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Jens Johansson - The Johansson Brothers CD (album) cover

THE JOHANSSON BROTHERS

Jens Johansson

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.00 | 1 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Good vibrations

This album is the first out of three albums that the two brothers, keyboardist Jens and drummer Anders Johansson, made under their last name. For those of you who don't know the history of these guys, they both used to play in Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force in the 80's. But don't be fooled, the Johansson brothers have a much wider set of influences that stretches far beyond the narrow boundaries of Neo-Classical Metal. This can be seen on their (especially Jens) extremely diverse output. They have also made an album together with famous Fusion guitarist Allan Holdsworth as well as collaborated with such diverse artists as Ginger Baker, Ronnie James Dio and Mike Romeo of Symphony X. Jens has also played keyboards on many bands and artists albums including Blackmore's Night. The musical interests of the two brothers extend to experimental Jazz-Rock/Fusion, progressive Power Metal, Classical, World and more. The present album is more in the Deep Purple category but with many progressive aspects. I would probably put this album in the Heavy Prog category.

The Johansson brothers are obviously very skilled on their respective instruments and not surprisingly the sound is strongly dominated by keyboards and drums but there are also bass and guitars. There are a couple of instrumentals, but most of the tracks have vocals. The keyboards are mainly organ, synthesisers, some piano and (something that sounds like) a harpsichord (even if I'm pretty sure that it is produced with electronic keyboards). The vocals are very bluesy and almost soulful and would fit in nicely in any classic bluesy Hard Rock band. Deep Purple might come to mind, but the music here is much more melodic during the vocal parts and much more progressive and jazzy during the instrumental parts. Most of the songs are based on melody and not on instrumental workout. Most of the many keyboard solos are appropriate within the context of the songs and never too excessive. This is not at all an album concerned just with showing off chops.

The last track is a cover of The Beach Boys' Good Vibrations played in Deep Purple style with an organ solo. The song itself is about five and a half minute, but the track runs to over 21 minutes of silence with some noise at the very end. So don't expect an epic here!

Compared to the other two albums they did, Sonic Winter and especially The Last Viking, this debut is slightly immature. This first album has been made available as a two-for-one 2CD release together with the band's second album. This is probably the best way to get this album and both are good albums. However, their best album is the third, The Last Viking.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |

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