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On disc: Black Bonzo

- Sound Of The Apocalypse - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars

Sound Of The Apocalypse

Sound Of The Apocalypse
(The Laser's Edge - 2007)

At the moment a lot of Swedish prog bands seems to dig 70's prog rock... A wave of retro sounds is coming from the North! Sound Of The Apocalypse is 2nd album of the Swedish quintet and they take you on a 70's prog rock trip. They combine heaviness with the sounds of the 70's - and add some folk, too. Due to Nicklas Ahlund's use of a Hammond organ and Mellotron they have a warm sound which some nowadays releases lack off. The opening track Thorns Upron A Crown has a bit of Jethro Tull and also ELP, but also 70's heavy rock la Deep Purple or Uriah Heep. Their retro prog sounds fresh and even if their are some similarities they have a unique sound. Singer Magnus Lindgren has a powerful voice and varies to support the song - like on Giant Games. Joakim Karlsson's guitar sings and let me think of Dire Straits, even if he uses a different guitar sound. Different vocal styles, breaks and unusual rhythmic patters make this a kind of short prog rock opera... Due to the flute at the beginning Yesterday's Friends has a Tull-ish feel... But soon they take you away from this facet of their sound and become heavier and somehow they remind me of Styx... Not of the hits of Chicago band, more about their early works! But there is also some Kansas mixed in their sound. The Styx citation fits even more for The Well. With the short Intermission - Revelation Song they bring back Jethro Tull! Well done! While the following Ageless Door is again full of hints to ELP and also some Genesis... Very heavy, well structured and Joakim Karlsson's guitar has something Queen-ish... Soundwise, coz the riffing partly reminds me more of some 70's heavy rock like Deep Purple... Hard to imagine? Well, listen to it! With Sound Of The Apocalypse is a long atmospheric tune - and also dark and peaceful at the same time. Later it becomes somehow threatening... Then again it's peaceful... Like in the eye of the storm where it peace, but you know soon the storm will break loose again. At some point a saxophone is setting in and the tune gets a bit jazzy for awhile... It's culminating into a frenzy... Peace again. A roller coaster ride which keeps you in the loop during this 13 minute long opus. Outstanding!
The songs of Black Bonzo are modern retro prog rock, but become special through Magnus Lindgren's voice.
Fans of retro prog rock will dig this album! And I hope that they stay on the chosen path, coz it's a real treat and something not just prog fans will enjoy! Check out Giant Games, Thorns Upon A Crown and Sound Of The Apocalypse.

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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