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Mad Artwork - I Still Breathe

Mad Artwork
I Still Breathe
by Matt Coe at 09 October 2014, 12:42 PM

Many would think that when you see 4 tracks on a release, that you are taking in an EP. Not the case for Sweden’s MAD ARTWORK – especially when you have 42 minutes of music on display, and the short song is 8 minutes and 36 seconds. Starting the band in 2006, the band members spent years finding the right sound, the right musical chemistry, as well as finalizing the right singer in Terese before finally coming out with this debut album.

To describe the quintet’s sound is very difficult, so I’ll try my best to hone in to a few reference points. I would say MAD ARTWORK are a Progressive Hard Rock band, showing a strong affinity for 60’s/ 70’s acts like URIAH HEEP, DEEP PURPLE, YES, and GENESIS along with some newer bands in the vein of OPETH or PAIN OF SALVATION. The band is willing to be very theatrical and expressive lyrically and melodically during the verses of “See What There Is” for instance, then allow Gabbi to seriously jam and shred in a Blackmore meets Malmsteen way- before going upside down in a Celtic/ Irish folk manner with Recorders, Whistles, and an Irish Bouzouki. “Locked in a Lie” opens through softer acoustic guitars and organs that set up almost a meadow-like atmosphere, but Terese pours her heart out on the page- then the electric Progressive Rock dance begins, Andreas providing killer tempo changes and you sometimes get a spaced-out, semi-conga line vibe to the organ bends, guitar wah wah action.

These are not songs that will grab hold of your brain immediately – I feel this is a headphones experience for certain to gain clarity through absorbing every bass line, instrumental break, musical interplay, and yet still hear the melodies. “The Magic Sun” has a lot of PINK FLOYD melancholy to the arrangement, sometimes emphasizing sparseness for emotive sake. In the end, I think MAD ARTWORK are heading in the right direction based on their debut, and hopefully will continue to get even stronger as they shed some of their influences.

4 Star Rating

1. See What There Is
2. Locked in a Lie
3. The Magic Sun
4. I Still Breathe
Terese Persson – Lead Vocals
Gabbi Dluzewski – Guitars, Recorder, Whistles
Simon Forsberg – Irish Bouzouki, Acoustic Guitar
Daniel Dluzewski – Bass, Recorder
Andreas Berglund – Drums, Percussion
Record Label: Copro Records


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Edited 04 February 2023

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