Wednesday, September 04, 2013

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Review: Dynamo Bliss - Day And Night (2013)

Artist: Dynamo Bliss
Album: Day And Night
Year: 2013
Label: Self released

Review: Diego Camargo

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Thoughts: 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 Sandström (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 BlissDay 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.

The band was included in our Podcast #18 and you can listen the track 'Solemn Undulating Wave' HERE.

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