Hackberry, the instrumental quintet hailing from Groningen, has once again pushed the boundaries of progressive rock with their sophomore studio album, “Breathing Space.” Released on May 12th, 2023, this mesmerizing sonic journey showcases the band’s incredible versatility, seamlessly blending progressive rock, stoner, metal, grunge, and psychedelia into an immersive experience.
The album opens with the epic track “Lunares,” a sprawling 15-minute sonic odyssey that sets the tone for the entire album. The intricate guitar work, dynamic drumming, and atmospheric synths create a cosmic landscape that draws the listener into a world of sound. The evolving melodies and shifts in tempo keep the audience on the edge of their seats, making “Lunares” a true masterpiece and an ideal choice for an opening track. This title also opens “Progstravaganza: Harmony in Complexity” compilation which can be downloaded here.
“Solitary March” follows, clocking in at 10:21. This composition showcases Hackberry‘s ability to create a sense of solitude through their music. The melancholic undertones and carefully crafted instrumentation evoke a wide range of emotions, making it a standout piece on the album.
“Foreshadow” continues the sonic exploration with its 11:44 duration. The band effortlessly transitions between heavy, distorted riffs and dreamy, atmospheric passages. The song’s title aptly reflects its ability to hint at what lies ahead in the album, keeping the listener engaged and eager for more.
The penultimate track, “Manticore,” stretches over 12:06, serving as a fitting conclusion to the musical journey presented in “Breathing Space.” This composition encapsulates the essence of Hackberry‘s sound, combining intricate rhythms with powerful guitar riffs and ethereal textures. The track unfolds like a mythical creature, both captivating and unpredictable.
“Breathing Space” has rightfully earned its place on numerous “album of the year” lists for 2023. Hackberry‘s ability to seamlessly blend various genres while maintaining a cohesive sound is a testament to their musicianship and creativity. The album is a sonic adventure that demands to be experienced in its entirety, providing a breathing space (pun so very intended) for the listener to get lost in its intricate layers and textures.
In conclusion, Hackberry‘s “Breathing Space” is a remarkable achievement for the Dutch band, and it is going to be a hell of a job for them to come up with something exceeding the quality of this album. Each song here is carefully crafted, making the whole release cohesive. Whether you’re a fan of progressive rock, stoner, metal, grunge, or psychedelia, this album has something to offer, making it a must-listen for any music enthusiast.
In conclusion, Hackberry's "Breathing Space" is a remarkable achievement in the realm of progressive rock. Each track is a carefully crafted piece of art that contributes to the overall narrative of the album.