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There are a great many excellent progressive bands that have emerged from music colleges and conservatories around the world over the years, and Sweden’s Brighteye Brison are no exception. Founded in 2000 by multi-talented musician Linus Kase along with bassist Kristofer Eng, both former students of the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, this year sees the band releasing their third studio album ‘Believers and Deceivers’, continuing in their style of 70s influenced prog with outstanding musicianship and vocal harmonies. The first, and shortest track from the album, ‘Pointless Living‘, is a great opener and paves the way for what is to follow. Upbeat and melodic, with almost a cross of Dream Theater-esque melodies with the vocal style of Mikael Akerfeldt. ‘After the Storm’ sees the direction turn into a clearly more 70s style and sound with keys higher in the mix than previously. The vocals, shared by Kase, Eng and Per Hallman are stunning and are possibly some of the best vocal harmonies I’ve heard on an album for a long time. The track also sees each musician take a lead role in turn, with guitarist Johan Oijen’s solo being a great highlight. ‘The Harvest’ starts unusually with a pipe organ solo, which is something you don’t hear on your average prog album! It is a real ‘journey’ of a track (at over 20 minutes long, it has the time to be), taking you though all kind of mood and time signature changes. Drones and weird sounds that wouldn’t be amiss on an early Floyd album, an outstanding sax solo from Kase, beautiful acoustic guitar and almost tear-invokingly wonderful multi-layered vocal harmonies and more great lead guitar from Oijen. A truly outstanding track. Which leads onto ‘The Grand Event‘, and with a title as such, you would expect maybe grand things, especially as this is the last and longest track on the album (a mere 34 minutes long!) and it starts very promisingly with keys, acoustic guitar and sax and with an almost spacey and Floyd-like feel. Now, I know that prog-style bands are often famed for pinching ideas from each other - Opeth have admitted being influenced by Camel and certain Dream Theater songs sound very much like other well-known songs, but there is a sequence in this track that is repeated at various points that sounds rather like a segment from Dream Theater’s outstanding ‘Octavarium‘; not that this is a bad thing, it just stands out a little that’s all. Then the track just appears to lose its way a little, and maybe suffers for being slightly overlong. It does pick up again in the last 4 minutes, however there is a ‘false finish’ and it starts again with some spoken words that just does not work really, and is only saved by Oijen’s guitar playing. What started so promisingly, just ended up leaving me feeling a little flat and wishing there was another good track to finish the album with. However, the overall musicianship and production on the album is flawless, and whilst they are clearly influenced by other bands that have gone before them, they have obviously carved out their own unique style to portray it in, making for a generally enjoyable listening experience.
Progress Records
Review by Hannah Sylvester
2nd May 2008
1) Pointless Living
2) After the Storm
3) The Harvest
4) The Grand Event
"...the overall musicianship and production on the album is flawless..."