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Jonas Lindberg & The Other Side: Pathfinder

Slowly evolving from a solo project into a full band, Jonas Lindberg & The Other Side follow up a debut EP with their first full length effort, Pathfinder. That EP, which also followed Jonas's solo debut, In Secret Pace, was a wonderful mix of melodic prog and AOR that verged on west coast, the latter two genres often winning any battles for supremacy. However, as the band evolves so does their sound, more progressive moments in evidence and certainly pushed to the fore when they appear. From the outside it also feels like guitarists Calle Stålenbring and Niklas Thelin (chiefly Lindberg is a bass player, but he also adds all manner of keyboards and guitars when the mood takes him) have had a stronger say in the direction of Pathfinder, the introduction of some seriously biting six-string solos a welcome one.

However the keyboards, which come courtesy of Michael Ottosson, are often where this album is at, the ability of this band to flit between sitting on a rich, riff heavy groove just as evident as their willingness to let soaring, subtle and bombastic keyboard excursions dominate. Vocalist Jonas Sundqvist is an equal match for his instrumental band mates and when he's backed, or sometimes joined out front by Jenny Sandgren, the results are quite magical. A word that often can be used as this album flits between ideas and approaches, the Neal Morse meets The Flower Kings via Discipline era King Crimson of "Square One" able to dart between a laid back almost Police like groove and swooping, soaring passages that utterly drip with melody, be that vocal or musical. The brooding "Lost" makes an equally lasting impression, Sundqvist's vocals capturing the mood as big bold chords are struck and keyboards grind and shine.

The nine minute plus "Peace In Our Time" hits a more traditional prog stride through its bold beginning, before the decidedly poppy "Pathfinder" heads into almost commercial territory, although look out for some searing guitar work as well. The acoustic guitar that introduces "Closer To The Sun" threatens to head into Steven Wilson melancholy before the keyboards and vocals once again provide uplifting release. The atmosphere that Neal Morse often serves up once again a welcome comparison, even if what JL&TOS serve up is much smoother and AOR friendly. And these are only some of the moods that Pathfinder brings to bear, constant shifting of tone keeping you fully engaged as the musical prowess of all involved has you enthralled.

It has taken a while for Jonas Lindberg & The Other Side to grow from solo project into this excellent, focused, fully fledged band. However with Pathfinder they've delivered a seriously good introduction to what they are capable of and if I'd spent time with this album a few weeks ago, there's little doubt it would have made its presence strongly felt in my end of year 'best of' list.

Track Listing
2. Lost
3. Peace Of Mind
4. Pathfinder
5. Leaving The World Behind
6. On The Horizon
7. Zenith
8. Closer To The Sun

Added: December 18th 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Jonas Lindberg & The Other Side on bandcamp
Hits: 1251
Language: english

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