Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Eclectic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Beardfish The Void album cover
3.86 | 457 ratings | 15 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Intro (0:30)
2. Voluntary Slavery (6:33)
3. Turn to Gravel (5:30)
4. They Whisper (6:06)
5. This Matter of Mine (7:06)
6. Seventeen Again (7:44)
7. Ludvig & Sverker (8:06)
8. He Already Lives in You (6:38)
9. Note (15:50)
- i. Note
- ii. Descending
- iii. The Void
- iv. Note (reprise)
10. Where the Lights Are Low (5:41)

Bonus track on 2012 IOM limited edition:
11. Ludvig & Sverker (solo piano version) (6:34)

Total Time 76:18

Line-up / Musicians

- Rikard Sjöblom / lead vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion, producer
- David Zackrinsson / guitars, vocals, percussion, keyboards (10)
- Robert Hansen / bass, vocals
- Magnus Östgren / drums, percussion, vocals, guitar solo (3)

- Andy Tillison / spoken voice (1)

Releases information

Artwork: David Zackrinsson with Ulrika Owesdotter (photo)

CD Inside Out Music ‎- 0506102 (2012, Europe)
CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMLTDCD 359 (2012, Europe) With 1 bonus track

Thanks to Progshine for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy BEARDFISH The Void Music

BEARDFISH The Void ratings distribution

(457 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

BEARDFISH The Void reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kev rowland
4 stars Beardfish are another Swedish band that have decided that 2012 is the right time to produce something that is a little out of the ordinary, well for them at least. This album may start with a gentle spoken introduction (care of Andy Tillison of PO90 and The Tangent), but then is off with some crushing riffs which isn't exactly these guys' normal style. We are treated to some great melodic neo-prog that at times is more metal than rock, but always with a great amount of melody and vocals. This is prog that at times is much more direct than many may be used to, and in fact moves away from what some people consider to be prog at all, but it is always class, solid class. They may be more Radiohead and jagged edges than Floyd and a warm blanket, but the result is something that is both enjoyable and extremely accessible the first time it is played.

There will be some who have thrown their hands up in horror of Beardfish actually progressing in a musical sense, but isn't that what it is all about? True, the guitars at time have a wonderfully fuzzed out distorted sound that one would associate more with Kyuss than Yes but who cares? This is an album that should pick up fans who would not normally touch anything associated with the word 'prog' and all power to the guys for moving into what is for them uncharted territory. Hopefully they will not lose the people who bought the previous six albums, and there is still plenty on here for the 'traditional' Beardfish fan to enjoy with loads of different styles throw into the mix.

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars 2012 see's Beardfish return with their seventh studio album, The Void. Rumours were that they were going in a heavier, even metal direction. Truth is Beardfish have been getting heavier since their masterpiece Sleeping In Traffic: Part Two which for many captured the band at their peak. Retro sounding it may have been but the eclectic mix of prog with great hooks, strong melodies and a good dose of humour were irresistible for many. Since then they've released a couple of good but inferior to SITP2 albums which - and who can blame them, saw the band progressing with a more contemporary sound but losing much of their quirky charm in the process.

The Void doesn't turn out to be the prog metal album some may have been expecting but it does feature moments which are metal and is certainly their heaviest album to date. The guitars sound dirtier than in the past and it's probably their most complex music so far. Beardfish have improved as musicians - not that they were bad before - but it has to be said they haven't, or make that Rikard Sjöblom hasn't improved as a songwriter. In the interests of progression they've lost something in the process, which in the main boils down to weaker hooks and melodies. There's even the very occasional use of death metal growls here! Now don't get me wrong, The Void isn't a bad album by any means, in fact it's quite a good one and opening track proper Voluntary Slavery, which incidentally features some of the heaviest playing here is pretty captivating. There's still elements of old Beardfish which could sit on their earlier albums like the tellingly titled instrumental Seventeen Again which is great and features some excellent playing from all including the trademark Beardfish organ sound which is easily identifiable with the band. Ludvig & Sverker is one of the stronger vocal melodies and could almost sit on Sleeping In Traffic: Part One being subtler, at least in parts.

Some may be put off by the slightly dirgy production which helps drag inferior tracks such as He Already Lives In You down further, which after a promising start seems to drift into nothingness with little of redeeming qualities. At almost sixteen minutes Note is the longest piece on the album and does bear a bit more of a resemblance to older Beardfish in terms of the overall sound and feel but not in quality despite the beautiful guitar solo over piano arpeggios thirteen minutes in.

Whilst I admire Beardfish for not staying still and attempting to progress I think they need to look at their earlier albums to remind them of what made them so great. The Void is a good album which in parts is very enjoyable but for me there's too many moments where I find my interest waning and at 76 minutes is a bit too long. I'd say they'll have to come up with something stronger than this if they want to reach a wider audience.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars BEARDFISH have consistantly put out some incredible albums over the years to the point where they have become one of my favourite bands out of Sweden. They do it differently than my favourite Swedish bands like ANEKDOTEN, ANGLAGARD, SINKADUS and LANDBERK but they are so freaking talented. Early on it was their Zappa-like humour and flavour along with the killer instrumental work that drew me in and all these years later I would say those are the things that still appeal to me along with the exceptional lyrics. As others have noted this one has some heaviness to it not heard in earlier releases, but that's just a couple of tracks for those who might be scared off by the "Metal" tag being thrown around.

"Introduction" is a narration piece spoken by none other than Andy Tillison as he relates to us up the concept in 30 seconds. "Voluntary Slavery" hits us with outbursts of drums as the guitar grinds away. Heavy stuff. It's almost doom-like a minute in then the vocals come in including a growly "Do you believe in alchemy ?" after 2 minutes. This is BEARDFISH ? Great sounding track ! Gotta love the instrumental section starting around 4 minutes. A calm a minute later with reserved vocals. "Turn To Gravel" continues with the low end guitar and doomy sound as the vocals join in. So good. It does settle back and turns lighter 1 1/2 minutes in as contrasts continue. The lyrics are so good here. Killer track. "They Whisper" sounds like classic BEARDFISH to me. It's melodic with those familiar vocals. Some passionate vocals at times. "This Matter Of Mine" opens with some nasty guitar as the rest of the band kicks in hard. Great sound ! Vocals before a minute as it settles back a little. I keep thinking of how good this would all sound in a live setting. Nice laid back section before 4 minutes that lasts almost a minute. "Seventeen Again" is completely different with prominant piano and bass as the drums beat away. Almost jazzy really. This is an instrumental by the way. The organ leads for an extended period. An okay track but my least favourite.

"Ludwig & Sverker" makes up for it. An 8 minute ride that is so blissful. They actually include a piano version of this as a bonus track because it's so good. "He Already Lives In You" opens with the sound of water as keyboards join in then it builds. It turns heavier around a minute then the organ becomes prominant. A calm with vocals follow as contrasts continue. Sampled words 3 minutes in from a preacher. Then it kicks in hard with organ leading the way. "Note" is the longest track at over 16 minutes. It opens with the sound of someone writing then it kicks in with vocals. A very cool uptempo tune. "So I find myself staring straight into the sun" is a line repeated often. Such a proggy tune with deep bass lines. Love this song. "Where The Lights Are Low" opens with some interesting guitar before the vocals come in which sound different because it's the keyboardist singing at first before the main vocalist arrives. A few F-bombs in this relaxed track. A great way to end the album.

Man this is such a good album, close to being 4.5 stars for me. A solid 4 stars for now though.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I've just realized that I have not reviewed The Void even though I already listened to it since it was released sometime in August 2012 by InsiodeOut. My initial reaction even before I spun the music of any Beardfish album is only simple words: it must be excellent. I am sure most of you agree with me that Sweden has become the land of progressive rock in this era as so many great prog bands coming out from Sweden. Of course they are heaviliy influenced by legendary bands like King Crimson, Yes, Gentle Giant or eve Genesis. But the music of Beardfish is quite unique in nature and it's hard for me to identify major influence as the band s truly an eclectic prog band - they always try something different with new albums they release. The 2011 release Mammoth revealed a band restless to step outside the their boundaries--or at least anxious to add a little poundage. The Void push the envelope in fact harder than before, I think.

It was just couple of weeks ago I had a lengthy prog discussion with my friend who owns a coffee shop that does not play music but PROG. It's located far away from my hometown at capital city of Indonesia, and he lives and builds his PROG cafe at east Java, Jombang to be exact - it's roughly about 900 KM at east side of Jakarta. Of course I came at his coffee shop for not only this purpose but altogether with my work as Culture Change Consultant at Surabaya and I extended my days of stay to be able to have a lengthy prog discussion at the most progressive environment cafe: Apple Prog Cafe. He, Edi Santoso, is a humble person with havy loaded prog in his mind so everything comes out from his mouth has always been about prog. He even dares to spin only prog for his cafe eventhough his customers not prog lovers at all. So .. he is very pushy to make people get acquainted with prog music.

Why do I need to elaborate a paragraph long about my friend Edi? One simple reason: he is very very Birdfish or so called die hard fan of Beardfish. Even when I was picked by him at the bus station from my journey to Jombang, he palyed The Void inside the car - so here we were altogether in the car enjoying The Void. ANd not only that, he posted a giant poster of Beardfish Robert Hansen at one corner of his prog cafe! So, my meeting with him that day of 19-20 September 2014 was really heavy loaded with PROG and also Baerdfish. By that time I did not realize that I have not reviewed The Void yet. That's why now is my time to give my personal views about this album.

First off, this is definitely an excellent addition to any progressive music album that actually I wanted to review when I wrote The Tangent album - especially when it was said that Beardfish gave narration of the album in exchange of Andy Tillison providesnarration to The Void. But I forgot to review it. I consider this as a concept album as I always play it in its entirety. The music os quite eclectic in nature even though at first spin I though was a prog metal album as there is a growling part at the second track right after introduction: Voluntary Slavery (6:33). The track is quite heavy in nature but not forgetting the eclectic part: you can not predict the song will go to until you experience it. The combined clean vocal and growling part is really nice. It continues wonderfully with the next track Turn To Gravel (5:30) where the heavy side of prog still dominate the song. The next song provides some break as the music has tuned down nto a slower style with They Whisper (6:06).

I do not intend to give a track by track detailed review but one thing for sure that I want to share with you is listening to this album in its entirety. And I think that's my only suggestion: don't get the joy of good music from The Void get interrupted or cut off in the middle of the album - you have to listen to it in its entirety and I guarantee full satisfaction with its music. For some reason now I feel like I find the Gentle Giant reformed into the kind of Beardfish music. I am not saying that Bearfish is a copy cat from Gentle Giant - and of course not as the music is totally different. But ... how eclectic Beardfish is ...that reminds me to Gentle Giant. At that time I also considered Gentle Giant music is very different compared to others. But now I find Beardfish doing similar thing. Of course you will get confused judging the band from progressive metal view points. And also you will be surprised if you judge this using the spectacle of regular prog music because there are many surprises you experience throughout the album.

The epic part Note (15:50) comprises four movements: I. Note, II. Descending, III. The Void, IV. Note (reprise) which typically the track that is sought after by many prog heads. Bearfish has composed the epic beautifully so that you get full enjoyment of the music through the four movements. Not only that, the concluding track Where The Lights Are Low (5:41) provides different style as compared to previous ones especially on raw guitar work.

By the way ... I am completing this review while spinning the album with my iPod Touch connected to bluetooth speaker Divoom Voombox Travel which I just recently purchased and happy with its sound. One thing I wanted to purchase the bluetooth speaker: to get prog music around me all the time , in fact when I ride bicyle. And I am happy with the recent bluetooth technology tah makes it possible for me to enjoy prog anywhere; when I ride my lovely bicycle, I can put the speaker right at the bar while the iPod unit I put at pannier in the back side of the bike. So .. I am writing this review remotely. As the music of The Void comes out clearly with this speaker, I can write representative review about the album ...and yeah ... this is an excellent album, really! Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by A Crimson Mellotron
4 stars Beardfish's heaviest fantasies come to life on their mighty seventh album, 'The Void' - an exploration of existential dread and fear, cloaked in the romantic drapery of hopeless romanticism and wishful expectation.

The Swedes are certainly one of the trailblazers of 21st century progressive rock, handily but confusingly labeled symphonic/retro prog, they never stopped reinventing themselves, thus supplying the mythical creature that Beardfish has managed to become, with loads of dedicated fans, despite the lack of overly commercial success. This album is no exception to the typical Beardfish approach to music - ever-changing and gripping, full of memorable melodies and punchy instrumental passages, with intelligent and adventurous lyrics.

An album that sometimes gets neglected or overlooked due to the fact that their well-known keyboard-centered sound is put at the back seat, in favor of a much heavier, distorted and headbanging sonic body, it should not be left unmentioned that is an excellent symphonic prog album at its very core, it is just skillfully masked in the almighty riffs and gnarly bass sections.

A sore spoken word introduction by The Tangent's Andy Tillison serves as the entrance to 'The Void', a place that Rikard Sjöblom successfully paints as dark and uninviting, allowing the listener to embark on an emotive journey through his mind. From then on, the acrobatic main riff of 'Voluntary Slavery' crushes every expectation that one could have had for this album. The band is aggressive but certainly well-behaved, while Rikard throws in some guttural shrieks just to keep the listener alert. 'Turn to Gravel' is another heavy piece that seems to sounds nothing like your usual Beardfish, the lyrics are enduring and reflective, the tone is menacing and unsettling. 'They Whisper' is the piece that finally gives off the impression that the ambitious new direction of this band will come to a very satisfactory result, given the shockingly blissful mixture of heavy guitar riffs and memorable, resonating melodies. 'This Matter of Mine' might be a bit more laid back than the cannonade of heavy songs coming before it, yet it still finds Rikard screaming at the top of his lungs once!

'Seventeen Again' is a beautiful instrumental that begins with a very stripped-down piano progression, unfolding into a very Wakeman or Emerson-esque pastiche, craftily performed by the band's leader. Spiraling through the excellent love song 'Ludvig & Sverker' and the jazzier 'He Already Lives in You', the band reach the apex of the album with the nearly 16-minute epic 'Note', just to finish off on a high (or rather low) note on the cerebral 'Where the Lights Are Low'.

All in all, 'The Void' is a fantastic exercise in beautifully-ornamented and rich songwriting, penetrated by the bombastic nature of the riffs; something that hardly let the listener disregard this album as anything less than excellent. This album proves that no matter how many times the mighty Beardfish reinvents itself, it always remains one of modern progressive rock's finest exponents.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Usually when we see progressive rock bands going in a metal direction, it ends up taking on a standard progressive metal tone, which does logically make sense. However, what if you want to hear other genres of metal blended rather than the typical power-prog sound? Beardfish breaks that paradigm of ... (read more)

Report this review (#1631544) | Posted by Pastmaster | Wednesday, October 12, 2016 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I like Beardfish, I really do - but half of this album is borderline unlistenable! For some weird reason they decided to be a somewhat metal band here... oh boy, this DOES NOT work at all! Beardfish are good, sometimes even great, prog rock band, but as metal unit they are plain horrible. The first ... (read more)

Report this review (#1502153) | Posted by Quizzus | Tuesday, December 22, 2015 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The new Beardfish album could easily be divided in two different parts : the first one, which I had considered to be "the toughest one", It features those Heavy-Rock/Sludge-Metal trend we had previously found on"Mammoth. The first track "Volontary Slavery", with its cryptic sound, it is proba ... (read more)

Report this review (#1325552) | Posted by Moneypulated | Wednesday, December 17, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Review originally written for Black Wind Metal. Beardfish has always been, for better or worse, my go-to vessel for classy eclectic progressive rock, combining elements of some of my favorite classic prog artists like Yes, King Crimson, Genesis, or Frank Zappa. My first exposure to the band was a ... (read more)

Report this review (#1283762) | Posted by Daggor | Thursday, September 25, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Rikard Sjoblom, leader of the quirky eclectic retro-proggers Beardfish, who have been increasing in heaviness lately, has said he was a fan of metal. There was before the rare growl in Destined Solitaire (from eponymous album), and in the ...And the Stone Said. Now he indulges himself with sever ... (read more)

Report this review (#1070903) | Posted by Progrussia | Saturday, November 2, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars In a nutshell, the first half of the album is, more or less, death metal in influence. The second half of the album is closer to what Beardfish usually sounds like. There is not much else to say about the first half - if you like the growling voice/distorted chord type of music then you may ... (read more)

Report this review (#940286) | Posted by Monte | Saturday, April 6, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I had a tough time with this one initially. It just didn't sound good to me in the car stereo and as a result it put me off the music. So finally I got around to playing it on a proper stereo and really focusing on the music. The greatness of this album was then revealed to me. Sonically thi ... (read more)

Report this review (#917691) | Posted by plasmatopia | Friday, February 22, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars One of the best albums I have ever listened too. I bought this album knowing nothing about the band was automatically blown away. The intro is amazing in its self and sets a great theme. 5/5 The first song Voluntary Slavery. Its pretty heavy but you can hear the prog. Really good jam I gue ... (read more)

Report this review (#894705) | Posted by GorillaMunch | Wednesday, January 16, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The Void is the seventh studio album for Progressive Rock act Beardfish, and as I listened to this album again the other day I had a bit of a catharsis. On my first listen, I would not have given it 5 stars ? I did actually enjoy the album quite a bit, but I was not ready to give it 5 stars at thi ... (read more)

Report this review (#824255) | Posted by dtguitarfan | Wednesday, September 19, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Beardfish is my favorite modern prog outfit. No band has challenged me or kept me so entertained since I got into them back in 2008. For me, it's the interesting songwriting combined with the deliriously good melodies and craftsmanship. No band sounds like Beardfish, and I find it difficult to ... (read more)

Report this review (#814772) | Posted by sprouticus | Monday, September 3, 2012 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of BEARDFISH "The Void"

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


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: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.