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DYNAMO BLISS

Crossover Prog • Sweden


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Dynamo Bliss biography
Swedish band DYNAMO BLISS was formed in UME┼, Sweden by Mikael Sandstr÷m (vocals, guitars, bass), Stefan Olofsson (vocals, keyboards, bass) and Peter Olofsson (drums, percussion) in 2005. Their aim with this band have been to create music influenced by artists such as The Beatles, Pink Floyd and ELO, with the long, cold winter days of Umeň as an additional source of inspiration.

So far this Swedish act have issued one album, 2010's 21st Century Junk. They have chosen not to pursue any commercial avenues with this creation, and those curious about this production can download the entire album from their homepage free of charge.

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21st Century Junk21st Century Junk
CD Baby
Audio CD$8.76
$14.77 (used)
Day & NightDay & Night
CD Baby 2013
Audio CD$7.53
Poplar MusicPoplar Music
CD Baby 2013
Audio CD$14.37

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DYNAMO BLISS discography


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

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

3.34 | 16 ratings
21st Century Junk
2010
3.37 | 14 ratings
Poplar Music
2013
3.77 | 50 ratings
Day And Night
2013

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

DYNAMO BLISS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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

3.00 | 1 ratings
Dangerous Bacon
2009
3.80 | 5 ratings
Circadian Rhythm
2011
4.00 | 1 ratings
Eagle Has Landed
2014

DYNAMO BLISS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 21st Century Junk by DYNAMO BLISS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.34 | 16 ratings

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21st Century Junk
Dynamo Bliss Crossover Prog

Review by maani
Special Collaborator Founding Moderator

3 stars When I first heard this album, it "bothered" me (a lot) because I couldn't decide whether to review it based on "what it was" or "what it might have been." So I waited until I could secure the actual CD before reviewing it. I don't know whether the other reviewers did this, but I'm glad I did, because the actual CD is SO much better than all of the various computer downloads, etc., even on a high- tech computer, with headphones. (And this album should DEFINITELY be listened to with headphones!)

I was impressed by this album even prior to securing the CD, and am even more impressed now. Still, I need to provide two different ratings: the 3-star rating I am giving it vis-Ó-vis the entirety of prog, and a 4.5-star rating for effort, creativity and "potential."

Thus far, all the reviews have noted the obvious (and often admitted) influences: The Beatles, 10CC, ELO, a touch of Floyd, etc. However, the reason the album "spoke" to me in a way that very few albums ever have is that it reminds me more of Klaatu than any band I have ever heard: indeed, this is what Klaatu might have sounded like in its earliest years (as a "garage" band? LOL). After all, Klaatu admits as its three greatest influences The Beatles, 10CC and ELO (with a touch of Tchaikovsky). And they, too, have touches of Floyd (and others). So the comparison with Klaatu is perhaps even more apt than the comparison with the mutual influences on both groups.

In this regard, what the CD brought out much better than any download was the "production" - which is FAR more "present" on the CD (particularly with headphones) than anywhere else, and was the aspect of the album that most bothered me prior to hearing the CD.

Missing from the track list on this page are the short "bookend" songs that appear on the CD, but not on most downloads - "Junk Intro" and "Junk Outro" - both of which are critical to the "whole" of the album, since the first one "sets up" the basics, and the second creates a wonderful "coda."

When you add the two bookends, you find that the album is presented as something of a quasi- concept album (even if the lyrics do not reflect that) in the sense that almost all the songs are connected by segues of either music or sound effects. That said, the first half of the album (Fear of Clouds, Closer to the Heart, No Sense In It, Thin Air) is far more "successful" than the second (Bird of Passage, Mausoleum, White Cherry Hill), which is more "commercially" "song"-y. (Had the entire album been like the first half, my review would be at least four stars.)

Without doing a song-by-song review (since the other reviewers have done quite well in that regard), the music is wonderfully creative in the vein of the influences represented, the arrangements are excellent, and the vocal harmonies (!) are nothing short of superb. As well, having now heard the "production" in its proper state, I am actually very impressed, since it is the production and "atmospheres" on Klaatu's albums that truly "cement" their greatness within the canon. And while Dynamo Bliss doesn't rise nearly to the level of Klaatu in this regard (indeed, few groups do!), this is why my "real" rating also reflects "potential": Dynamo Bliss is definitely on the right track re production/atmosphere, and if they improve, it will increase their excellence even more.

The only weak element here is the lyrics, which are utilitarian (and sometimes pseudo-esoteric) at best, and pedestrian at worst. Still, they are "fine" enough to make the album quite enjoyable.

Now that I own the CDs of all three of their full-length albums, I will listen to (and hopefully review) the other two as well. In the meantime, I am simply so pleased to hear ANYONE coming as close to Klaatu as they do, since (as you can tell by my avatar) Klaatu is among my favorite bands ever, even though they only put out three-and-a-half (masterpiece) albums (the 4th being "required by contract," and thus expectedly worse than the others).

All in all, if you like Klaatu - or any of their influences (Beatles, 10CC, ELO, Floyd, etc.) - you cannot go wrong with at least one complete listen to this album. It really is a joy, and great fun to listen to.

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 Day And Night by DYNAMO BLISS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.77 | 50 ratings

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Day And Night
Dynamo Bliss Crossover Prog

Review by Dr÷mmarenAdrian

4 stars Yesterday and today I have listened to this year's record "Day and night" by the Swedish art rock band Dynamo Bliss. The record is the band's third one. The first came 2010 and the second earlier this year. This band certainly plays in the prog rock tradition even if it is not actually progressive. The musicians are Mikael Sandstr÷m (guitars, banjo, accordion and pedal steel), Stefan Olofsson(vocals, keyboards, zither, guitar, bass, percussion) and Peter Olofsson(drums) and the band comes from Umeň in northern Sweden.

Day and Night is a very cheerful work that pleases my ears a lot. I don't find any of that modern too heavy sound in this, on the contrary this music is soft and cool. It feels that their music is a mixture of 10cc's jolly melodies and vocal harmonies: intriguing and happy, and Pink Floyd's atmospheric background with a light melancholic guitar. Those two sides of Dynamo Bliss music is perhaps a part of the album's name: day and night and the cover shows a silhouette of a tree with both a blue and a orange background. The band name is designed to look a bit "Russian" and I find it attractive.

The music is inspiring and as a fan of both 10cc and Pink Floyd I of course like it. The really interesting features is the long tracks. "Circadian Rhytm" is best with its lovely melody and great vocals and enough of both darkness and light to get me into it. "Solemn undulating wave" is almost as good as that track and I also like the catchy "The day the empire fell" with a main line that I'll remember. "Night Storm" is totally different: here they have taken inspiration from jazz music and made an instrumental soundscape of good quality. I don't think the short songs are so interesting but they are nice to listen to. Some of them are great instrumental works for just acoustic guitar and of course we need stuff like that. My main interesting though lies in the long(real) songs.

I find this music so enjoying that I will give it four stars. Also, I do not doubt to say that this is the best Swedish "prog" album of 2013, until now.

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 Day And Night by DYNAMO BLISS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.77 | 50 ratings

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Day And Night
Dynamo Bliss Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars If ever there was a band that defined the sub-genre 'Crossover prog' then it this Swedish trio, who mix pop and prog in equal measures to create something that is beautiful, exciting, enthralling and engaging in equal measures. There is a really clean sound to this as it brings together music in a way quite similar to that of their artwork. If you want to listen to this as a progressive rock album then there are plenty of layers and intricacies to discover, but if you want to just view this as beautifully crafted melodic power pop then there are plenty of hooks. To me this brings together the very best of the Seventies and Eighties but updates the sound for today. Some reference bands would be 10CC ('Deceptive Bends' era), City Boy and ELO with Styx and even Jean Michel Jarre also making an appearance.

This really is an album that is totally accessible and enjoyable the very first time it is played, and from there on in it just keeps getting better. There are times when spacey keyboards take centre stage, but at others it is the bass, or acoustic guitar, or lush vocals, or, well you get the idea. It is fresh, it is fun, it is a bloody fine album. Available from Bandcamp as a digital download (name your price), or a CD can also be ordered instead, www.dynamobliss.com

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 Poplar Music by DYNAMO BLISS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.37 | 14 ratings

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Poplar Music
Dynamo Bliss Crossover Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team

3 stars If you have read my previous review of the Swedish band Dynamo Bliss (HERE - progarchives.com/Review.asp?id=1028664) you'll understand a bit more what I think of the Progressive Pop that the band plays. But in resume: I really like it! In 2013 the band worked really hard and released two albums with new material, this one called Poplar Music (2013) and Day And Night (2013), as I mentioned, already reviewed.

Poplar Music (2013) doesn't change much from Day And Night (2013), which is obvious when you think they basically recorded both albums together. But that's a good thing! Their explicit influence of Electric Light Orchestra and The Alan Parsons Project (just to name a few) are still here.

After a short (really short) intro we can hear the first chords of 'Can You Hear The Sound' and its upbeat tempo. But it's on the ELO influenced track 'And Forever' that we can see Dynamo Bliss shining. An amazing song with steel guitars and a damn catchy chorus for you to sing along.

After a weaker track ('Over The Rolling Hills') we have another great upbeat ELO kind of track called 'Blue Halos'. 'Savage Minds', the following track, has a melody that reminds me of Utopia around the RA (1977) period. The Progressive Pop of Dynamo Bliss follows up at full power in the track 'Panic In Their Eyes'.

By now one will realize that Poplar Music (2013) is more Electric Light Orchestra influenced than Day And Night (2013). This means that the album is a bit less experimental and much more Pop oriented.

Besides the wonderful keyboard solo on 'Running Out Of Mind' this track lacks something to make it sparkle, and the weird ending is completely disconnected with the rest of the song. 'Been Ostracized' follows the same pattern but this time with some clever interludes that use different time signatures all along the piece. The final son on Poplar Music (2013) is 'In The Country' and it comes with the banjo as an extra. It is a song with melancholic mood and a great chorus and a fitting ending to the album.

I must confess that even if Poplar Music (2013) is a strong album which will please any fan of Soft Prog band like Electric Light Orchestra, The Alan Parsons Project, Utopia, 10cc and Ambrosia, I think it's a weaker album that their next effort Day And Night (2013).

But don't get me wrong here, the Swedish trio Dynamo Bliss is going towards great things, and I'm pretty sure their next albums will prove me right. It's just that this album doesn't really shine that much.

Anyway, Poplar Music (2013) is another album that you should definitely listen at least once and enjoy many times if you like it!

(Originally posted on progshine.net)

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 Day And Night by DYNAMO BLISS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.77 | 50 ratings

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Day And Night
Dynamo Bliss Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Swedish band DYNAMO BLISS was formed in 2005, and would spend the following five eyars honing their craft prior to releasing their debut album "21st Century Junk". A single followed in 2011, and then in 2013 they returned with not one but two full length studio efforts. "Day and Night" is the most recent of these, and as has been the case with all albums by this band so far it was self released in digital format.

When looking up information about this band and their stated influences, the music on this production makes perfect sense. We're taken on a trip back in time, with the late 1970's as a more or less defined target, and to the accessible parts of progressive rock as they sounded back then. A breed of music I often refer to as art pop myself, which features bands like Supertramp, ELO, Ambrosia and Alan Parsons Project. To name but a few. The songs are melodic and easy on the ears and the mind, sporting fairly dominant lead vocals of a controlled variety, strong and distinct grooves from the instruments, often with an overall positive and jubilant mood.

Dynamo Bliss doesn't stick to a mere formula album however. Six of the eleven compositions on "Day and Night" are atmospheric instrumentals with cinematic qualities, and the effective one-two combo of Morning on Mars / Another Sundown and the same relation between High Noon / Dusk is a nice little detail in itself. That two of the other songs are instrumental as well leaves us with a mere 18 minutes of music more or less sticking to the more predictable art pop territories, of which the extremely catchy The Day the Empire Fell is the one making most of an impression with it's bounce, playful keyboard textures and compact, subtle plucked guitar motif.

The other two songs featuring vocals have more of an emphasis on piano and keyboards driven escapades. The latter of these, Circadian Rhythm, is fairly eccentric in scope as well, a more demanding instance of the art pop song but still maintaining accessible arrangements throughout.

Those with a taste for more challenging fare does get their fill too. Epic length instrumental Night Storm has a neat development, alternating between richly layered melodic sequences and sparsely arranged inserts, the later breaking down and hitting more of a jazz-oriented expression, then briefly switching roles as the richly layered passages are given the jazz-oriented break for a couple of minutes and then switching back again. Still melodic and accessible throughout, but with a subtle but noticeable avant-garde twist if you like.

Accessible, melodic progressive rock of the playful variety with half a foot inside mainstream pop/rock is the foundation Dynamo Bliss operate from on "Day and Night". With detours into good quality atmospheric fills that tell their own little, instrumental story, and with variations of a somewhat more challenging kind flavoring some of the songs. First and foremost a production that caters to those who love bands such as the ones mentioned initially, but with some nice details that should find favor also among those with a taste for music of a somewhat more challenging nature.

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 Day And Night by DYNAMO BLISS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.77 | 50 ratings

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Day And Night
Dynamo Bliss Crossover Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team

4 stars Progressive Pop, or as I like to call it, Soft Prog, is a sub-genre that is very often overlooked, since the main goal of bands that play this kind of Prog is pretty much combining the sophistication of Prog Rock and accessible melodies of Pop music. Bands like The Alan Parsons Project, 10cc, Electric Light Orchestra and Ambrosia are the main names of this sub-genre. So far this kind of Prog was pretty much dead but not anymore. A Swedish band Dynamo Bliss decided to walk through this path once again.

Dynamo Bliss is quite a new band, a trio formed in 2005. Stefan Olofsson (vocals, keyboards, zither, guitar, bass and percussion), Mikael Sandstr'm (electric and acoustic guitars, banjo, accordion and pedal steel) and Peter Olofsson (drums) have been working hard this last year cause Day And Night (2013) is their third album already, and their latest two albums have been released this year. Poplar Music (2013) in February and Day And Night (2013) in May. Day And Night (2013) has a concept behind it. The album explores the events of a unusual day and night cycle. The CD-R comes in a jewel case with very nice artwork, but unfortunately, no lyrics for the listener to try to follow the concept.

The album begins with a short intro called 'Morning On Mars' and it's followed by 'The Day The Empire Fell', a pattern that will be repeated through the whole album. Space intro plus full track. 'The Day The Empire Fell' impress as soon it starts. It's been quite some time since some band tried to emulate the Soft Prog sound of late 70's and 80's but Dynamo Bliss did it. They were able to mix The Alan Parsons Project and Ambrosia (two bands I love) without being too much of a copy. The track is a delicious Soft Prog with a catchy melody and good playing. Dynamo Bliss is a trio but their sound is full due to the clever overdubs.

'High Noon' is another intro full of atmospheric keyboards that build the path to 'Solemn Undulating Wave'. This one is an upbeat song with great instrumental interludes. It goes a bit slower when the vocals start but the band was able to kept the high quality through the song with some great melodies. And you must love the synth solo on the track. 'Dusk' follows as yet another atmospheric interlude that prepares the terrain for 'Circadian Rhythm'. Then synths take over the music in a kind of Space travel. And as the keyboards and acoustic guitars scream 'The Alan Parsons Project', the guitar solo is clearly saying 'Pink Floyd Gilmour era'. 'Circadian Rhythm' is a great example of well written Soft Prog but this time with loads of melancholic melodies and a very well used accordion.

Then comes 'Another Sundown' as another intro and 'Evenfall' with a pulsating bass line and some lovely keyboards. Then we complete this weird trio of tracks with another short one called 'Vespertine' which is pretty much a solo acoustic guitar piece. 'Vespertine' leads us directly to the longest track in Day And Night (2013) called 'Night Storm'. With 10 minutes long and a weird concept. The track is pretty much a circle. It has one main melody and a solo space, so after every main melody we have a different solo. This makes the track a bit 'loose' and tiring when we reach the middle part. It is a good idea, but 10 minutes of it? No, too much! The album is closed by the short 'The Small Hours' and its Space feeling once again.

Dynamo Bliss' Day And Night (2013) is a blow of fresh wind for those, like me, who love some good Progressive Pop and thought that the genre was dead and gone.

Day And Night (2013) is a solid effort full of memorable melodies and great musicianship. Let it come more and more albums by Dynamo Bliss.

(Originally posted on progshine.net)

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 Poplar Music by DYNAMO BLISS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.37 | 14 ratings

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Poplar Music
Dynamo Bliss Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Swedish band DYNAMO BLISS was formed in 2005, and after honing their craft for some time released their debut album "21st Century Junk" in 2010, with the EP "Circadian Rhythm" following shortly after in 2011. Two years later and Dynamo Bliss returns as recording artists, releasing two full length albums just a few months apart. "Poplar Music" is the first of these.

After listening through this album, I feel like I've just attended a quiz show on TV. One where I've missed half the vital questions, and witnessing the entire audience facepalming me why doing so. Or to put it this way: All the songs on this disc has an agonizingly familiar sound to them, containing recurring brief details I'm pretty sure are well thought out homages to specific artists and even songs, but in half of the cases I really can't pinpoint neither in a general nor specific direction.

Following a brief introduction the first song Can You Hear The Sound kicks off the proceedings proper, in an enticing manner that to my ears have quite a lot of The Beatles about it. A simple but effective pop tune with flute and symphonic details adding some nice details. The following three compositions, two uptempo affairs with a piano based ballad in the middle, all strikes me as fairly close in sound to what Electric Light Orchestra explored back in the day. Some lap steel and banjo sounding details aside, my experience of this trio of songs is that they transport you from The Beatlesesque to the more firmly developed sound of ELO that concludes with Blue Halos.

The remaining material leaves me in the clueless department as far as specific associations go however, although I suspect that both 10CC and perhaps even Beach Boys, both of them stated influential artists by Dynamo Bliss, are likely culprits. Gentler, more pop oriented affairs all of them, with smoother harmonies, hand-claps and a distinct mood of summer about them. The piano and keyboard motifs have a nifty gently hammering quality to them that is the most agonizing of the details I can't really place, although at some point I thought I heard something that reminded me of good, old Alan Parsons. Most likely an accidental or faulty observation I guess, much the same about the verse part of final piece In the Country that made me think about good, old Ozzy and his power ballad You're No Different. This latter association limited to the verse part only mind you, as In the Country has a chorus far removed from just about anything Ozzy has ever made with it's banjo-driven escapades and later on the concluding instrumental section also features a lap steel solo supported by the aforementioned banjo.

I'll also skip back a bit to Running Out of Mind, as the subtle psychedelic details on that composition as well as the somewhat jazz-oriented piano solo on this piece does set it somewhat apart from the other tracks at hand.

If you enjoy sophisticated pop music of the kind and variety I tend to describe as art pop myself, and in particular if you're fond of the 1970's variety of it, Dynamo Bliss is a band and "Poplar Music" an album that merits a check. From the bands own description I'd guess that those with an affection for the likes of ELO and 10CC both should be something of a key audience.

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 21st Century Junk by DYNAMO BLISS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.34 | 16 ratings

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21st Century Junk
Dynamo Bliss Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars The roots of this Swedish trio from Umea go back in 2001, when Stefan Olofsson (vocals, keyboards) and Peter Olofsson (drums, percussion) played together in a Beatles cover band.As soon as they were joined by Mikael Sandstr÷m (vocals, guitars), they figured out that they shared the same vision regarding music and decided to form the Dynamo Bliss trio in 2005.After several rehearsals in various places around the Umea area, they started recording their debut in 2008, eventually released in 2010 as a digital download.

A twisted and rich Progressive Rock album, ''21st century junk'' recalls the first steps of BRIGHTEYE BRISON, having straight 70's prog vibes mixed with modern Pop sensibilities in an intelligent way, that ends up in quirky, fast-paced compositions with both catchy moments and atmospheric waves.While their music remains fairly accesible all the way, the Swedish trio always surprises the listener with its demanding tunes, clever breaks and retro-styled multi-vocal deliveries with a strong THE BEATLE-esque flavor.Basically ''21st century junk'' sounds like if the Symphonic Rock basics meet the Psychedelic Pop adventures of the late-60's, though the approach is very contemporary.Sweet harmonies, orchestral textures and bluesy guitars meet the charming synthesizers, the delicate acoustic and electric piano and the vintage Mellotron of Stefan Olofsson, thus producing nostalgic soundscapes.Some very beautiful melodies are also included in the album with romantic piano vibes and sensitive vocal arrangements supporting, but even these tracks have something really interesting to offer, either it is a nice instrumental amalgam or the impressive blend of different, inspirational sources.

For those who simply can't live without physical CD's, the same album was released by Aerodynamic Records later in 2010.Vintage Progressive/Pop Rock meets the contemporary Art Rock scene in a convincing and emphatic way.Warmly recommended.

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 Day And Night by DYNAMO BLISS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.77 | 50 ratings

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Day And Night
Dynamo Bliss Crossover Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Third album Day and Night of this little known and in same time young band from Sweden named Dynamo Bliss. This is their second release from 2013 and I thnink their best from all three. I was really impressed by this release. A very solid song writting and overall attitude and ideas. Imagine something between ELO (Electric Light Orchestra), Pink Floyd and Styx the result is Dynamo Bliss. Very refreshing album both in sound and in ideas with many memorable parts, from uptempo moments of The Day The Empire Fell , Solemn Undulating Wave with excellent keyboards and spacey guitar chops to more mid tempo tunes this is a real treat for my ears. I like a lot the vocal parts, very popy but so well integrated in the music. The instrumental sections are killer, really, I never thought that I'll like so much. A piece like .Night Storm will be always a delight for prog listners, some fantastic instrumental passages. This trio really done it with this album, a perfect cross over prog album for all prog lisners. The album can taken from their bandcamp page for free or can name your price for this little treasure. Very solid and damn catchy. 4 stars easy

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 Day And Night by DYNAMO BLISS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.77 | 50 ratings

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Day And Night
Dynamo Bliss Crossover Prog

Review by Tull Tales

4 stars This is the second 2013 release from Dynamo Bliss and certainly the more "progressive" of the pair. The first was Poplar Music, whose clever title gives a clue to the direction of the songs. I had previously reviewed that one and gave it low marks for production quality. They have since remixed and remastered it with significantly improved results. Still poppy, certainly, but the remix brings out the progressive underpinnings to much better effect.

Now, to Day and Night. This one has an Alan Parsons Project feel to me at times, incorporating memorable songs with carefully crafted melodies, interspersed with atmospheric and sometimes quite adventurous instrumental pieces. Where Poplar Music was dedicated to the vocal side of the band, Day and Night is largely instrumental, with only three songs actually having vocals. I always felt that these gentlemen were competent players, but this album demonstrates a much higher level of musicianship than I had previously realized. There are a couple of solo acoustic guitar pieces (Morning On Mars & Vespertine) that are just beautiful, the latter serving as an intro to the wonderful "Night Storm". This ten minute instrumental alternates between a two phrase repeating theme, and some excellent soloing, with piano and guitar taking turns.

I love all three of this band's full length albums. They have an attention to melody that is often absent from modern music. This is easily accessible, but with careful listening you uncover a level of detail that just doesn't exist in most popular music. I look forward to hearing where they go next!

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Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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