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Von Hertzen Brothers

Crossover Prog

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Von Hertzen Brothers Red Alert in the Blue Forest album cover
4.12 | 85 ratings | 5 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2022

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Day of Reckoning (4:39)
2. Blue Forest (9:06)
3. The Promise (5:20)
4. All of a Sudden, You're Gone (7:12)
5. Peace Patrol (10:00)
6. Pirates of the Raseborgian (4:57)
7. Anil (6:45)
8. Elbowed (5:16)
9. Northern Lights (7:39)
10. Söderskär (3:45)
11. Disappear There (4:52)

Total Time 69:31

Line-up / Musicians

- Mikko von Hertzen / lead vocals, guitar
- Kie von Hertzen / guitar, vocals
- Jonne von Hertzen / bass, vocals
- Robert Engstrand / keyboards
- Sami Kuoppamäki / drums

- Max Lilja / cello
- Klaara Pyrhönen / violin
- Janne Toivonen / trumpet
- Tero Toivonen / French horn
- Juho Viljanen / trombone

Releases information

Label: Theories Recordings
Format: Vinyl, CD, Digital
March 18, 2022

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy VON HERTZEN BROTHERS Red Alert in the Blue Forest Music

VON HERTZEN BROTHERS Red Alert in the Blue Forest ratings distribution

(85 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (34%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

VON HERTZEN BROTHERS Red Alert in the Blue Forest reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Bursting forth with only their eighth studio album since 2000 and first in five years, the brothers from Finland have come up with a typically solid collection of songs.

1. "Day of Reckoning" (4:39) rousing, well-developed song with a catchy, pertinent message. (8.75/10)

2. "Blue Forest" (9:06) plaintive singing over matching child piano note play for the first minute of this. Bass notes are added for the multi-voice chorus in the second minute. At the end of the fourth minute we switch soundscapes and tempos as the vocalist becomes more personal, in our ear. At 5:26 the music bursts into more abrasive territory, but only briefly, as it soon turns to pop-Gregorian with more synthetic Radiohead/Flaming Lips rhythm tracks beneath. Heavy again for the eight minute in which organ and so many others pick up a new melody motif to play with. Wow! (17.5/20)

3. "The Promise" (5:20) interesting instrumental palette backing a not very interesting melody or structure--though the strings and vocal performances are outstanding. (8.5/10)

4. "All of a Sudden, You're Gone" (7:12) nice vocal, melody, and lytic presented by piano, cello and bass. At 2:15 a coda of full-rock instrumentation breaks in between the second and third verses. I really like this vocal! Obviously, the brothers are mourning the loss of someone(s) important to them. A top three song, for sure. (13.5/15)

5. "Peace Patrol" (10:00) okay 80s-pop first three minutes is embellished by oud-like instrument in fourth minute of instrumental but then switches direction, completely, turning into heavier, plodding, anthemic rock that is lifted to amazing heights by one of the best sax solos you've heard in a rock song for decades! (I swear I hear a little Kingston Wall in this music!) This, then, is followed by some stellar and sustained guitar soloing in the second half. Emotional and awesome! Definitely a top three song even though there are so many others! (18.25/20)

6. "Pirates of the Raseborgian" (4:57) Now this was unexpected! A sea shanty! Cute and, surprisingly, highly engaging. (9/10)

7. "Anil" (6:45) acoustic guitar picking with ethereal airy vocals makes for quite a lovely musical presentation. Great vocals, great melodies, great chorus, great lyrics! Great thickly layered instrumental finish. Another top three song. Beautiful! Comparable to some of the great folk-rock singer songwriters of the 1970s. (13.5/15)

8. "Elbowed" (5:16) heavily horn-infused rock opening thins out for the vocal presentation. Nice melodies from vocalists and the individual instruments. A bit of an Andy Partridge/XTC feel. There is definitely a lot going on here! (8.75/10)

9. "Northern Lights" (7:39) embellishing the actual recorded sounds of aurora borealis with their own creative electronicisms, the Brothers have churned out a highly enjoyable electro-pop piece which includes multiple catchy melody riffs each vying for the listeners' attention. Then add in the spacey vocal and you've got a song worthy of radio play. There's so much to this song! Thank you, Finland, for letting your talented sons share their talents with the rest of us! Reminds me very much of a great psych-rock song from the late Petri Walli (KINGSTON WALL). My favorite song on the album. (14/15)

10. "Söderskär" (3:45) nice dreamy little psych-pop dittie. Reminds me of Moon Safari, Gadi Kaplan, or Needlepoint. So polished and mature. (9/10)

11. "Disappear There" (4:52) forest fairie folk with a bit of John Martyn, Ant Phillips, and Nicholas John Talbot (Gravenhurst) infused within. Beautiful and classic! (9/10)

Total Time 69:31

My history with the Von Hertzen Brothers is that, while the music and songs often strike one upon first listen as fresh, creative, and interesting, successive visits are not always as engaging or interesting. I've had this problem with almost every Von Hertzen Brothers release, which had left me less excited for each successive release. Perhaps its due to my lack of engagement and/or interest in the lyrical messages, perhaps due to the attention the songs demand (in order to gleen the subtle complexities). At the same time, I really and truly appreciate the maturity of the VH Bros' songwriting, their intelligent and sophisticated lyrics and lyrical content, and their highly polished, "finished" song productions. I am pleased to announce that all of this has continued to improve with this album--and especially my previous malaise. I've been listening to this album almost exclusively for about a week and am enjoying the layers and subtleties I'm discovering with each and every listen. But I must issue a warning: This is NOT background music! It needs to be listened to with your fullest attention! It not only demands it, it deserves it! One more thing: Did I mention: these brothers can sing: each of the three is so solid and talented!

A-/4.5 stars; an excellent addition to any prog lover's music collection--one of the best releases I've heard from 2022 (so far)--and quite possibly in the running for Album of the Year. I'll let you know after more listens. Warning: This is not background music!

P.S. Has anyone else ever noted the subtle presence of the "ghost of Petri Walli" in the VHB music?

Latest members reviews

5 stars VON HERTZEN BROTHERS known in a hurry in 2006, and then the missing time, my tastes elsewhere, in short I forget them, I did not approach them enough I will say, until this year 2022 when I am told, it's great, you should like it, in short, the chro. 'Day of Reckoning' ...the last time I love ... (read more)

Report this review (#2881528) | Posted by alainPP | Friday, February 10, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is the 8th album from Finland's Von Hertzen Brothers, three brothers (Mikko, Kie, and Jonne) that play guitars and bass and all sing (beautifully), joined by keyboardist Robert Engstrand and drummer Sami Kuoppamäki. Although I was not familiar with their previous albums, I was mightily impresse ... (read more)

Report this review (#2874500) | Posted by BBKron | Wednesday, January 11, 2023 | Review Permanlink

3 stars We are facing one of those albums that flee from the labels, however we could affirm that, despite the varied instrumentation and the different forms and sonorities that inhabit this work, we are facing a fairly accessible album, with special emphasis on the melodies and vocal harmonies that are ... (read more)

Report this review (#2775418) | Posted by JohnProg | Thursday, July 7, 2022 | Review Permanlink

5 stars How to begin explaining or even trying to fathom what this album is all about? We can begin with the album cover and title. The album title Red Alert in the Blue Forest' evokes a feeling that there is some serious problem in the forest and it is blue. Perhaps we have lived through a period ... (read more)

Report this review (#2737641) | Posted by tigerfeet | Saturday, April 16, 2022 | Review Permanlink

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