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Thread: FEATURED CD- Beardfish- The Void

  1. #1
    Moderator Duncan Glenday's Avatar
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    FEATURED CD- Beardfish- The Void



    Gert Hulshof's Review http://www.dprp.net/reviews/201246.php

    With The Void, Beardfish from Sweden have released their seventh album with Rikard Sjoblom once again delivering most of the material.

    After I put the CD in the player and started listening at first I thought I was listening to the newest outing of The Tangent when hearing Andy Tillison's voice speaking of a wizard looking into the future. I didn't know that Andy was asked for the opening lines, after a second glance at the CD I was reassured it was indeed Beardfish.



    Putting in the CD once again, the introduction made me flashback to I believe 1967 (or 1978) to a band called Procol Harum and their song In Held 'Twas In I. I was struck by the intonation in Tillison's voice speaking at the same level as that intro. Enough said on the introduction only leaving that this also made clear to me The Void as an album had to be a conceptual one.

    Voluntary Slavery the first real song then makes you wonder if this new album is a heavy progressive album and Beardfish have changed some of their styles once again. Listening carefully to the song all the trademarks making Beardfish the band they are, are all present. Voluntary Slavery no doubt is one of more heavy, raw sounding songs Beardfish have ever done, with growling and grunting, and all still it remains true to the Beardfish standards.

    The song-writing style of Rikard is of an autobiographical nature; the mood he is in comes back into his songs and as a musician making use of what music is. Guitar and then more specific heavy riffing guitar appear to be dominating on this album.

    Still in Seventeen Again an instrumental song Beardfish become very Jazzy from the start with a piano piece, almost no guitar is heard, after this the piano becomes organ, organ and guitar then continue in battle with the most beautiful sounds. Seventeen Again really is all over the place musically speaking. Becoming carnival-esque, then again sounding like the guitar/organ battles of earlier Prog from the seventies. Certain bits and pieces of the melody seem to re-appear everywhere in a different form.

    The title Ludvig & Sverker made me frown a bit, was this going to be a song sung in Swedish or was this just the name of the song? In fact it's the latter. Ludvig & Sverker is a Beardfish ballad in optimum form, sung gently as to really let the listener know the delicacy in the lyrics. A joy to the ears.

    The overall setting on The Void is dark and moody, the music and lyrics really do compliment each other. The Void is not as it appeared at first listen, a heavy progressive metal album, it is a varied album where heavy and raw sounds dominate to reflect the setting of the album, all of this is demonstrated best in the inevitable epic song Note. A fantastic piece of musical and lyrical craftsmanship.

    The Void is a concept yet all the tracks can be listened to separately, although preferably in one session from beginning to end. The songs however are not tagged together so a break is possible, otherwise you are in for a 69 minutes long progstavaganza.

    Album number seven for Beardfish is once again a great album, it will not appeal to us all, and it most certainly is of a very high standard and will draw new fans towards Beardfish. They are an exceptional band making fantastic progressive rock.
    Regards,

    Duncan

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    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    How are you all liking this one?

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    Profondo Giallo Crystal Plumage's Avatar
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    It's great. Better than Mammoth IMO. The "harder" tracks work great live and still have that Beardfish flavor. My only complaint in recent years is Rikard's vocals. Especially live he just can't reach the higher notes as good as he could a couple of years ago. It's obvious on the Mammoth DVD, though he was still recovering from the flu back then.
    I think he should see a vocal coach to teach him how to use his voice properly.
    HuGo
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  4. #4
    Profondo Giallo Crystal Plumage's Avatar
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    But he still is a great singer. Don't get me wrong
    HuGo
    ..:: Right, bring in the perverts! ::..
    "Very, very nice," said a man in the crowd,
    When the golden voice appeared.
    She was gold alright, but then so is rust.
    "Such a shame about the beard."

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    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crystal Plumage View Post
    I think he should see a vocal coach to teach him how to use his voice properly.
    A lot of guys in this genre could use one.

  6. #6
    Profondo Giallo Crystal Plumage's Avatar
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    That's so true.
    HuGo
    ..:: Right, bring in the perverts! ::..
    "Very, very nice," said a man in the crowd,
    When the golden voice appeared.
    She was gold alright, but then so is rust.
    "Such a shame about the beard."

  7. #7
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    Benoit David is a great example. Blew his voice out. Had he known how to use it well and had a proper warm up routine he might have lasted. I am sure many are pleased he didn't.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    How are you all liking this one?
    Love it. My favorite Beardfish album.
    I want to dynamite your mind with love tonight.

  9. #9
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    How come?

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    Chronic Overspender zombywoof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    Benoit David is a great example. Blew his voice out. Had he known how to use it well and had a proper warm up routine he might have lasted.
    Ian Anderson, too...
    Check out Colouratura's sophomore release Unfamiliar Skies - out this spring on Melodic Revolution Records!

    colouratura.bandcamp.com

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    How come?
    Feels more complete than some of the other Beardfish albums, all of which have moments that sort of lag for me. Love the angry rock aspect, too. "Note" is just brilliant, moving and swirling. I didn't hate the humor in the previous albums, but I prefer the anger and venom on this one. And there's still a lot of groovy, knotty little bits. It's not an all out guitar assault--it just feels like it sometimes.
    I want to dynamite your mind with love tonight.

  12. #12
    Member Luis Nasser's Avatar
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    Finally gave this a decent amount of time. I love this record. It's one of their best, and the new, heavier twist on some songs is a welcome variation.

  13. #13
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    First couple of listens I was underwhelmed, but then it really grew on me. It's got some excellent stuff on it, and is an improvement over Destined Solitaire and Mammoth (both of those had to grow on me as well, whereas I loved the first four as soon as I heard them). Overall I'd put it around the middle of their catalogue, with The Sane Day and Sleeping In Traffic Part Two at the very top.
    Interviewer of reprobate ne'er-do-well musicians of the long-haired rock n' roll persuasion at: www.velvetthunder.co.uk

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    Moderator Duncan Glenday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luis Nasser View Post
    Finally gave this a decent amount of time. I love this record. It's one of their best, and the new, heavier twist on some songs is a welcome variation.
    I agree

    It impressed me from the first spin.

    Several Beardfish fans think it's their worst album. I think it may be their best.
    Regards,

    Duncan

  15. #15
    One of the best records of the year.

    I think it is better than their previous albums. The strength of the music in this album is more subtle and not so "obvious" as in the older records.

  16. #16
    ^ Quite ok with agreeing with everything up there. And I like reviving this thread to heap praise on this band and album.
    I want to dynamite your mind with love tonight.

  17. #17
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    It's grown on me quite a bit. "Note" is worth the price alone.

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    Member mellotron storm's Avatar
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    The six albums i have from Beardfish are all very good. I'd probably put Sleeping In Traffic Part 2 and Mammoth at the top and The Void at number three. I'm really surprised they haven't released a live album yet, especially since they have seven studio albums to draw material from.
    "The wind is slowly tearing her apart"
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  19. #19
    Profondo Giallo Crystal Plumage's Avatar
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    They released a live video just after the release of The Sane Day from which I ripped the audio and made my own double live CD
    HuGo
    ..:: Right, bring in the perverts! ::..
    "Very, very nice," said a man in the crowd,
    When the golden voice appeared.
    She was gold alright, but then so is rust.
    "Such a shame about the beard."

  20. #20
    Member mellotron storm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crystal Plumage View Post
    They released a live video just after the release of The Sane Day from which I ripped the audio and made my own double live CD

    Wow that's cheating right there. It would be interesting to hear them live back in the early days.
    "The wind is slowly tearing her apart"
    Sad Rain
    Anekdoten

  21. #21
    Member bill g's Avatar
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    I really like Beardfish. My favorites are 'Mammoth' and 'The Sane Day'. Certainly 'The Void' is well done, not my personal favorite, but with a lot to offer for sure.

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    I am really late to this party. Just got around to checking out Beardfish in December. I now own all of their albums, plus the first Gungfly album. This and Mammoth were my gateway drugs. Wow. How did I miss this band? Easily my favorite new-to-me discovery of 2012. Not a dud album in the bunch.

    I like the fact that they added a harder edge to some of the songs on the void. Don't want every album to be alike, after all.

  23. #23
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    I've continued to have a hard time warming to this album. Maybe during this snowstorm will be a good time to sit down and give it a thorough and active listen.

    But my main criticism is that it feels much more in-your-face (in terms of the mix) and I find the drums to sound somewhat unpleasant (but well played of course). Also, it feels like two different albums in one - the initial part being the "here's our new somewhat heavier than our earlier heavy stuff which may have more commercial potential" (I'm not suggesting there's any shame in that - I'd love these guys to break through to a bigger audience) and the latter part of the album which is much more in the classic Beardfish vein.

    I'm also finding some of the guitar sounds to be harsh as well. I guess these days it's not enough that you are playing distorted/overdriven guitar. That was considered "blasphemous" and rebellious enough back in the day. These days you need crank up the limiting to add that additional bit of digital distortion to really rebel. Okay, maybe it's just done with guitar effects and amp settings, but my ears don't find it appealing.

    Maybe it's just me and my tolerance for such sounds is getting lower as I turn into an old fart.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post

    But my main criticism is that it feels much more in-your-face (in terms of the mix) and I find the drums to sound somewhat unpleasant (but well played of course).
    Yeah, I get that, too. Everything is just a little too . . . harsh or crunchy or brittle. Not a warm mix.

    I'd love to hear some of these songs live.

    Oh, and as far as released live Beardfish goes, don't forget the live DVD included as a bonus with Mammoth.

    I want to dynamite your mind with love tonight.

  25. #25
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    I just finished listening to the entire album (on a completely different sound system than before) and this time I thought it was brilliant. The contrast between the heavy and less heavy seemed much less this time, making the album flow a bit better for me.

    Another thing that was key this time (and unusual for me lately) was to read the lyrics before I put the album on. I read about half of the lyrics with no music and for the first time in ages lyrics pulled me in and made me want to hear the whole thing.

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