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Beardfish - +4626 - Comfortzone Award winner

Beardfish
+4626 - Comfortzone
by Tom Colyer at 18 January 2015, 8:46 PM

Say what you want about Prog Rock, but it certainly produces some truly amazing bands. The history of Prog within all genres of music has been up and down, ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous and there are a lot of people that get put off of a band if they simply hear the dreaded P word mentioned. I guess the main issue for a lot of people is that they feel alienated by the sheer technicality of it all, especially if they are not musicians and can't appreciate the intricacies of percussive 7/8 poly-rhythms being blended into a 5 minute sound-scape created entirely with sound of coconuts being dragged through a muslin sack. This is an unfair trial though and as pretentious as some Prog bands have been in the past, there have been so many more that demonstrate true musical genius at work that should be accessible to anyone regardless of how well they understand modal changes and diminished arpeggios.

None more so than BEARDFISH.

Their latest album, “4642 – COMFORTZONE”, continues on in the vein of their previous releases and seamlessly blends both the Prog and Rock parts of the genre to create something that is both understandable to any listener, and a work of sheer musical talent. This is their 8th release since 2003 and it is quite evident that over that time they have just been getting better and better. The album opens up with “The One Inside Part One – Noise In The Background”, the first of a three part theme running through the album to give it a coherent thread to anchor the often wandering tendencies of the rest of the songs. The intro itself is a beautifully rendered piece of string work and sounds like it could be on the soundtrack to an old black and white film about love being lost across the seas. This doesn't continue for long through and as soon as the intro is over they launch into “Hold On” with a driving drum beat and sparse but enchanting vocal work. The guitar work has so many notes of OPETH running through it that for a second I thought I was listening to something else entirely. The use of the aforementioned diminished scales creates a strong sense of tension within the music that is so aptly released by the soothing vocals of Rikard Sjöblom. The album jumps from intense to calm with each song and although “The One Inside Me Part Two – My Companion Through Life” feels like it could be on something that NEWTON FAULKNER might release, the very next song “Daughter / Whore” breaks straight into the KING DIAMOND influences, destroying any sense of serenity that had built up by that point.  Regardless of what themes are being employed on a song, one thing remains a constant. The pure ability and skill of each of the musicians is involved. Whether it's the beautiful keyboard work on the slower songs or the pitch perfect guitar solos you can hear the years of practise and experience in every note.

All in all, this is a fantastic album from an already very accomplished band. For anyone that hasn't taken those first steps into the dangerous and often confusing world of Prog Rock, this could well be just the thing you are looking for.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The One Inside Part One – Noise In The Background
2. Hold On
3. Comfort Zone
4. Can You See Me Now?
5. King
6. The One Inside Part Two – My Companion Through Life
7. Daughter / Whore
8. If We Must Be Apart (A Love Story Continued)
9. Ode To The Rock'n'Roller
10. The One Inside Part Three - Relief
Lineup:
Rikard Sjöblom - Vocals, Keyboard, Guitar
David Zackrisson - Guitars
Robert Hansen - Bass
Magnus Östgren - Drums
Record Label: Inside Out Music
     


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