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Brother Ape: Turbulence

Although the band history can be traced right back to the 80's, Brother Ape released their debut album in 2005 and have managed to squeeze out a further two albums in between then and new CD Turbulence. Since that debut album the Swedish proggers have pared back from a four piece into a trio and what a mighty racket that threesome makes!

This is an album that is jammed packed with atmosphere, urgency and some of the busiest, most infectious grooves and beats that you are ever likely to find on an album full of emotional heartfelt progressive rock.

Describing the Brother Ape sound is satisfyingly difficult, as not only is this an eclectic album, but most unusually these days, it is really quite unique and individual. Yes the influence of everything from Porcupine Tree and The Pineapple Thief to Mike Oldfield and Vangelis via jazz and even ambient dance music is in evidence; however it is seldom more than a nod of the head to these sounds rather than a reliance on any one of them to create the band's vision.

Singer, guitarist and occasional keyboardist Stefan Damicolas writes all the songs featured with drummer Max Bergman co-writing the title track, however this is no one man show. Bergman himself plays a pivotal role in the seductive quality of the music, with his insistent busy, yet uncluttered dancey rhythms being quite a diversion from the fill heavy, round the kit and back again fare usually served up in prog rock. Whether it's the wailing guitar and scything riff on "Lifeprints" or "Footprints" with its Rush with the intensity turned up vibe, catchy hand claps and the singy-shouty vocals, Bergman continually morphs the tracks into massive groovefests.

Contrasting those heavier, intense songs are the beautiful, short guitar led instrumental "Early", alongside "No More" with its evocative, melancholic vocal and some subtle keyboard work from Gunnar Maxen who also plays bass and sings harmony vocals to great effect. The intro to title track "Turbulence" and the haunting instrumental "Autostrada" both evoke a Vangelis meets Mike Oldfield vibe, the later especially with a beautiful almost Oriental keyboard and guitar line that allows the songs to float along on another intricate Bergman work out, is a track that completely lulls you into its floating melody.

Damicolas possesses one of those vocals that isn't a traditional singing voice, however in the setting of these songs, his honest approach fits perfectly and is just one more instrument to work into the music. Tie all that together with a crystal clear production by the band and some great artwork by Bergman in the digipack and this really is a CD that deserves a far wider recognition than the band have so far achieved. Credit goes to Progress Records and Brother Ape for putting together all the aspects that make up a more than worthwhile release.

Turbulence is an impressive, thoughtful album with wonderful musicianship that doesn't take many listens to get under your skin and once it does repeat visits are unavoidable.


Track Listing
1.Welcome future
2.Footprints
3.No more
4.Who will be next
5.Early
6.Turbulence
7.No return
8.Autostrada
9.Lifeprints

Added: November 21st 2009
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Band's Website
Hits: 1697
Language: english

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