Renaissance of Fools is a Swedish band comprised of former members of some fairly known acts; guitarist Daniel Magdic (Pain of Salvation), drummer Magnus Karlsson (Leech/Machina), bassist Linus Carlsson (Kamchatka), and lead vocalist David Engstrom (Silent Nation). Spring is their sophomore release for Metalville Records, a label that is quickly making a name for themselves with a host of strong recent releases from a variety of new as well as veteran groups.
Mixing hard rock, heavy metal, and progressive rock, Renaissance of Fools list bands such as Black Sabbath, King's X, Rush, Tool, King Crimson, Porcupine Tree, and Mars Volta as influences, and while they don't necessarily sound like any of them per se, you can certainly hear little bits of all of them woven into their musical delivery. Engstrom is a very capable vocalist, his expressive, melodic vocal passages soar over the dense, at times atmospheric musical arrangements, giving some of these songs a feel not unlike perhaps a heavier Anathema mixed with a little Fates Warning, especially on the four part title suite, which is not only notable for his alluring vocals, but also the quirky interplay between the guitar & bass, with nimble drum work percolating underneath. Most of the tracks are fairly lengthy, and things never really get too heavy, with "Internal Carousel", complete with symphonic passages and complex rhythms, and the lumbering "Scars", perhaps the most aggressive tunes on the album.
Spring is one of those albums where no one thing really stands out, but taken as a whole the results are quite pleasant and satisfying. Strong vocals, dreamy melodies, intelligent musical passages, plenty of atmosphere, and most importantly, memorable songs make up this very fine album, which is a true ensemble accomplishment. Remember the name Renaissance of Fools...you will be hearing a lot about them!
1) Counting Down
2) Internal Carousel
4) Spring: On Your Knees
5) Spring: State of Oppression
6) Spring: Revolution
7) Spring: A New Dawn