Brighteye Brison is a great band from Sweden blending a rich array of instrumentation, from vintage keyboards and church organ sounds to flutes, saxophones, funky bass lines, and colourful percussion. The band was founded in early 2000 by a group of fans who enjoy bands like Yes, ELP, Genesis, and Gentle Giant. They released their debut album in 2003 to positive reviews, but the general consensus was that the production
was slightly lacking and thus, it failed to complement their strong songwriting.
Stories is the band's second album, based upon a strong foundation of melody and 70's progressive rock, utilising soaring vocal harmonies akin to the Beatles, excellent synth and guitar work, and varied instruments. The short title track is a nice illustration of 60's pop meets Yes, with dense passages featuring nice piano and emotive
vocals. On the second track, "Patterns", the band ventures into Gentle Giant-inspired landscapes, interlocking warm synth effects and bluesy guitar solos, accented by powerful bass and multiple vocal harmonies that recall early Spock's Beard and Echolyn. Similarly, the slightly symphonic pop on "Isolation" is shaped by vintage keys and a generally vocal-driven approach before the darker and more experimental "The
Battle of Brighteye Brison" kicks in. Its neat church organ, spoken vocals (with a heavy East German accent) and complex synths are simply beautiful if not a bit too laidback for the average prog fan's tastes. "Elenah" is a short piano instrumental that segues into the poppy ballad "Late", complete with a killer blues solo; "Life Inside", on the other
hand, is another slow piece, punctuated by nice bass and piano melodies. It is with the amazing "All Love" where they go back to their complex, Gentle Giant-evoking prog roots. This song is a hybrid of amazing saxpophone, blues piano, delicate vocal melodies, and wonderful acoustic sections, not to mention its symphonic undercurrent. "We Wanna Return" picks up the pace and delves into rocking guitars, hypnotic keyboards,
and perhaps the best vocal performance on the album.
Progress Records surprised us with bands like Magic Pie and Liquid Scarlet quite a bit in 2005. This year they have released another solid prog disc in the form of Brighteye Brison's Stories. Essential to a retro-prog rock fan who also enjoys the softer, multi-vocal driven elements of the 60's.
- The Battle of Brighteye Brison
- Life Inside
- All Love
- We Wanna Return
- Stories (reprise)