Black Bonzo - Sound Of The Apocalypse

Year of Release: 2007
Label: B&B Records
Catalog Number: BCD017 LC8433
Format: CD
Total Time: 54:05:00

Is it a crime to love things from the past? Is it a crime to enjoy listening to classical composers? Then for sure it's no crime to go back to the glorious seventies and let this be your main source of inspiration. It were the ashes of Swedish psychedelic outfit Gypsy Sons of Magic which finally formed the brooding nucleus of Black Bonzo. By adding more complex arrangements together with tons of Hammond organ and Mellotron their sound soon developed towards the heydays of Uriah Heep, Kansas and some Queen.

Sound Of The Apocalypse is their second studio effort after their 2004 album Lady Of The Light got them noticed the world over. Compared to their previous release, Anthon Johansson is new on bass, although we know this guy from his own band Moon Safari where he tackles the guitar duties. For sure Magnus Lindgren is the kind of melodic singer who needs to be up front, surrounded by lush keyboard interventions, rousing guitar solos and a steaming bass/drums pairing. Nicklas Ahlund is the band's very own mix of Jon Lord and Ken Hensley, which of course delivers a pure seventies trademark here. However it would be way too easy to describe Black Bonzo as a mere retro band. Sure there are plenty of elements which point in that direction but I dare also to mention the early Spock's Beard period as well as Karmakanic and some of the more rocking sounds of the Flower Kings in order to illustrate the creativeness and diversity here.

The acoustic intro for "Yesterdays Friends" most certainly harks back to one of the best Steve Howe interventions before the rhythm injects more power, bridging the gap between Led Zeppelin and King Crimson and also delivering the mighty mellotron as a build up towards a grand finale. Lindgren doesn't need a lot of space to make his mark as he illustrates in "Iscariot," filled with delicate little synth interventions in between the singing. Great how he blends with the mighty Hammond whilst the powerful rhythm moves every limb in your rocking body. The most theatrical composition of the lot and also the longest comes at the very end of this fine album. The title track starts with piano and a distant military rhythm over which a storytelling vocal is spread. However it doesn't last long before the band steers its music towards a decent portion of jazz rock featuring guest Adrian Holmstr?m on saxophone. The track, and the album, closes in authentic Close To The Edge fashion with a repeating melody which swells towards the end.

Mixed on the same console as Floyd's classic Animals album, Sound Of The Apocalypse might probably be the breakthrough album this band needs to finally take off. In a mere four years and with two albums under their belt Black Bonzo has obtained a firm place in the upper regions of the current prog market and judging from the reactions the world over it might well be they'll be staying there for a long time to come.

Released in North America by The Laser's Edge (LE1048)

Thorns Upon A Crown (6:51) / Giant Games (5:56) / Yesterdays Friends (7:10) / The Well (6:10) / Intermission - Revelation Song (1:59) / Ageless Door (5:23) / Iscariot (7:22) / Sound Of The Apocalypse (13:01)

Magnus Lindgren - vocals
Mike Israel - drums, percussion, Indian chanting
Anthon Johansson - bass
Nicklas Ahlund - Hammond, Mellotron, grand piano, synthesizers
Joakim Karlsson - electric an acoustic guitars, bouzouki, flute

Lady Of The Light (2004)
Sound Of The Apocalypse (2007)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin SE

Added: October 16th 2007
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1685
Language: english


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