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BEARDFISH

Eclectic Prog • Sweden


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Beardfish biography
Beardfish were formed in 2000 by guitarist David Zackrisson and singer, guitarist, keyboardist Rikard Sjöblom. The group includes bassist Robert Hansen and drummer Magnus Östgren. The first album was recorded as a quintet with Stefan Aronsson on keyboards and flute. Their primary influences are a diverse range of Zappa, King Crimson, and Gentle Giant.

To date they have released two albums, both are highly recommended. The first 'Från En Plats Du Ej Kan Se...' runs the gammet from great epics, brash hard prog, with some tasty flute and mellotron thrown in. Their second album The Sane Day is a more ambitious outing.. this time down to a four piece with Rikard taking keyboard duties. A 'double' album released 2005 that might be seen a conceptual, though they deny it. The growth in the group musically is apparent, and is a good album

The group should be checked out by anyone looking for a good solid modern Art Rock group. If you have the chance.. see this group live. Ask anyone in attendance in Chapel Hill on ProgDay06, they stole the show. They will grab you and not let go. Strongly recomended.



Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
strong modern Art Rock group from Sweden. Unquestionably prog.. the 'star' the of ProgDay06 show. Two great prog albums released so far at time of addtion.



Discography:
Från En Plats Du Ej Kan Se...(2003 - Studio)
The Sane Day ( 2005 - Studio)
Sleeping In Traffic Part 1 (2007)
Sleeping In Traffic Part 2 (2008)

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Destined SolitaireDestined Solitaire
Inside Out Music 2009
Audio CD$8.50
$6.62 (used)
Sleeping In Traffic: Part OneSleeping In Traffic: Part One
Inside Out / SPV 2007
Audio CD$9.49
$17.89 (used)
Sleeping In Traffic: Part TwoSleeping In Traffic: Part Two
Inside Out / SPV 2008
Audio CD$10.25
$13.25 (used)
MammothMammoth
Inside Out U.S. 2011
Audio CD$12.20
$5.41 (used)
VoidVoid
Inside Out U.S. 2012
Audio CD$10.39
$8.99 (used)
4626-Comfortzone4626-Comfortzone
Import
Imports 2015
Audio CD$24.99
Void: LimitedVoid: Limited
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2012
Audio CD$18.80
Mammoth: LimitedMammoth: Limited
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2011
Audio CD$27.43
$24.71 (used)
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BEARDFISH shows & tickets


  • Neal Morse + Beardfish at Boerderij, Zoetermeer on 6 Mar 2015
  • Neal Morse + Beardfish at Islington Assembly Hall, London on 7 Mar 2015
  • Neal Morse + Beardfish at Spirit of 66, Verviers on 8 Mar 2015
  • Neal Morse + Beardfish at Divan du Monde, Paris on 9 Mar 2015
  • Night of the Prog X on 17 Jul 2015

BEARDFISH discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

BEARDFISH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.61 | 117 ratings
Från En Plats Du Ej Kan Se
2003
4.00 | 185 ratings
The Sane Day
2006
4.06 | 354 ratings
Sleeping In Traffic: Part One
2007
4.20 | 529 ratings
Sleeping In Traffic: Part Two
2008
3.95 | 344 ratings
Destined Solitaire
2009
3.97 | 465 ratings
Mammoth
2011
3.87 | 318 ratings
The Void
2012
0.00 | 0 ratings
+4626 - Comfortzone
2015

BEARDFISH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

BEARDFISH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

BEARDFISH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

BEARDFISH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

BEARDFISH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Void by BEARDFISH album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.87 | 318 ratings

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The Void
Beardfish Eclectic Prog

Review by Moneypulated

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 probably the heaviest song the band has ever conceived so far but it does not necessary means this is a bad thing because it has enough details to make the whole thing still sound interesting enough and, luckily, there is anything going wrong here, nor even predictable!

"Turn To Gravel" is a perfect crossover of style between Tool, Black Sabbath or even Mastodon with its continuous changes in rhythm, it has mantric, dark and heavy guitar riffs characterizing the gloomy atmosphere which pervades the whole song.

"They Whisper" turns out to be much more on a canonical prog-oriented style but still has some heavy but interesting vocal contributions from Sjöblom, he really proves once again, as if it were needed, his huge talent!

"This Matter of Time", pays tribute once again to Mastodon. It has alternated moments between irrepressible energy and others of apparent tranquility that end up to confuse listeners quite enough, even the more attentive ones! This song virtually closes the first part of the album.

The second one starts with a more convincing instrumental track: "Seventeen Again" and suddenly the band here finds herself walking back on a more safe path, doing anything sound as If Gentle Giant were playing an unreleased Jam together with ELP, anything goes so nicely inspired! One of my favoirites.

The next song is, in my opinion, the pinnacle of the entire work: "Ludvig & Sverker" begins with a very effective call and response between bass and drums and a very nice sounding guitar arpeggio which briefly introduces the chorus theme, while the verses are characterized by delicate sounds of arpeggio guitars and dreamy vocal poetry. The deluxe version of the disc also contains the alternative piano version of the song that is perhaps even better than the electric one!

"He Already Lives In You" is another excellent song where the heavy guitar riffs and vocal parts sound both equally effective without never being constrained. I find quite some classical references to those seminal bands like Sabbath or even Deep Purple.

"Note" is the longest piece of music here and, obviously, the more articulated one which, though long-term, still managed to keep alive the interest of the most attentive listeners who will be surprised by countless special melodic and harmonic interesting details which will eventually enrich an authentic musical pinnacle.

"Where The Lights Are Low" is a kind of slow blues with echoes from the sixties to close this album, It is not bad at all but essentially it sounds a bit as a filler track!

In my humble opinion "The Void" appears to be a bit fragmented almost as if Beardfish have been afraid to dare too much this time, perhaps fearing the possibility of losing most of their Fans who are aways been loyal to their most genuine Prog-Rock oriented music inspired by the seventies. Perhaps this is the reason that prompted them to not go beyond a possible, dangerous point of no return. However it is up to them revealing us their future aims on the next record that certainly will clarify the thousand doubts that this work has definitely aroused in many of us, and a little in me too!

4 stars for the quality of music! 3 stars for the inconsistency of certain stylistic choices!

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 Mammoth by BEARDFISH album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.97 | 465 ratings

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Mammoth
Beardfish Eclectic Prog

Review by Moneypulated

4 stars Swedish musicians really seems to make Modern Prog-Music better than others do!

After listening to most of their music stuff I could not help but notice their incredible variety of different style adding any time something fresh and new, release after release. Their music backgroud is obviously quite the same as other well-known swedish bands like The Flower Kings for instance but, what it seems to be different in Beardfish, in my opinion, is their unique attitude and approach to the usual Prog music of the seventies: It is clearly evident the presence of those typical influences of bands here like Zappa, King Crimson, Genesis, Gentle Giant, Yes or even Jethro but that is only closely related to their sound than style and the music in"Mammoth" can easily demonstrate the concept that I meant before:

"The Platform": The song starts with an evocative double guitar arpeggios that soon introduces a more heavy & complex, but still dynamic, instrumental passages, It all sounds like King Crimson Meets Mastodon but when it comes the verses, the music, while remaining in the epic tone, suddenly becomes less harsh and surprisingly it reminds me a lot of the style of Big Country, even in the way of singing Rikard Sjöblom seems to be so close to Stewart Adamson's tone!

"And The Stone Said: If I Could Speak" : After a brief introduction with radio tuning effect, The piece starts with a very passionate guitar riff that might sound like King Crimson's "Starless Part Two" because it sounds like it was written by Mr. Fripp in person and forgotten in a drawer somewhere for years and years...Seriously, this is the longest Piece of Music and, probably, the best of the entire record...Evocative lyrics, Growling effect which suggests you how the rocks would speak to us. Great Keyboard solo but special mention goes to the bass player: Robert Hansen, He is always cool with its extreme rhythmic & melodic inventiveness.

"Tightrope": the song perhaps more relaxed of the entire work, it is full of pleasant moments with clear melodic folk influences in the Jethro Tull style.

"Green Waves" : This is in my opinion the second highlight of the disc, The sludge-metal influences a la Mastodon powerfully returns here, and it is much more evident in an exasperated , even if effective, vocal performance of the always good Sjöblom. There are plenty of instrumental parts with very good solos from both Zackrisson and Sjöblom and the dramatic chorus turn out to be the best part of the whole song!

"Outside/Inside" : a simple, but effective, piano intro to the next song.

"Akakabotu": The only instrumental piece on the album and...what a track!!!...The guest sax player literally shines here as like as all the other members of the band do!

"Without Saying Anything (Feat. Ventriloquist)" : With the last track, Beardfish are playing safely at home just going back to their classic style that characterized them in the previous albums and suddenly Zappa does it again peeping between the lines...the song is pleasant and more relaxed than before and the final section is my favourite one sounding epic and tragic at the same time.

In conclusion a work that confirms once again the incredible talent of these young musicians who are able to renew themeselves every time, while still remaining true to their greatest passion for classic Prog Music!

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 The Void by BEARDFISH album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.87 | 318 ratings

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The Void
Beardfish Eclectic Prog

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

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 Från En Plats Du Ej Kan Se by BEARDFISH album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.61 | 117 ratings

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Från En Plats Du Ej Kan Se
Beardfish Eclectic Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

5 stars The Swedish prog rock band "Beardfish" was formed in the year 2000 and "Från en plats du ej kan se" from 2003 was their debut record. I have listened to it several times now and have hard to let it go, it is so good and rich of great music. The musicians were Rikard Sjöblom (vocals, guitar and keyboards), David Zackrisson(guitar), Stefan Aronsson(keyboards, flute), Robert Hansen(bass) and Magnus Östgren(drums) and the cover has a picture taken from high up on a sky scraper, perhaps in New York or in another modern environment. These listenings were very interesting in many ways.

Three of the songs are sung in Swedish and that is fantastic. A band should sing in their mother's tongue. But also the songs with English lyrics are fantastic. Actually the whole record is so fantastic. "Från en plats du ej kan se" the title track, is a mixture of folk rock and intelligent progressiv rock with a lot of power, some parts are really heavy. The singer has a very unique voice and every instrument do their things. "Today" has a lovely sweaping melody and "Poison Ivy and the full monty" is truely symphonic and lovely. "Brother" is softer and very fine and "Spegeldans" is a very interesting track just as "Om en utväg fanns" with funny lyrics. "A psychic amplifier" has organs that very much reminds me of great prog of the seventies and that is a musical journey I recommend every proger to experience. Totally, the whole record has so much interesting features and I was early amazed and surprised that the band was so good so early in their career. I think I am right when I say that Beardfish is one of the very best prog bands in modern days. My favourite songs here are "Från en plats du ej kan se", "Today", "Poison ivy and full monty" and "A Psychic Amplifier".

Beardfish makes modern progressiv music with a unique style even though it appeals to me, a listener who prefer the seventies' prog before modern versions. This is a beautiful record I recommend warmly!

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 Sleeping In Traffic: Part One by BEARDFISH album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.06 | 354 ratings

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Sleeping In Traffic: Part One
Beardfish Eclectic Prog

Review by Progrussia

4 stars I meant to make review of Sleeping in Traffic Prt 2 to encompass the entire story, but since Part 1 is nominally a separate entry... What I like about Beardfish is they don't just copy the usual British suspects - Genesis, Pink Floyd, Gentle Giant, - but base their music also on more traditional sources - American (bluesy hard rock, soul, country) and European (use of accordion, waltz- and tango-like melodies). I've said that Beardfish for prog is not complicated, a pleasant and accessible band (maybe not on first, but easily on second or third listens). While that is true, their guitars may sound surprisingly dirty and bass - pulsating. Keyboards are vintage-sounding.

Beardfish is classified here as eclectic prog. Compared to part 2, the "day" part of Sleeping in Traffic is more eclectic than prog. For listeners reaction to go from "hey, that's cool" to "wow" factor, it needs to have the Part 2. For that reason, I'll rate Part 1 slightly lower - but only slightly.

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 Destined Solitaire by BEARDFISH album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.95 | 344 ratings

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Destined Solitaire
Beardfish Eclectic Prog

Review by Progrussia

4 stars It must have been a lot of pressure for eclectic retro-rockers Beardfish to follow-up to the critically successful Sleeping in Traffic saga. That they managed to come up with nearly 80 minutes of music only a year after is proof of melodic talents. Whereas Traffic was musically centered on hard rock, blues, funk, fusion and everything in between (tango, accordion), Destined Solitaire is at the same time heavier and more instrumentally challenging (title track, Awaken the Sleeping), and has a more relaxed, bar lounge-y vibe (most other songs).

In hindsight, however, Beardfish would have been better served by refining their songs a bit more. In an industry with often many years between albums, who would have blamed them? All songs have interesting ideas, but some parts wouldn't pass quality control. There is a line between quirky, surprising inserts in songs and them being plain annoying.

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 The Sane Day by BEARDFISH album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.00 | 185 ratings

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The Sane Day
Beardfish Eclectic Prog

Review by Progrussia

3 stars Impressive for a band so young (age-wise, too) to make their second record already a double album. Since, I believe, that their songwriting craft was not yet fully honed, there is a lot of filler. But it's basically anything goes approach for Beardfish who clearly wanted to put to use the many ideas popping up in their young minds. About half of songs can be described as pleasant psychedelic pop-rock, with bluesy influences, sense of humor and a keen knowledge of provincial American pop culture (learned probably thru Frank Zappa). Production here is clear and bright, but on later albums would get significantly grittier. The second disk unexpectedly ends with a series of quite progressive instrumental or almost-instrumentals. The band said King Crimson was a big influence, but I see here the Crimsons' more lighter side.

This record clearly shows a band with great potential, which they realized later on, but still I can't overlook the amount of filler here.

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 Sleeping In Traffic: Part Two by BEARDFISH album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.20 | 529 ratings

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Sleeping In Traffic: Part Two
Beardfish Eclectic Prog

Review by Progrussia

5 stars I've always thought of Beardfish as a primarily retro band, creating its quirky yet accessible prog from popular, rather than obscure, ingredients of the 70s. Of their albums, Sleeping in Traffic has the most 70s vibe to me. Two albums released a year apart, but basically a double concept CD, it has surprisingly little filler for a modern-era double album, with the second part being even better in that regard. Most songs are multi-part, and each part has a memorable foundation to it, be it hard-rocking boogie, blues, soul, funk, fusion, a bass/keyboard dominating melody, an intricate guitar duet, whiny alternative rock or even accordion and tango. The most-talked about song is naturally the 35-minute eponymous epic. It is surprisingly consistent for such a long song, but has a curious structure - after a scorching deep bass-Eastern-metal-tango book-end the song is very slow for the first 15 minutes, and for the next ten it is basically a non-stop romp, before returning to the original unsettling melody. In short, if you can afford to have only one Beardfish disk, all are good, but if you must, get Sleeping in Traffic part 2. Disregard the frontman Rikard Sjoblom saying that its more difficult to get into. Just give it a few spins, and it will fall into place.

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 The Void by BEARDFISH album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.87 | 318 ratings

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The Void
Beardfish Eclectic Prog

Review by Progrussia

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 several stabs at a sort of gritty proto-metal riffs. Problem is, while in Solitaire the metal was a send-up, and in the Stone it was appropriate to the segment, in the Void it comes across as strained and forced, although the riffs themselves are not half bad. The reaction is more of raised eyebrows rather than head-banging. It overstays the welcome. To me, their best stab at heaviness remains the metal/tango intro to Sleeping in Traffic.

Another half of this album is Beardfish at their usual pleasant self - a jazzy instrumental, a sad pop-rocker, an epic full of glorious melodies and vocals (the album also ends on an unexcepted but cool note with unrecognizable lo-fi country-blues). The problem is, however, that even those songs are prone to being somewhat repetitious (Seventeen Again and Ludvig and Sverker could have both be shaven by two minutes easily).

Well, kudos to Beardfish for trying on, with occasional success, new approaches, but to me The Void is their typically interesting, but least compelling album.

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 Mammoth by BEARDFISH album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.97 | 465 ratings

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Mammoth
Beardfish Eclectic Prog

Review by Progrussia

5 stars Beardfish can be described as often quirky, retro eclectic prog band, with ingredients of pop, heavy, psychedelic, jazz, soul, traditional music and plain old boogie. Lately they have habit of introducing dark metal elements, but still do it in a decidedly unmodern way, sounding most inspired by Black Sabbath. Like fellow Swedes Flower Kings, Moon Safari and others, Beardfish are prone to gigantomania. Mammoth is their most compact album, six proper songs, diverse ones, and with as little filler as possible, is my favorite. Two heavy tunes, a bombastic epic, an ethnic jazzy/heavy instrumental, a foray into a sort of psychedelic disco, and, to conclude, a sing-a-long-fest with a surprisingly somber ending.

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