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Von Hertzen Brothers: War Is Over

Since their 2015 album, New Day Rising, Von Hertzen Brothers have been through a period of soul searching, the difficult question of whether they still had the fight to be in a day to day band faced down and conquered. Good though it was, that previous outing could, by some, have been seen as a clear attempt by the band to expand their popularity, big name producer Garth "GGGarth" Richardson (Rage Against The Machine, Biffy Clyro etc) leading from the front as he smoothed out few of the idiosyncrasies that make VHB such a tantalising prospect. Hence that War Is Over goes back to basics should maybe be no surprise. Of course by basics what we actually mean is that the temporary shackles are once again off, the brother Von Hertzen flying free once more and feeling all the more comfortable for it.

Proving that they've reasserted their control, not only have the band changed management, booking agent and, by joining the Mascot Group, their record label, they've also decided to self produce this album. And by saying self produce, they really do mean it, each of three composing Von Hertzen producing the songs they created. It's a brave move, but one that has still resulted in a hugely cohesive set of songs linked by the lyrics of Mikko and by a shared love of the sounds they create. Based loosely round the themes of war, the album that boldly claims War Is Over actually takes different aspects of conflict and the effect it has on life and uses that as a base for wider ideas and observations. And through the songs themselves, that ethos is taken a step further, an album that isn't conceptual still feeling like a journey that carries a story from start to finish.

Cleverly, whether the attack is big, bold and bombastic, as "Who Are You" builds to be, or more overtly proggy, in the way that the Middle Eatern flavours of "Blindsight" allow, the flow of what's presented really is something to behold. "Wanderlust" a stark, stripped back thing of beauty that incorporates strings to seal its message and the album's lengthy, meandering but also forceful title track, a strong indicator that VHB really are looking to stretch things out, while never hoping to push their luck. All the trademarks of stinging guitar lines and harmony/multi-part vocals all nailed firmly in place by this band's almost unique ability to tackle tough subjects in uncompromising ways and still create the most uplifting pieces of music. War Is Over may well be one of their best examples of exactly that.

Track Listing
1. War Is Over
2. To The End Of The World
3 .The Arsonist
4. Jerusalem
5. Frozen Butterflies
6. Who Are You?
7. Blindsight
8. Long Lost Sailor
9. Wanderlust
10. Beyond The Storm

Added: November 19th 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: War Is Over at Mascot
Hits: 583
Language: english

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