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The Amazing - Gentle Stream CD (album) cover

GENTLE STREAM

The Amazing

 

Crossover Prog

4.00 | 7 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
4 stars A couple of months ago, I placed an LP order with Syn-Phonic - I selected The Amazing's 2nd and 3rd releases. They were not included here at P.A., and all I knew of the band is that they were from Sweden, and DUNGEN's guitarist extraodinaire REINE FISKE was involved. This most recent album from the band, 'Gentle Stream', was quite the discovery, very consistent and portraying no weaknesses at all !! Johan Holmegard (also of Dungen) plays drums, with a solid bassist, keyboardist, vocalist and various guests participating. Not unlike Dungen, The Amazing holds an equally inspired frontman in Christoffer Gunrup, who handles the composing, and has a pleasant, even if a bit fragile, singing voice, performing all songs in English language. Stylistically, they are a song-based and laid-back (most of the time) sort of band. Some tracks feature the Mellotron too !! The 7 min. title-song can be reminiscent of various psychedelic efforts from certain West Coast bands of the late 60's - memorable melodies, subtle organ, twangy guitars and a generally mellow vibe, with a lightly country-ish flavour, with Gunrup's vocal harmonies taking us out on an easy ride during the final 2 minutes or so. 'Flashlight' continues the easy going hippie mood with a song featuring some lovely flute-work and a light-hearted melody. Musically, the latter section offers some tasteful saxophone playing and some scarcely heard mellotron-piano lines. I often wonder of the inspiration behind a song entitled 'International Hair' - have we just come from some high-end salon with the latest, hirsute fashion trend ?? Anyway, this one's a 6 min. burner with catchy verses and an excellent coda alternating between major and minor keys. 'The Fog' is somewhat straight-forward but tasteful nevertheless. Side 2 is where I find they come into their own, an almost immaculate stretch of 4 songs, mostly breaking the 6 minute mark, allowing the band to jam out and show us how they can impress within their more direct approach. I can detect more vibes of the fantastic LANDBERK in many moments on this side than side 1. From the track 'Gone', which shows off the more abrasive guitars that we have come to admire from Fiske, along with some notable percussion work, to the mellotron- backed ethereal closer 'When The Colours Change', each song is a real treat, with 'Dogs' being the absolute meister-work of the album - great guitaring from Fiske throughout, with the instrumental passage during the 2nd half allowing the band to let loose a bit. 'Assumptions' is a short, 2min+ piece that is every bit as tasteful as the rest. Some well incorporated mellotron parts enhance the beauty. The gentle closer may leave one in a state of blissful catatonia (if there were such a thing) - I find it's all over too soon for me. Fiske's guitaring is spot-on. With my semi-permeable man-brain (ho ho) I don't know if I do this album enough justice - 4 stars.
Tom Ozric | 4/5 |

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