For me personally, this is a giant treat, a new Brother Ape album. Finally! The last couple of years the only releases becoming available were EP’s in digital format, alas. As you might know, I prefer CD’s, so I am very happy to present their new album here. I also was so lucky to be able to buy one of the Deluxe Editions. Those 3 EP’s I mentioned are all present on the bonus disc, including 2 extra songs, making that bonus disc a 14 track miracle of listening pleasure.
The regular album on this release holds 8 songs with a playing time of just over 40 minutes. Now I don’t mind because of my extra disc (even when 6 of those 8 originate from those EP’s), but for modern standards that is… well modest. But hey, you do get totally awesome songs as opener Oblivion, the instant Sixteen and the hauntingly exciting Hina Surawa. As well as 5 other killer songs of course, no fillers here. Because in my humble opinion, every Brother Ape album is a testament of beautiful crafted songs with emotional depth, coupled with instrumental prowess, hooks and melodies. It is sometimes hard to believe how the trio of Damicolas, Maxen and Bergman keep coming up with brilliant idea after wonderful arrangement.
Every lover of melodic rock music infused with prog elements will absolutely love their music. No doubt in my mind.
Recently I have been rediscovering this (Swedish) band. After getting the first one I lost track of them and now, five releases later, I have started to track their CD´s down. Problem with that is that they are a bit hard to find on the internet. Best bet is their website, Ebay, or their current label, Progress Records.
But why start the hunt? Well that is obviously a matter of taste. For me personally I find I really like the way the trio of Gunnar Maxén (bass, keys and vocals), Max Bergman (drums) and Stefan Damicolas (guitars, keys and lead vocals) integrate lush keyboards arrangements into their brand of progressive rock. Sometimes this gives a bit of an ambient feel, and other times it hints at dance (!), without sounding like a dance floor filler. And most of all, I really dig the way their songs are built. Damicolas has a somewhat light voice but I like his singing a lot. Another highlight for me is the mellotron often adding its unmistakable colour. I can imagine a lot of people reading this and start thinking this must be an incoherent affair. But let me assure you, it is not. All these influences actually lead to a sound that is truly theirs. And with their keen ear for divine melodies those songs hold your attention with ease… Can´t wait to hear the other albums I recently picked up. Just wished I could complete their back catalogue, as number 2 Shangri La is still missing!