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ARTS

Neo-Prog • Sweden


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Arts biography
Hailing from Lidk÷ping (Sweden), ARTS were founded by Stefan SAHL (bass, vocals), Jessica Jonevad BONT╔ (guitars, vocals), and Dan BERGLUND (drums, percussion) in 2008 firstly as a trio. In the spring of 2010 they invited Mikael BENNERHED as a keyboardist, who was replaced by Jonas KJERNALD in the autumn of the same year. They started recording material for their debut album "Find A Way" around this time. Stefan "Loppan" LARSSON joined as a singer in the spring 2012, but Jonas left the combo after some local gigs. They continued gigging with Alex Carpani Band or David Jackson (ex-Van Der Graaf Generator) in collaboration with Mathias KIHLBERG and Torbj÷rn HOLM, and entered into hibernation.

In 2018 ARTS were revived ... the four founders (Stefan, Jessica, Dan, and Jonas) got together and recorded new material for their debut creation that was finally released in September 2021.

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3.17 | 10 ratings
Find a Way
2021

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ARTS Reviews


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 Find a Way by ARTS album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.17 | 10 ratings

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Find a Way
Arts Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars Swedish band Arts originally came together in 2008 as a trio comprising Stefan Sahl (bass, vocals), Jessica Jonevad BontÚ (guitars, vocals), and Dan Berglund (drums, percussion). A few years later they brought in keyboard player who was soon replaced by Jonas Kjernald. They recorded 'Find A Way' with the aim of releasing it in 2012, but life got in the way, and Jonas left, and the band went through various changes over the years. In 2018 the quartet got back together to see what could be done with the recordings, and they enjoyed themselves so much during the process that there is now a second album planned. But firstly, we need to look at the debut which was originally planned to be completed and released in 2012 but finally saw the light of day in 2021.

I notice on PA it is indicated as being neo-prog, but that must have been a close-run thing as to me this is much closer to crossover prog that neo. For the most part this is a very relaxed album, with a commercial Eighties feel with some elements of the late Seventies as opposed to the more biting and edgy neo which tends to have more guitars. It is laid back and middle of the road which makes for a very pleasant release even though I do wish it had more rock within it. When one pays attention, it is easy to see just how much complexity there is within, and a special mention must be made of some wonderful basslines, yet for much of this it feels rather bland. Rather frustratingly, the last track of the six shows a very different side indeed, and one which really caught my attention. This is an instrumental track which combines folk with much more guitar, and sounds almost like a different band altogether, so much so that I do wonder if this was completed when the band got back together as opposed to being part of the earlier sessions. Jessica is much more to the front in this number, which is intriguing and contains real depth, with Jonas also having the opportunity to be more dynamic while the drums and bass are very solid indeed.

It is going to be interesting to hear what they come up with next, as this is an interesting album which will certainly gain a lot of plays from those who do not want their prog to be too heavy.

Thanks to dAmOxT7942 for the artist addition.

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