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Sound Of The Apocalypse by Black Bonzo

Leave it to our brothers across the pond in Scandinavia to absorb, morph and help re-stylize the tried and true, whether we’re talking jazz, classical or in this case, progressive-rock. Sure, this energized Swedish band derives the traditional influences, where traces of ELP, Camel and a few others come to mind. However, this unit shows pizzazz and a sense of purpose via an aggregation of memorable hooks and riffs, firmed-up by snaky time changes and limberly rendered shards of sound.

With mellotron swashes, powerful Hammond B-3 riffs and soaring guitar lines, the band cuts to the chase, but adheres to rock solid compositional form. Another noteworthy attribute pertains to the musicians’ cautious approach: they don’t overindulge or get mired down in endless soloing escapades. So, it’s all executed with good taste, spruced-up by soft passages and textural backdrops. And the pieces seem to interweave yet remain distinct.

Lead vocalist Magnus Lindgren’s upper register vocals nicely contrast the frontline’s thrusting rock lines and wistful movements often-counterbalanced by phantasmagorical inferences. With "Intermission - Revelation Songs," they lift a few elements from the Jethro Tull school via a rock-folk-boogie vibe, as electric guitarist Joakim Karlsson performs on flute, to reinforce the attractive harmonic component. While they’re not visionaries within this genre, the musicians communicate passion and excitement amid an appealing flow of events that generates the irrefutably pleasurable listening experience. Nice work, gentlemen....

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Black Bonzo
  • CD Title: Sound Of The Apocalypse
  • Genre: Progressive
  • Year Released: 2007
  • Record Label: The Lasers Edge'
  • Rating: Four Stars
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