Brother Ape: Karma
I have always been meaning to get better acquainted with the Swedish progressive rock band Brother Ape after hearing their debut album On The Other Side released in 2005. It is an excellent disc but like so many other bands they lost my attention these past few years until recently when I received a copy of their latest disc Karma.
The beginnings of the band date all the way back to the early '80s but the band went through many line-up changes. Things started to settle down and since the debut the band's personal have remained quite consistent. The band consists of Stefan Damicolas (lead vocals, guitar, keyboards), Max Bergman (drums and percussion) and Gunnar Maxén (bass guitar, keyboards, vocals).
When the band released their first album they were billed has having jazz fusion influences but those are not present here. This is melodic progressive rock with moments of AOR with the melodies and instrumentation top notch. Songs like the album opening "Oblivion" and the catchy "Sixteen" are absolutely earworm inducing with great lead vocals and catchy guitar and keys. The former is particularly grandiose with an imaginative arrangement and superb song craft. On "Hina Surawa" quieter moments are interspersed amongst excellent riffage and on the exquisite "Don't Stand on my Grave and Cry" lush keyboards shimmer and flutter and the lovely lead vocals carry a Beatles-like charm. On the mostly acoustic "You Are" the melodies are again fabulous.
After listening to Karma I realized just what I have been missing with this excellent band. I have yet to hear five of the band's albums but that needs to be rectified as soon as possible.
A Freia Music release.
On The Other Side (2005)
A Rare Moment Of Insight (2010)
Force Majeure (2013)
1. Oblivion (5:48)
2. If I Could (1:57)
3. Sixteen (4:11)
4. Hina Surawa (5:57)
5. Don't Stand on my Grave and Cry (5:19)
6. Let the Right One In (5:35)
7. You Are (4:59)
8. Karma (7:34)
Added: September 4th 2017
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
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