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Von Hertzen Brothers - Love Remains the Same CD (album) cover


Von Hertzen Brothers


Crossover Prog

4.20 | 160 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Just when you think you have heard it all before! Stupid ignorant me! To think that some people have the nerve to get bored with prog, not realizing that no other form of contemporary music contains as many sub-genres, damning those incompetent idiot naysayers who foolishly believe that prog is just early Genesis revisited! Shame on you! The Von Hertzen Brothers came as quite a shock for me, I was inspired by the positive reviews and I took the blind plunge, expecting something good but not necessarily great, I mean Deep Purple, Zeppelin and AC/DC as influences do not necessarily bode well for the sympho-proggist that I am. It took me a few run throughs before I could really get into their rather unique sound but I do like courage and audacity, traits that seem so distant in our cellophane cell phone world.

These taciturn Finns certainly take no prisoners, playing a highly melodic, fast-paced, bruising style of prog that has all kinds of hues and colors. There is not much like them out there that's for sure. First area of note are the eccentric harmonies as well as some powerful lead vocalisms that saturated the eclectic grooves. Secondly, the hard-prog attitude shown by the hard/fast guitars, slithering organ and synths and bruising drums (Mikko Kaakkurinniemi is a monster!). Tracks such as "Freedom Fighter" and "Spanish 411" are perfect examples of this edgy strain. They can also opt for the grandiloquent and the flamboyant as on the brilliant opener "Bring Out the Sun (So Alive)", the opulent "Somewhere in the Middle" or the epic closer "The Willing Victim". Then you have some ditties that are pop-rock gems that evoke various aromas (I like that Aha analogy by our Easy Livin'!), with the full understanding that North American radio will never pick these up. Songs like "In the End" and "Faded Photographs" have that smudge of weirdness that spooks the saccharine ear-candied horde who like to sing along to their draft beer and embrace their acne-ridden girlfriends (oh, be nice, Thomas!). "Silver Lover" has those Zeppelin tinges straight out of Houses of the Holy (the fleet guitar rhythms par exemple), and it's quite a pleasant ride without being derivative. The final 2 tracks are really splendid, "I Came For You" is by far my fave piece, at times similar to Sylvan in its poignant vocal delivery and rather quirky backdrop. Strong contrasts between the mellow and the harsh, fueled by some stupendous vocals ending in a magnificent heavenly chorale that is sheer aural bliss. As stated earlier, the finale is another treasure; "The Willing Victim" is a symphonic slow builder with delicate acoustic guitar and pastoral setting of impeccable pedigree, as per the fluid synthesizer solo that graces the mid-section, a composition full of unbridled passion and barely containable restraint, settled by a colossal explosive lead vocal hurl. Wow! And when the lead guitar blows through, you just know that feeling is there once again. This is precious stuff!

I probably will require some further spins before I can truly be the good unbiased judge that I am (and modest too!) but it must be said that this is neither symphonic, neo nor space. Rather a rock band that are not being dictated to by some corporate pirate and do their own thing. Bravo to you, heart brothers! I need to get used to the harder tracks and digest them properly before bestowing any higher marks.

4 suomi wrestlers

tszirmay | 4/5 |


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