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Eclectic Prog • Sweden

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Beardfish biography
Formed in 2001 in Gävle, Sweden - Disbanded in 2016

Beardfish were formed 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 recommended.

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The VoidThe Void
Inside Out Music 2012
Audio CD$32.57
Sleeping in Traffic: Part TwoSleeping in Traffic: Part Two
Imports 2009
Audio CD$41.64
Sleeping in Traffic: Part OneSleeping in Traffic: Part One
Imports 2009
Audio CD$15.40
$15.39 (used)
Destined SolitaireDestined Solitaire
Inside Out Music 2012
Audio CD$11.65
$7.98 (used)
Imports 2015
Audio CD$14.95
$6.97 (used)
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BEARDFISH discography

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

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

3.60 | 162 ratings
Från En Plats Du Ej Kan Se
3.99 | 245 ratings
The Sane Day
4.05 | 456 ratings
Sleeping In Traffic - Part One
4.19 | 658 ratings
Sleeping In Traffic - Part Two
3.97 | 416 ratings
Destined Solitaire
3.97 | 567 ratings
3.85 | 392 ratings
The Void
3.96 | 426 ratings
+4626 - Comfortzone

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)

4.67 | 6 ratings
Original Album Collection

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


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Void by BEARDFISH album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.85 | 392 ratings

The Void
Beardfish Eclectic Prog

Review by Pastmaster

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 progressive rock bands going progressive metal, and instead blends eclectic rock with sludgy grunge/stoner/doom metal. For someone like me, who doesn't really care for much progressive metal apart from the classic bands, this comes as a welcome change of pace.

This is an eclectic and long album, so one thing that albums like this can suffer from is inconsistency, but Beardfish keeps things pretty steady for the most part. The opening two tracks as well as "This Matter of Mine" are definitely the heaviest songs and the best. Both the opening songs are like a mix of a Kyuss/Alice in Chains-type sound blended with progressive rock. "This Matter of Mine" has some pretty killer basslines and brings to mind a heavier Deep Purple at times. "He Already Lives in You" has a bit of this Deep Purple vibe as well, especially with the vocals and organ. Most of the other songs all have a range of eclectic progressive rock and a smorgasbord of softer passages, hard rockin' moments, spacey parts, and metallic dirges.

Rikard Sjöblom's vocals's are quite varied, but I notice that at times he reminds me of Deep Purple's Ian Gillan especially in "Voluntary Slavery". In the same song, one of the most memorable vocal lines is easily Sjöblom's deep low delivery of "Do you believe, in alchemy?" There is also some Gentle Giant influence in the form of group vocal lines and acapellas, this is heard in the songs "Turn to Gravel" and the nearly 16-minute suite "Note".

The Void is an oddity in Beardfish's discography. This is the only one I've heard but it seems that this is the only album with really noticeable metal elements. Not all of the songs are metallic, but for metal fans that want to hear a different take on metal mixed with progressive rock, this is certainly a good choice. Some of the songs are pretty forgettable, but the great songs certainly make up for those.

Written on MMA (MetalMusicArchives) See review here:

 +4626 - Comfortzone by BEARDFISH album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.96 | 426 ratings

+4626 - Comfortzone
Beardfish Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars They originally were just going to call this "Comfortzone" but they thought they'd make it a little more personal by putting the area code of their home town in Norway in front of it(+4626). This is a concept album about the negativity of being comfortable. One of the band members said that Comfortzone is that invisible protective suit of negative thinking. So it can be in relation to staying in your home town your whole life, or staying in that relationship or job that just isn't good for you but it's comfortable so you stay in it. The surreal cover art depicts someone who lives on a lonely planet with Earth off in the distance.

They've certainly scaled back the heaviness that was strong on the previous album("The Void"). It is quite a wordy album so it's taken some time to grow on me, and there are some rather vanilla parts. Still these guys have created another solid album even if it is right now my least favourite of the seven studio albums that I own by them(I don't have the debut). There are so many beautiful melodies on here and the lyrics are always a strong point(love the sarcasm and humour) with this band. And this is still growing on me so who knows where it will end up as far as my favs go by them.

"The One Inside Part 1: Noise In The Background" is a short intro track of less than 2 minutes in length. I like how this sets the album up with the spoken words, and the strings are a nice touch. "Hold On" has such a great sound to it to start with the guitar and bass especially. Vocals before 1 1/2 minutes with intricate guitar and a beat standing out. This is a catchy track with some uplifting sections.

"Comfort Zone" opens with atmosphere as the guitar, a beat, mellotron and more takes over. I really like this. The guitar work reminds me of Randy Bachman at times. Vocals, keys and a calm 2 1/2 minutes in. After he sings "Death walks behind you" we get an uplifting instrumental section. Vocals are back quickly though. The vocals are more passionate 5 1/2 minutes in, and then that Bachman-like guitar is back before 7 minutes. Check out the prominent bass as well. Nice. "Can You See Me Now" is a catchy and upbeat song with clever lyrics. "King" is one of my favourites. I like how heavy it is and the humour too. It's pretty intense 4 minutes in and it ends with spoken words and some killer guitar. "The One Inside Part 2: My Companion Through Life" features picked guitar and some really beautiful melodies as the vocals join in.

"Daughter/ Whore" is a barn-burner with some massive opening bass lines. Passionate vocals here as well and check out the guitar solo after 3 minutes in the incredible instrumental section that follows. I like how the vocal melodies cry out here too. The vocals are back before 5 minutes. "If We Must Be Apart(A Love Story Continued)" sounds amazing once it settles in. We even get some clapping. Too much fun here. After 3 minutes it sounds like a stadium full of people. It's so catchy a minute later, just a great tune.

"Ode To The Rock 'N' Roller" is the longest song by far at 15 1/2 minutes. Organ, bass and a beat start us off and this all sounds so good after 1 1/2 minutes. Man that bass is crunchy. It settles with picked guitar and vocals only before 3 minutes then the organ and drums join in. It's heavier after 5 minutes before settling back and it's so uplifting 7 minutes in. I like the section beginning before 11 minutes with pulsating keys, drums and vocals. A calm with organ follows then it kicks into gear again. The last 1 1/2 minutes are mellow. "The One Inside Part 3: Relief" is the laid back closer that has a feel good vibe to it.

I think it's kind of ironic that the music of BEARDFISH is comfort music for me. I think what they are trying to say is that I should move on to music that takes me out of my comfort zone(haha). A really nice album, in fact these Swedes have carved out a very good career for themselves and I for one want to thank them for all the great music.

 The Void by BEARDFISH album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.85 | 392 ratings

The Void
Beardfish Eclectic Prog

Review by Quizzus

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 four songs (Voluntary Slavery, Turn To Gravel, They Whisper, This Matter Of Mine) are the proof of it - riffs are annoying, music is viscous in a wrong way, everything falls apart, it is not really heavy, it is not memorable, apart of growls, but the growls does not work at all as well.

The second part of album is much better, and at last sounds like Beradfish - Ludvig & Sverker is very fine song, Void is enjoyable.

I consider this album to be a band experiment that mostly went wrong and next CD is much better!

 +4626 - Comfortzone by BEARDFISH album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.96 | 426 ratings

+4626 - Comfortzone
Beardfish Eclectic Prog

Review by CrimsonWolf

4 stars As a Beardfish and longtime prog fan, this is one of those neat albums that grabs you all along and grow with every listen even more and more. This is for me their second best! so much good prog in it!

For me, I think these guys gives us a good modern era prog that a lot of band labeled as "prog" don't gives us anymore, THIS IS A GOOD ALBUM GUYS, a very good one that will keep along the history of prog of our era.

The good things this album have is the major and varied influences that it has. In the title track you can encounter a mix of old prog and modern stuff influence on it. Example: I can hear DT's Octavarium on that intro, inspired initially in Pink Floyd sound, I can even hear Spock's Beard's Snow references in there too, Gentle Giant and even more modern acts like "Minus The Bear" things in there, that they shine with the guitar production in their records, and I think Beardfish took and liked that approach.

However, throughout the whole album you can pick point a lot of proggy references, and of course unique passages and sections unique and signature of the band. Totally recommend this album, the good thing is that without fear I can recommend it to lot of people that are not specially "proghead" like me.

 Sleeping In Traffic - Part One by BEARDFISH album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.05 | 456 ratings

Sleeping In Traffic - Part One
Beardfish Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars ''The sane day'' was over and ''Sleeping in traffic pt.1'' was the new work in progress for Beardfish.No time lost, they entered the studio immediately after the second album and by the summer of 2006 most of the work was complete.It was the same time, when they received an invitation to play at the ProgDay festival in Chapel Hill, so they did and upon their return they added a last cut to the tracklist.Some labels show significant interest in singing the band, eventually Inside Out was the one to welcome them in its roster and the third work of the band was released in May 2007.

You should pretty much forget about a band trying to perform along the lines of SPOCK'S BEARD, the only remainings from their similarities with the Americans were some quirky but a bit sloppy Pop sensibilities.The brand new Beardfish is more an affair between ethereal vocal Psych/Art Rock and dramatic, complex Heavy Prog with punchy guitars and keyboards, now they were definitely closer to compatriots ANEKDOTEN than SPOCK'S BEARD due to the heavy bass lines and syncopated rhythms, but do not expect some dominant Mellotron or dark musicianship, Beardfish'es music always bursts a romantic attitude despite the attacking instrumental parts and the complicated textures.The softer parts remind me of the old Canterbury scene and the first few steps of CARAVAN and THE SOFT MACHINE to a lesser extent, warm electric piano, poppy tunes, omnipresent Hammond organ and a bit of synths with tempo variations and sweet vocal arrangements.The more powerful moments have something from the music of KING CRIMSON and GENTLE GIANT, impressive instrumental interactions, jazzy overtones, heavier moments and tricky twists and turns with both analog and modern keyboard lines.In case you wonder where the GENESIS and YES' aspirations have gone, I guess you can still find some snippets of light symphonic tunes and more melodious themes in the album, but mostly as an exception to the rule, which is now revisiting complex 70's Prog and Canterbury Psychedelia under a modern wagon.

Satisfying album from the start to the very end.After listening to it several times I found it incredibly well-composed, still a certain feel of a masterpiece work was missing.Anyway, a very eclectic progressive album, I can't see anyone not finding something to like in here.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

 +4626 - Comfortzone by BEARDFISH album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.96 | 426 ratings

+4626 - Comfortzone
Beardfish Eclectic Prog

Review by javajeff

5 stars For a group that has a catalog of great albums, this may be their best. This journey just flows from start to finish, and I have not stopped listening to it since the release. I am a Beardfish fan, and I love everything they have ever done. With that being said, this album is a masterpiece. If you did not like the heavier Void album, this album is a trip back to their roots. I love the entire album start to finish, but if I had to pick stand out tracks, this would be my choice: Hold On, Comfort Zone, Ode to the Rock 'N' Roller, and The One Inside Part 3: Relief. If you only pick up one album this year, you cannot go wrong with +4626 - Comfortzone. It is stellar!
 +4626 - Comfortzone by BEARDFISH album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.96 | 426 ratings

+4626 - Comfortzone
Beardfish Eclectic Prog

Review by Progrussia

3 stars What I've always liked about Beardfish is that they often forgo the symphonic overkill in favor of good old (but long and sometimes loud) soul-infused rock'n'roll. A basic sound - two guitars, bass, drums and a moog or an organ joining here and there. All crystally clear and audible in the mix, which I much prefer to a wall of sound.

Beardfish have always been crowd-pleasers, and while there is much here to sing along to (The One Inside main theme, the monstrously groovy sections of Hold and Love Story), the songs are often quite tricky, changing and jam-like.

And it's sad and angry Beardfish. No erstwhile polkas and jazzes in the Comfort Zone. Just a trace of the familiar beardfishy quirkiness on Ode to the Rock'n'Roller. A part of me misses the old quirky Beardfish.

 +4626 - Comfortzone by BEARDFISH album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.96 | 426 ratings

+4626 - Comfortzone
Beardfish Eclectic Prog

Review by AdaCalegorn

3 stars +4626-Comfortzone

I've been a Beardfish fanboy since I've meet them on 2007. Through all this time the communion and understanding of the records and styles have been a happy relationship of great magical records (some more than others). But this one is just O.K.

Don't misunderstand me, is an actual really good job, conceptually is even better than the later 'The Void'; is just that there's a lack of magic. The sound is more young-adult oriented, which made the cohesion a little bit harder to receive.

True, there are wonderful moments since the very beginning with a symphonic introduction of the album concept, followed by a brighter and Yes-esque 'Hold On' ―even the name―. The main piece has too many non-prog elements; the voice has at times a softer tune, still, surprisingly, works very nice, balancing modern colors with the actual progressive harmony all over the road. 'Can You See Me Now?' along with 'King' are the real slackers here. The first one is pretty slow and plain while the later, if a little more vibrant is still plain.

Then the second part, sort-of-interlude, of 'The One Inside' revives atmosphere with a magnificent acoustic guitar in an almost mid-west folk style, working as a continuity as a separation among sections. Remaining onto the harsh mood, there is nice blend in 'Daughter/Whore' some kind a filler, but a good filler after all.

Epicness have to be named 'If We Must Be Apart (A Love Story Continued)' and here is what elevates the whole album; a strong, melodic, haunting, complex piece, historically related to their second record and their magical opening song in this. There are moods variations and an introspective tune atmosphere running through the entire song. Here again got also a mix of influences, past and present (maybe future) whisked together, and among those influence are themselves for once, even though the 'first part' of Love Story is not musically related ―in this area their connection is more related to Sleeping in the Traffic― we find that the story is, and the line of the characters in such story going a little while after the remaining point into their own consequential struggles. The climatic conclusion is much more calm and conclusive than the chaotic predecessor as in a self-indulgent closure.

'Ode to the Rock'n Roller' is another not-so-fit song. Again, don't misunderstand me, it is pretty good, melancholic, vibrant, jolly song and actually every piece works pretty good apart, is the blending what doesn't feel entirely right, that's a big problem when you talk about concept album. The track is here, its sounds fantastically, feels good and everything but somehow doesn't work entirely. The closer track, third part of 'The One Inside', announces a farewell in a dramatic yet charismatic tune, a clear bound among listeners through the album and the band. We gratefully has reached the end of the trip and not everything has been great, as most journeys come to be, but in the end the lot became a really nice experience you could repeat any other time.

Still not the best work of the band, is a merry reminder that thy comfort zone is not necessarily a bad thing, in fact could be a really good thing.

 +4626 - Comfortzone by BEARDFISH album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.96 | 426 ratings

+4626 - Comfortzone
Beardfish Eclectic Prog

Review by infernalfrog

5 stars Hello progheads! It's my first review here on progarchives, so i hope it don't suck ;) +4626-Comfortzone was the first album that i have the pleasure to listen from this amazing band, so, my review will be made only based in this album, whitout influences from their previous releases.

Amazing, is the only word i have to describe it, it's a great album, with such amazing tracks like "Hold On" (the first track i've listened of them" the magnificent epic "If We Must Be Apart (A Love Story Continued)" and "Ode To The Rock 'n' Roller" with references of previous tracks and a litle critic to the scumbags close-mindeds rock music fans. The soft "The One Inside, Part Two - My Companion Through Life" is another of the highlights here. The album is a great combination of classic Ecletic Prog bands like Gentle Giant (and a bit of Zappa influences) with some heavy tracks like "King" and the great "Daughter/Whore". But what really amazes me is the harmony between the instruments, everything is clear and placed exactly where it should be. It's basic, just guitar, bass, drums and a keyboard here and there, but together it works really well. Congratulations to the band, probably one of the highlights of this year.

9,5/10 4,75/5

**I'm a non-english speaker, so i'm really sorry for eventual mistakes of spellig and coherence.

 The Void by BEARDFISH album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.85 | 392 ratings

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!

Thanks to micky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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