Note: This review originally appeared in the Illinois Entertainer.
Birds Of Night lost half of their members en route to recording their third album since forming in 2011 but that hasn’t slowed them down at all. True to the band’s name, the songs on this self-titled effort are shrouded in mystery and singer-guitarist Andrew Rothlisberger delivers them with evocative vocals and haunting melodies. As the main songwriter, he drifts easily through a variety of genres, and occasionally jams with fellow founding member bassist Brooks Martin and newcomers drummer Jon Aisner and guitarist-keyboards player Alex Adams.
“Love Is Stoned” is a vintage heavy metal stomp, while the epic “Asleep In The Pine” opens with ominous synth music and features Rothlisberger and Adams cutting loose on their guitars during two instrumental passages. On “Big Shot,” Birds Of Night take a much simpler approach, where Rothlisberger’s singing is matched to some mournful steel guitar accompaniment. “Marfa Skies” has an appealing indie rock feel but “Dark” is this album’s true highlight, immediately grabbing the listener with a frenetic but irresistible arrangement and Rothlisberger’s powerful singing.