BRIGHTEYE BRISON "Stories"
is the band's second album, based upon a strong foundation of melody and
70's progressive rock, utilising soaring vocal harmonies akin to the Beatles,
excellent synth and guitar work, and varied instruments. The short title
track is a nice illustration of 60's pop meets Yes, with dense passages
featuring nice piano and emotive vocals. On the second track, "Patterns",
the band ventures into Gentle Giant-inspired landscapes, interlocking
warm synth effects and bluesy guitar solos, accented by powerful bass
and multiple vocal harmonies that recall early Spock's Beard and Echolyn.
Similarly, the slightly symphonic pop on "Isolation" is shaped
by vintage keys and a generally vocal-driven approach before the darker
and more experimental "The Battle of Brighteye Brison" kicks
in. Its neat church organ, spoken vocals (with a heavy East German accent)
and complex synths are simply beautiful if not a bit too laidback for
the average prog fan's tastes. "Elenah" is a short piano instrumental
that segues into the poppy ballad "Late", complete with a killer
blues solo; "Life Inside", on the other hand, is another slow
piece, punctuated by nice bass and piano melodies. It is with the amazing
"All Love" where they go back to their complex, Gentle Giant-evoking
prog roots. This song is a hybrid of amazing saxpophone, blues piano,
delicate vocal melodies, and wonderful acoustic sections, not to mention
its symphonic undercurrent. "We Wanna Return" picks up the pace
and delves into rocking guitars, hypnotic keyboards, and perhaps the best
vocal performance on the album."
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
SEA OF TRANQUILITY
|"This is a
wonderful little album. Full of 70s style tracks, but with enough of a
twist to update without taking the charm, and more importantly the fun
out the album. That's an important part of it, the album is just good
fun. You get the feeling that the band enjoyed playing, and that comes
through. Do yourself a favour, grab a copy."
thing which strikes me is the wonderful use of various layers of vocals
combined with the lush use of vintage keyboards. Patterns
does get close to the seventies feel of bands like Focus or Finch. The
a-capella intro for Isolation contains the playful wit and
enthusiasm I also find with newcomers Liquid Scarlet. Meanwhile Linus
uses his keyboards to the fullest, not overproducing or over-arranging
the music but adding nice little touches either on mellotron or synth.
Here the mellotron nicely backs the vocal harmonies resulting in a much
fuller sound. No doubt Per Hallman is the perfect collaborator for the
band as he perfectly knows how the music should sound on disc the way
our friends hear it in their collective heads. Its vintage seventies
prog but with a definite contemporary approach. The battle of Brighteye
Brison contains all the right ingredients and even some dramatic
narration. Great use of organ as well here as is the ending which sounds
a bit like Ekseption what with the use of classical brass arrangements.
The classical piano intro for Late, Elenah, nicely illustrates the bands melodic and romantic nature together with their ability to turn towards a more classical style when they feel the need to. The same goes for other styles of music as well as slight touches of jazz and great rock elements are scattered all over this disc. A great advantage of Brighteye Brison most certainly has to be found in the vocal department ! Its a pleasure to listen to the many harmonies which is a rare find in present-day prog. Life inside closes with stunning mellotron, piano and synth. The very classical introduction (drummer Daniel Kåse plays with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra !), for All love simply is breathtaking as is the intervention of the saxophone which delivers a haze of Solution. As the song evolves short brass sections refer to the sound of a big band. Theres also some pleasant marimba which switches the rhythm towards kind of an alternative country & western pattern. Again We wanna return gets close to Focus, Finch material with lively up-tempo passages. The album closes with a reprise of the opening track Stories which makes beginning and end of this album act like bookends.
Brighteye Brison is the umpteenth new prog product from Sweden nicely
fitting in next to quality names such as Liquid Scarlet, ACT, Paatos,
Beardfish, Carptree and Moon Safari. All you have to do is make place
in your record collection under the letter B."
album from this swedish 5-piece prog outfit should attract a great deal
of attention, and on the evidence of it, they will soon be rating alongside
compatriots Ritual, A.C.T. and The Flower Kings.
Their influences are most of the big names from the 1970's prog boom, but though these areappearent, but like A.C.T., they have a flair for coming up with imaginative, original melodic twists and turns. Great
musicianship, vocal harmonies to die for (yes, they are really that good) and material that ranges from pop-oriented gems like "Patterns" and haunting pieces such as "Isolation" to symphonic masterpieces like "The Battle of Brighteye Briosn" and "We wanna return" make this is a superior release, and if they carry on in this vein, they'll become one of the biggest prog bands around."
CLASSIC ROCK SOCIETY
album in order to perfume of prog ours imminent summer... "
"In the seventies, the high days of progressive rock, Sweden was not really a leading country, Abba seemed to be the ensign-bearer of music from Northern Europe. Nowadays we know better, the number of progressive rock bands is countles, and above all quality is present too. And it is really remarkable that a lot of thee bands are going back to the roots of the seventies, its certainly the case with the guys of Brighteye Brison. The band was founded in 2000 by Linus Kase, Daniel Kase (his brother) and Kristofer Eng being the first group members, later joined by guitar player Johan Öijen. The main influences, according to themselves, are ELP, Genesis, Gentle Giant and Yes, but links to Kayak and UK are very obvious too. With such references nothing can go wrong, also because the guys are succeeding perfectly not being a copy of the past.
The short title track illustrates immediately the higher mentioned references to UK, both instrumentally (exuberant presence of keyboards) as vocally (crossing between Kayak and The Beatles). Especially Patterns has that overwhelming symphonic sound, like we know from the first albums of the dutch icon of progressive rock, where the voice is considered as a full-fledged instrument. Isolation reminds certainly of that other Swedish band A.C.T., naturally because of that typical poppy voice and harmonic samenzang, the guitar solo seems to come directly from the Kayak repertoire but their music can also be compared with their colleagues from the Progress gang, like Grand Stand, Liquid Scarlet and other Magic Pie. A bit of mellotron amplifies the seventies feeling, a relative short but very intense track.
"The Battle of Brighteye Brison" starts as a crossing between UK and ELP, melodic symphonic rock, sustained by a funky bass, among a lot of other instruments they also use very often curch organ, the spoken quotes remind me of our own Mindgames. And indeed, the typical tempo changes (with some space for heavy guitar riffs) with a great variety of soundscapes and instruments are very chracteristic for these Swedish guys: true progressive rock like only few bands are delivering nowadays, even the fellowmen prog icons of The Flower Kings have abandoned temporarily their roots.
Late is an excellent composition, but it reveals at the same time the only minor point of the album, the vocals are in my opinion are not at the same level as the rest of the album, I honestly prefer as a lead singer. The vocal interplay between the musicians is really extraordinary, also for example on Life inside with beautiful keyboards of Linus (Grand piano, mellotron, moog and other Hammonds). Now and then Brighteye Brison uses some woodwinds (saxophone, trumpet) like in All love, their music has only few counterpoints with the Canterbury scene, but they use a lot of classical patterns. We wanna return contains influences of keyboard oriented prog like UK, pop-rock, classic, AOR and on certain occasions it sounds even a bit like a fragment of a rock musical.
In a nutshell, Stories is a varied and refreshing album
with strog compositions, an absolute must for each fan of true
progressive rock, it seems like mainly Swedish bands are capable
to produce it."
playing of Linus Kåse is exemplary throughout (what else would one
expect from a graduate of the Swedish Academy), none more so than on the
brief piano solo Elenah which merges nicely into Late, with its strong
"This second album release by another quality Swedish progressive band seems to lend itself to capturing that heavy 70's prog-rock sound from bands like Yes, Genesis, Greenslade, and Supertramp with plenty of symphonic overtones (like on All Love) and lush keyboard layering (as on The Battle of Brighteye Brison) make Stories a CD well worth having. 10 tracks brimming with textual tightness accompanied by well presented vocal harmonies throughout which provide just the starting point for this group's musical capacity.
Brighteye Brison have obviously learnt that a good balance of progressive
music must allow all sides to have a say: the versatile use of tempo
changes right from the title track Stories into the next song
Patterns shows a leaning towards lengthy productions, interspersed
with melancholy ballads.
is razor sharp, but yet with a warmth typical for 70's symphonic rock
productions. All compositions are of high quality but never the same I
want to point out "Late" as a personal favourite, both for the
rich variations of the vocal arrangements but even more for the instrumental
great CD from Progress records! Hats off to you guys! You really are amazing,
at picking the right band and sound for your label!! This time it's: BRIGHTEYE
BRISON, another brilliant progband hailing from Sweden (How, do they do
it? These great Swede´s) they seem to spawn super progbands every
month of the year!
Just lend your ear to the fabulous intro (the title tune) song: Stories at only 2:54 min. these talented guys manage to get my attention, with some extraordinaire singing and some excellent playing! Now, me being a pop/artrock freak as well as a prog hardcore freak, i simply love this kind of band. They are just superb in every way and in each tone. Patterns shows this brilliant bands, great talent for vocal arrangements, and the music has this grandiose sound, only few can deliver (A.C.T. Flower Kings & Queen comes to mind)and there are some superb keyboard and the guitar well, Oijen are all over the place with fierce fills and soaring solo´s. Isolation has to be my fave track, the haunting chorus are an earhanger. There are even some great mellotron/keyboard thrown in. Some pop/artrock track, wow....im in heaven.
I'm amazed at the sheer talent on display here! They seem to flow-over with great ideas, arrangements and superb composition skills, add to that some really fine musicians. Need i mention that the prodution are top notch!?"
RATING: 5 planets (out of 5)
|"A very interesting
album and my introduction to this band. Maybe this will bring them the
wider recognition they truly deserve. These hardworking Swedes spent three
years recording STORIES and there is certainly much to celebrate for all
their efforts. I see a wonderful attention to detail and also a variety
of influences from emotional ballads to complex. soaring GENTLE GIANT
harmonies; there's a touch of YES, and even hints of PAT METHENY style...
and there's also a bit of the operatic, dramatic rocking quality of fellow
Swedes A.C.T - without the metal overtones, though! So definitely something
for everyone: from moody ballads to longer progressive rockers and more
poppish style material - its all here!!
Despite all the variety it hangs together surprisingly well. What binds this album together are the great lyrics (each track is a *story* in its own right) and the very high-quality production . The use of vintage instruments and complex vocal arrangements gives BB a very special sound quite unlike anyone else!
So if you like beautiful melodies, soaring harmonies, top quality production
... c'mon what are you waiting for?
prog heroes Brighteye Brison re-emerge with only their second album in
six years (following 2003's eponymous debut) but one of the most sparklingly
original-sounding records that their genre has seen all century.
Stylistically the band lurks somewhere between Gentle Giant and U.K., with the same reliance on haunted harmonies and symphonic choruses (there's also a hefty dose of Kayak in there). But the compositions are breathtakingly adventurous, with all five band members throwing everything into the pot, while the guitars and keyboards chase the sometimes Beatles-esque ("Sun King" era) vocals around the field.
A modicum of mellotron and some e typically intriguing rhythm shifts add to the sense of occasion. "Isolation", the album's strongest number, even manages to sling some Trick of the tail-era Genesis into the brew, if Phil Collins' reedy piping was supplanted by the choral genius of the early Queen.
Not every cut is unbashed brilliance; a strangely disconnected lead
vocal really lets down the semi-epic "Battle of Brighteye Brison",
even as the band swings into funky-bass overdrive, while the nine-minute
"All love" sounds like Caravan karaoke. But still Stories
is a thrilling listen, and, given the way that