Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Dynamo Bliss - Day And Night CD (album) cover

DAY AND NIGHT

Dynamo Bliss

Crossover Prog


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
4 stars This is the second 2013 release from Dynamo Bliss and certainly the more "progressive" of the pair. The first was Poplar Music, whose clever title gives a clue to the direction of the songs. I had previously reviewed that one and gave it low marks for production quality. They have since remixed and remastered it with significantly improved results. Still poppy, certainly, but the remix brings out the progressive underpinnings to much better effect.

Now, to Day and Night. This one has an Alan Parsons Project feel to me at times, incorporating memorable songs with carefully crafted melodies, interspersed with atmospheric and sometimes quite adventurous instrumental pieces. Where Poplar Music was dedicated to the vocal side of the band, Day and Night is largely instrumental, with only three songs actually having vocals. I always felt that these gentlemen were competent players, but this album demonstrates a much higher level of musicianship than I had previously realized. There are a couple of solo acoustic guitar pieces (Morning On Mars & Vespertine) that are just beautiful, the latter serving as an intro to the wonderful "Night Storm". This ten minute instrumental alternates between a two phrase repeating theme, and some excellent soloing, with piano and guitar taking turns.

I love all three of this band's full length albums. They have an attention to melody that is often absent from modern music. This is easily accessible, but with careful listening you uncover a level of detail that just doesn't exist in most popular music. I look forward to hearing where they go next!

Report this review (#969253)
Posted Sunday, June 2, 2013 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Third album Day and Night of this little known and in same time young band from Sweden named Dynamo Bliss. This is their second release from 2013 and I thnink their best from all three. I was really impressed by this release. A very solid song writting and overall attitude and ideas. Imagine something between ELO (Electric Light Orchestra), Pink Floyd and Styx the result is Dynamo Bliss. Very refreshing album both in sound and in ideas with many memorable parts, from uptempo moments of The Day The Empire Fell , Solemn Undulating Wave with excellent keyboards and spacey guitar chops to more mid tempo tunes this is a real treat for my ears. I like a lot the vocal parts, very popy but so well integrated in the music. The instrumental sections are killer, really, I never thought that I'll like so much. A piece like .Night Storm will be always a delight for prog listners, some fantastic instrumental passages. This trio really done it with this album, a perfect cross over prog album for all prog lisners. The album can taken from their bandcamp page for free or can name your price for this little treasure. Very solid and damn catchy. 4 stars easy
Report this review (#971297)
Posted Wednesday, June 5, 2013 | Review Permalink
ProgShine
COLLABORATOR
Errors & Omissions Team
4 stars Progressive Pop, or as I like to call it, Soft Prog, is a sub-genre that is very often overlooked, since the main goal of bands that play this kind of Prog is pretty much combining the sophistication of Prog Rock and accessible melodies of Pop music. Bands like The Alan Parsons Project, 10cc, Electric Light Orchestra and Ambrosia are the main names of this sub-genre. So far this kind of Prog was pretty much dead but not anymore. A Swedish band Dynamo Bliss decided to walk through this path once again.

Dynamo Bliss is quite a new band, a trio formed in 2005. Stefan Olofsson (vocals, keyboards, zither, guitar, bass and percussion), Mikael Sandstr'm (electric and acoustic guitars, banjo, accordion and pedal steel) and Peter Olofsson (drums) have been working hard this last year cause Day And Night (2013) is their third album already, and their latest two albums have been released this year. Poplar Music (2013) in February and Day And Night (2013) in May. Day And Night (2013) has a concept behind it. The album explores the events of a unusual day and night cycle. The CD-R comes in a jewel case with very nice artwork, but unfortunately, no lyrics for the listener to try to follow the concept.

The album begins with a short intro called 'Morning On Mars' and it's followed by 'The Day The Empire Fell', a pattern that will be repeated through the whole album. Space intro plus full track. 'The Day The Empire Fell' impress as soon it starts. It's been quite some time since some band tried to emulate the Soft Prog sound of late 70's and 80's but Dynamo Bliss did it. They were able to mix The Alan Parsons Project and Ambrosia (two bands I love) without being too much of a copy. The track is a delicious Soft Prog with a catchy melody and good playing. Dynamo Bliss is a trio but their sound is full due to the clever overdubs.

'High Noon' is another intro full of atmospheric keyboards that build the path to 'Solemn Undulating Wave'. This one is an upbeat song with great instrumental interludes. It goes a bit slower when the vocals start but the band was able to kept the high quality through the song with some great melodies. And you must love the synth solo on the track. 'Dusk' follows as yet another atmospheric interlude that prepares the terrain for 'Circadian Rhythm'. Then synths take over the music in a kind of Space travel. And as the keyboards and acoustic guitars scream 'The Alan Parsons Project', the guitar solo is clearly saying 'Pink Floyd Gilmour era'. 'Circadian Rhythm' is a great example of well written Soft Prog but this time with loads of melancholic melodies and a very well used accordion.

Then comes 'Another Sundown' as another intro and 'Evenfall' with a pulsating bass line and some lovely keyboards. Then we complete this weird trio of tracks with another short one called 'Vespertine' which is pretty much a solo acoustic guitar piece. 'Vespertine' leads us directly to the longest track in Day And Night (2013) called 'Night Storm'. With 10 minutes long and a weird concept. The track is pretty much a circle. It has one main melody and a solo space, so after every main melody we have a different solo. This makes the track a bit 'loose' and tiring when we reach the middle part. It is a good idea, but 10 minutes of it? No, too much! The album is closed by the short 'The Small Hours' and its Space feeling once again.

Dynamo Bliss' Day And Night (2013) is a blow of fresh wind for those, like me, who love some good Progressive Pop and thought that the genre was dead and gone.

Day And Night (2013) is a solid effort full of memorable melodies and great musicianship. Let it come more and more albums by Dynamo Bliss.

(Originally posted on progshine.net)

Report this review (#1028664)
Posted Wednesday, September 4, 2013 | Review Permalink
Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Swedish band DYNAMO BLISS was formed in 2005, and would spend the following five eyars honing their craft prior to releasing their debut album "21st Century Junk". A single followed in 2011, and then in 2013 they returned with not one but two full length studio efforts. "Day and Night" is the most recent of these, and as has been the case with all albums by this band so far it was self released in digital format.

When looking up information about this band and their stated influences, the music on this production makes perfect sense. We're taken on a trip back in time, with the late 1970's as a more or less defined target, and to the accessible parts of progressive rock as they sounded back then. A breed of music I often refer to as art pop myself, which features bands like Supertramp, ELO, Ambrosia and Alan Parsons Project. To name but a few. The songs are melodic and easy on the ears and the mind, sporting fairly dominant lead vocals of a controlled variety, strong and distinct grooves from the instruments, often with an overall positive and jubilant mood.

Dynamo Bliss doesn't stick to a mere formula album however. Six of the eleven compositions on "Day and Night" are atmospheric instrumentals with cinematic qualities, and the effective one-two combo of Morning on Mars / Another Sundown and the same relation between High Noon / Dusk is a nice little detail in itself. That two of the other songs are instrumental as well leaves us with a mere 18 minutes of music more or less sticking to the more predictable art pop territories, of which the extremely catchy The Day the Empire Fell is the one making most of an impression with it's bounce, playful keyboard textures and compact, subtle plucked guitar motif.

The other two songs featuring vocals have more of an emphasis on piano and keyboards driven escapades. The latter of these, Circadian Rhythm, is fairly eccentric in scope as well, a more demanding instance of the art pop song but still maintaining accessible arrangements throughout.

Those with a taste for more challenging fare does get their fill too. Epic length instrumental Night Storm has a neat development, alternating between richly layered melodic sequences and sparsely arranged inserts, the later breaking down and hitting more of a jazz-oriented expression, then briefly switching roles as the richly layered passages are given the jazz-oriented break for a couple of minutes and then switching back again. Still melodic and accessible throughout, but with a subtle but noticeable avant-garde twist if you like.

Accessible, melodic progressive rock of the playful variety with half a foot inside mainstream pop/rock is the foundation Dynamo Bliss operate from on "Day and Night". With detours into good quality atmospheric fills that tell their own little, instrumental story, and with variations of a somewhat more challenging kind flavoring some of the songs. First and foremost a production that caters to those who love bands such as the ones mentioned initially, but with some nice details that should find favor also among those with a taste for music of a somewhat more challenging nature.

Report this review (#1048728)
Posted Monday, September 30, 2013 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover Team
4 stars If ever there was a band that defined the sub-genre 'Crossover prog' then it this Swedish trio, who mix pop and prog in equal measures to create something that is beautiful, exciting, enthralling and engaging in equal measures. There is a really clean sound to this as it brings together music in a way quite similar to that of their artwork. If you want to listen to this as a progressive rock album then there are plenty of layers and intricacies to discover, but if you want to just view this as beautifully crafted melodic power pop then there are plenty of hooks. To me this brings together the very best of the Seventies and Eighties but updates the sound for today. Some reference bands would be 10CC ('Deceptive Bends' era), City Boy and ELO with Styx and even Jean Michel Jarre also making an appearance.

This really is an album that is totally accessible and enjoyable the very first time it is played, and from there on in it just keeps getting better. There are times when spacey keyboards take centre stage, but at others it is the bass, or acoustic guitar, or lush vocals, or, well you get the idea. It is fresh, it is fun, it is a bloody fine album. Available from Bandcamp as a digital download (name your price), or a CD can also be ordered instead, www.dynamobliss.com

Report this review (#1082835)
Posted Thursday, November 28, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars Yesterday and today I have listened to this year's record "Day and night" by the Swedish art rock band Dynamo Bliss. The record is the band's third one. The first came 2010 and the second earlier this year. This band certainly plays in the prog rock tradition even if it is not actually progressive. The musicians are Mikael Sandström (guitars, banjo, accordion and pedal steel), Stefan Olofsson(vocals, keyboards, zither, guitar, bass, percussion) and Peter Olofsson(drums) and the band comes from Umeå in northern Sweden.

Day and Night is a very cheerful work that pleases my ears a lot. I don't find any of that modern too heavy sound in this, on the contrary this music is soft and cool. It feels that their music is a mixture of 10cc's jolly melodies and vocal harmonies: intriguing and happy, and Pink Floyd's atmospheric background with a light melancholic guitar. Those two sides of Dynamo Bliss music is perhaps a part of the album's name: day and night and the cover shows a silhouette of a tree with both a blue and a orange background. The band name is designed to look a bit "Russian" and I find it attractive.

The music is inspiring and as a fan of both 10cc and Pink Floyd I of course like it. The really interesting features is the long tracks. "Circadian Rhytm" is best with its lovely melody and great vocals and enough of both darkness and light to get me into it. "Solemn undulating wave" is almost as good as that track and I also like the catchy "The day the empire fell" with a main line that I'll remember. "Night Storm" is totally different: here they have taken inspiration from jazz music and made an instrumental soundscape of good quality. I don't think the short songs are so interesting but they are nice to listen to. Some of them are great instrumental works for just acoustic guitar and of course we need stuff like that. My main interesting though lies in the long(real) songs.

I find this music so enjoying that I will give it four stars. Also, I do not doubt to say that this is the best Swedish "prog" album of 2013, until now.

Report this review (#1085354)
Posted Tuesday, December 3, 2013 | Review Permalink

DYNAMO BLISS Day And Night ratings only


chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of DYNAMO BLISS Day And Night


You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives