Beardfish – The Void

How many bands you are aware of that are putting album after album without showing even a small sign of losing the pace? Over the years, Swedish progsters Beardfish have become a synonym for persistence, as every next album since the 2003’s Från En Plats Du Ej Kan Se to the brand new The Void kept bringing something new while keeping the steadiness.

The aforementioned The Void is the band’s seventh album in 12 years and is the heaviest record out to date. The band’s previous album, 2011’s Mammoth, signalized the presence of metalesque moments and opened a possible new ground for what appears to be The Void. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that Beardfish abandoned everything they have been building during the years, all of the elements these Sweds are known for are still there, but with a slightly rawer approach. You don’t get this often an album that’s not scared to explore new grounds while keeping the layers built throughout years.

The band’s intention to make an album that captures a vibe of rehearsing and playing live is absolutely accomplished. The Void is a dynamic record oscillating between the all previous albums, therefore between the different subgenres.

After an introduction, spoken by The Tangent’s Andy Tillison, the album kicks off with Voluntary Slavery, the song that was the part of setlists during the previous tour. It’s noticeable straight off the beginning that the key factor on The Void will be – distortion. Stoner riffs in Turn to Gravel accompanied with Sjöblom’s grandiose vocal range probably exceed the expectations of any Beardfish fans. Things get calmer with They Whisper, a song that is structurally closer to Mammoth; it wouldn’t be a surprise to find out that this song is actually an outtake from the Mammoth sessions.

While first half of the album is certainly more in the metallic mood, the second half starting with Seventeen Again is much more balanced in terms of its heterogeneity. The mentioned number is the most jazz fusion oriented on the album, while at the other side Ludvig & Sverker comes as a flash to a more alternative subculture, a song that’s in the line with Destined Solitaire.

He Already Lives in You comes along with the ambientally dramatic intro and develops to a stonerfied rocky tune with Hammond and Sjöblom’s vocals dominating. Note is the only heavyweight epic on the album clocking over 15 minutes and is actually the only song that falls upon the prog rock category in the way the band established on their previous albums. Where The Lights Are Low is a bluesy-Scorpions driven semi-ballad, almost cynical with Sjöblom singing “don’t fuckin’try to tell me what I am, ‘cause you could never know…” The album closes with the piano version of Ludvig & Sverker, shorter for about minute and a half than the original.

With The Void, Beardfish confirmed what was proven for so many times by now. With every new album they develop, shift, progress but always stay Beardfish. This is just another great record coming from a band that never disappoints.

Tracklist:

1. Intro (0:30)
2. Voluntary Slavery (6:33)
3. Turn To Gravel (5:30)
4. They Whisper (6:06)
5. This Matter Of Mine (7:06)
6. Seventeen Again (7:44)
7. Ludvig & Sverker (8:06)
8. He Already Lives In You (6:38)
9. Note (15:50)
I. Note
II. Descending
III. The Void
IV. Note (reprise)
10. Where The Lights Are Low (5:41)
Bonus Track:
11. Ludvig & Sverker (Solo Piano Version) (6:34)

Line-up:

* Rikard Sjöblom – vocals and keyboards
* David Zackrinsson – guitars
* Robert Hansen – bass
* Magnus Östgren – drums

Links:

http://beardfishband.com/

Nikola Savić is a prog enthusiast, blogger and author, in addition to being the founder of Prog Sphere, Progify, ProgLyrics and the ongoing Progstravaganza compilation series.

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