Should become a classic
, 30 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Nine Lives (Audio CD)
At the time of writing Finnish band Von Hertzen Brothers have been releasing music for over 10 years (first album released 2001), yet I had never heard of them until very recently. I purchased this, their fifth studio album, after hearing the opening track 'Insomniac' on Planet Rock radio here in the UK. I have to say that this has very quickly become one of my favourite new albums over some period of time.
Now, just a quick note on how this band's music is classified. Everywhere I look, I see them classed as a 'Prog' band or perhaps 'Prog Rock'. These terms just leave me cold to be honest, and I don't actually think they do much to describe the music. If any classification is needed, just 'Rock band' will do for me. Also, I don't see the need to compare their music to other artists. Sure, influences are there to hear in all of the tunes but this applies pretty much to every rock band that has ever existed. Anyway, there are clearly so many different influences that name-checking any specific acts won't help a potential new listener in my view.
The real strength of this album for me is the diversity of sound and feel across the different songs (I note that for other reviewers this is very much a negative). The aforementioned 'Insomniac' is very much a ballsy rock tune from start to end, whilst lead single 'Flowers and Rust' has a more dramatic 'soaring' feel and ebbs and flows a bit more. 'Coming Home' starts out with the sound of driving drums that eventually lead to a nice contrast between broody verses with deep vocals and an energetic chorus. I think my favourite track at the moment is the fourth, 'Lost in Time' for which a 'spacy' keyboard sound wanders around a slow guitar riff, and which is one of the best tunes on the album for showcasing the harmony vocals that are a trademark of the brothers' sound. 'Separate Forevers' is a very pensive and atmospheric song and is important I think in creating the atmosphere of the album as a whole, but I have to say that it is probably my least favourite track on Nine Lives. 'One may never know' and 'World Without' both again prominently feature those delicious harmony vocals, with the latter also featuring some really nice clean solo guitar refrains. 'Black Hearts Cry' and 'Prospect for Escape' finish off the album. Like all of the album, these two tracks cannot really be directly compared to anything else on the album and therefore for me round it off nicely with a bit more drama here, some lovely harmonic melodies there.
I would definitely suggest giving this album a listen if you like your music varied and thoughtful.
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