Beardfish Sep04


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Album: The Void
Label: InsideOut
Tracks: 10
Release Date: 2012-08-28
Length: 01:16:18


Riff Score: 9.0/10

Just one year after what many considered their best album to date “mammoth”, Beardfish return with an earth-shattering album, where they explore heavier avenues.
The reception of their previous album “mammoth” was nothing shorter amazing, with excellent reviews from both peers and fans; Beardfish clearly tore down the walls that were preventing them from exploring their passion for progressive rock’s golden age of the 70s, and the result was a very dynamic and eclectic album that allowed the band to solidify itself as one of the more relevant artists in the current spectrum.

It is in this mind frame that Beardfish decided to push the envelope a little bit more and add a touch of heaviness into the recording process.

The first thing that comes to mind when “the void” starts is that the band decided to tread back on a more traditional conceptual path. The spoken introduction sets the imagery and opens the door for introspection as the magician reveals that it is he who has changed during his observations of the future.

As soon as “voluntary slavery” kicks in we realize very fast what the band was talking about when they said that this album is heavier. Strong riffs and a very interesting journey through on and off-beats; in this track Sjoblom really pushes his vocal range with some 80s sounding howls.

Track number 3 is called “turn to gravel” and exhibits some of the best riff hooks of the album. A very diverse song with a good classic rock pace and an excellent guitar solo that will leave the guitar freaks with a grin.

An organ intro with a 70s melody vibe, welcomes us to one of the softer songs on “the void”. This song has a very strong “supertramp” thing going, with a very beautiful setting and pleasant melodies.

“This matter of mind” is perhaps the track that will more easily resonate with the metal crowd. Full of riffage and a nice fast pace; it has even a crazy tapping section that could easily be at home in a djent album. This one has all of the elements to become a live favorite, nice call and response, peaks and valleys, and some very interesting supporting melodies. The vocal performance is top notch, with both calm and energetic moments – one of the standout tracks.

Track 06 brings us back to the more progressive side of things; a track centered around the keyboards with lots of melody and an amazing middle section where the guitar the keyboard intertwine perfectly. This track brings a lot of classic “gentle giant” landscapes to mind, and shows how ideas from days of old can be brought to the present, updated and thrown into the future. A great example of the mammoth stream of creativity that the band is going through.

With “Ludvig & Sverker”, Beardfish revisit a recent past, a song that could have been on one of the latest albums, with storyline lyrics with a very interesting breakdown in the final third of the song.

“He already lives in you” marks the return of the heavier riffs; the balance between darkness and light is clearly something that has been very carefully mapped, as the song oscillates between different moods. Very tasteful keyboards, laid out with extreme precision; with some sounds that would make the late Jon Lord very proud.

It’s in this moment that we are presented with “note”, the big number on the album, clocking at almost 16 minutes. A slow paced song with captivating lyrics where the concept is brought back; it travels in typical Beardfish fashion, through contrasting moods, and speeds. To me, this track is the flag bearer of the album, and surely the most important moment of the narrative.

Finally, as the storyline reaches the end, so does the album and its final track “where the lights are low” – a melancholic theme that wraps up the concept album and takes the emotions to a more relaxed place.

The band has really developed its ability to link sections, by means of bridges and interludes, which are extremely intricate and full of intention. After this album, Beardfish are no longer an accident, or an up and coming band; they have taken their rightful place at the top of the progressive food chain.

Track List

01 – Intro
02 – Voluntary Slavery
03 – Turn to Gravel
04 – They Whisper
05 – This Matter of Mine
06 – Seventeen Again
07 – Ludvig & Sverker
08 – He Already Lives in You
09 – Note
10 – Where the Lights are Low