Lynne, Bjorn - Revive

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Cyclops
Catalog Number: CYCL 087
Format: CD
Total Time: 70:04:00

If you like instrumental music with diverse layers of keyboards - mostly synthesisers - blended seamlessly with electric and acoustic guitars, then Bjorn Lynne's new CD Revive is for you. It contains over 72 minutes of some of the finest compositions you'll likely to come across in that musical tapestry.

Lynne has been putting out at least one CD a year for the past 6 or 7 years. While his diversity allows him to explore many audio landscapes, Lynne usually fares mostly comfortably in the spacey Tangerine Dream universe, though his melodies are more memorable and certainly less repetitive.

Despite a more modern approach in the beginning, Revive's songs progress to a more "classic" period of space rock by track 5. My personal tastes adhere to these sounds far more assuredly, but I must confess Revive is a strong disk from start to finish.

"12th Warrior" begins things with a dynamic, modern rhythm as characterised by a definitive melodic synth and sharp arrangements. Some strong lead guitar augment the keyboard foundation. "Bridge To The Universe, Part One" slows things down a bit, and its soaring textures are a precursor to the soundscapes on the latter half of the disk.

"Himalayan Summit" carries a catchy melody and out-manoeuvres the post 80s Tangerine Dream sound, placing melody and arrangement above the concept of simply using the cool sounds of synthesisers to drive a beat. A wonderful, tasty piano solo follows, reminiscent of Rick Wakeman's pre-new age period.

"Moon Gazer", track 5, is one of the many really strong tracks on this CD, and it is the first to really embrace the more analogue sounds of the 70s. The track also sports the second appearance of lead guitarist Rory McLeish. Though Lynne plays guitar on this album as well, McLeish adds a certain bite that will satisfy those who have an appetite for excellent lead guitar.

The 70s influences continues with "Space Deliria 2000," which begins with swirling synth soundscapes, then builds into another guitar/synth interplay. "Niagara" follows. A ripping lead synth eventually segues into a funky, Latin sounding refrain. I must say the percussion is particularly strong on this track. While the rest of the album contains electronic (but magnificently executed) percussion, the percussion here has an exotic element that is almost impossible to achieve electronically. I only wonder how Mr. Lynne was able to pull it off.

"Empty Spaces 2" is another short piano piece, a bit more atonal than the first, but effective none-the-less. "Cosmos," at over 11 minutes, lives up to the magnitude of the title. Soft, Vangelis-type snippets build on a steady rhythm. This track has a very definite early Vangelis sound, full of the mood and wonder of his classic mid-seventies era. But Lynne takes the music further, providing soft, ethereal moments that wisp between the more anthemic themes. And when this song soars, it lifts you into the heavens. There is an excellent change about halfway through, which rocks. Lynne's edgy rhythm guitar is a testament to his musical diversity. Again, some effective drum programming underscores the many variations in this song.

By track 10, "Session," you've already long had your money's worth on Revive. Against the backdrop of choral sampling, Lynne's finger dances between shrieking synth leads, and more traditional sounds. "Bridge To The Universe, Part 2" is no weaker, combining the most imaginative moments of seventies Tangerine Dream with Lynne's own precision.

"Union City Conspiracy" is a bonus track and certainly not one of the best on the CD, but by this time, who cares? Revive is one of the strongest key-driven instrumental works in a long time. Though one can't really call it progressive, it certainly is miles above even the best of what most in that genre have to offer. This is simply because Lynne knows how to write great melodies, and his sense of arrangement is top-notch.

If you've never heard them, early Lynne efforts are commendable as well; and their brilliant packaging is icing on the cake.

12th Warrior (6:10) / Bridge To The Universe, Part 1 (4:37) / Himalayan Summit (Hightop) (7:04) / Empty Spaces (2:57) / Moongazer (6:58) / Space Deliria 2000 (7:46) / Niagara (5:09) / Empty Spaces 2 (2:42) / Cosmos (11:01) / Session (6:23) / Bridge To The Universe, Part 2 (6:42) / Bonus track: Union City Conspiracy (4:35)

Bjorn Lynne - guitars, bass guitars, keyboards, percussion, vocals, programming
Rory McLeish - additional lead guitar (1, 5)

Hobbits and Spaceships (1992) (w/Seppo Hurme)
Montage (1994)
Dreamstate (1995)
Witchwood (1996)
The Void (1997)
Wizard of the Winds (1998)
Wolves Of The Gods (1999)
Revive (2000)
The Gods Awaken (2001)
Accelerator (2001)
Colony (2002)
Return To Witchwood (2003)

Plus a lot of video game music and music released under the Divinorum moniker.

Genre: Electronic

Origin UK

Added: January 30th 2001
Reviewer: Richard Zywotkiewi

Artist website:
Hits: 764
Language: english


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