string arrangements pays off, creating a rich, textured sound that enhances the album’s cinematic feel. The dedication to authenticity is evident in every track, making it clear that the band poured their heart and soul into this project.

Despite its dark themes, "All That Should Have Been" is ultimately an album about healing and hope. The journey from despair to acceptance is beautifully portrayed, particularly in tracks like “Long Way From Graceland” and “Just A Moment More.” These songs reflect a turning point and a sense of surrender that feels both genuine and hard-earned.

"All That Should Have Been" is an impressive debut that marks Night Wilds as a band to watch. The album's ability to tell a compelling story while delivering musically complex and emotionally resonant songs is a rare achievement. This is the sort of original album that absolutely should draw people to prog, as it highlights all the things we love about the genre.

Prog Radio is pleased to be featuring much of this album in our New Music rotation, and of course, in Monday’s “What’s New Proggy Cats?” broadcast.

5 Stars!

Released:
Run Time:
Highlights:
Reviewer:
Apr 1, 2024
1 hr 3 min
New Jerusalem • Confusion • Control • Heartland • Tired • Lost Light
Kevin Carmony
Buy/Stream:
wikipedia.png
wikipedia.png
wikipedia.png
HearThisAlbumNowMASTER.png
RequestNow.png
ProggyCatsBannerAd.jpg
Like        Comment        Share
Top10-2019.png
bottom of page