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Von Hertzen Brothers – New Day Rising

Von Hertzen Brothers
New Day Rising
by Jacob Dawson at 27 March 2015, 11:12 PM

The VON HERTZEN BROTHERS are a fairly well-established band already, with nearly 30,000 likes on their Facebook page and a discography boasting six releases as of “New Day Rising”, built up during the 15 years that they’ve been active. This Finnish 5-piece’s latest album is one that, despite being varied and experimental, also comes across as slightly unfocused.

We start off well, with the titular track “New Day Rising” leading into the album nicely. Fast and energetic, the song definitely gives the impression that the artists enjoyed writing and performing it, with a healthy amount of backing vocals and a catchy tune overall. “You Don’t Know My Name” lets up slightly, but still maintains the quality with softer vocals and a fast, consistent rhythm from the guitars. A solo enriches the track, spiralling downwards with as much style as you can shake a stick at.

Trouble” begins softly, but quickly reassures us when it breaks out into a heavy, loud sound that feels like a natural progression from the previous two songs. What follows however, is a confusing shift in style that veers off into another direction without so much as a “lol, bye”.

Black Rain”, “Hold Me Up” and “Love Burns” all ooze their own particular brand of melancholy with an out-of-place sadness and sombre tone not encountered before in the album. They’re not especially bad songs, they just feel totally out of place after what preceded them. “Hold Me Up” in particular is a fairly repetitive ordeal, and it’s almost a relief when “Dreams” comes along, despite its own strangeness. Jovial and containing elements of Folk, the song’s vocals make it all the weirder with their disturbingly emotionless tone.

Sunday Child” almost returns to form, sounding something like early COLDPLAY mixed with BIFFY CLYRO, containing a soaring chorus and lyrics to match both. “The Destitute” enjoys a bassy, stylish intro with more edgy vocals which bring the song back to the album’s original sound. This falters slightly during some sections where the song loses momentum, but for the most part holds its own. “Hibernating Heart” once again shifts back to the sombre sound to close the album, which is more understandable for a final track. The result is actually rather good in this case, as its consistent minimalism throughout creates a relaxing sound, which is more than welcome after the rollercoaster we’ve just experienced.

What seems to be the case here is that the band had too many ideas and weren’t sure what to do with them, so sandwiched the odd ones out between the faster ones in the hope that no one would notice. There isn’t a particularly bad song on the album, only out-of-place ones. It’s a shame that some of the songs weren’t adapted to fit this album more, or kept on the backburner for the future, but the end result is a release that’s a classic example of a mixed bag. Buy it for “New Day Rising”, avoid it for “Hold Me Up”.

3 Star Rating

1. New Day Rising
2. You Don’t Know My Name
3. Trouble
4. Black Rain
5. Hold Me Up
6. Love Burns
7. Dreams
8. Sunday Child
9. The Destitute
10. Hibernating Heart
Mikko von Hertzen - Vocals, Guitars
Kie von Hertzen - Guitars, Vocals
Jonne von Hertzen - Bass, Vocals
Mikko Kaakkuriniemi – Drums
Juha Kuoppala – Keyboards
Record Label: Spinefarm Records


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