"Brother Ape has evolved over the years and in 2010 they released their fifth album entitled A Rare Moment Of Insight. It continues stylistically from the previous album, Turbulence, while having a fresh feel to the music. There’s some similarities on this album, to Radiohead, Oceansize and the non metallic side of Porcupine Tree but the
end result is a very original sounding album.
There are several songs on this album that I feel best describe the “Brother Ape” sound” starting with the opening track “Juggernaut Now” (7:26) which has some frantic jazz-like drumming. Another example is “Chrysalis” (5:34) slows things down at the beginning and has similar drumming as the first track. In the softer parts, the music has a dreamy quality to it. This is one of my favorites off the album. Another favorite is the mellow based “Seabound” (6:03),because it shows that the band doesn’t always have to be in overdrive.
But the epic of the album, “Echoes Of Madness” (9:06) really shows off their ‘sound’ in the best way possible. The band seems to let loose everything that they have, here. This is another one of my favorites of the album and from the band.
This album is really the best the band has done so far and if you‘re a fan of the bands last two albums, it‘s only natural to purchase a copy of A Rare Moment Of Insight ASAP! Highly recommended!"
"More progressivw, more complex and more varied compared to it's predecessors. The rating scale up to 10 is not enough for this masterpiece."
Rating: 11 out of 10
"Following hot on the heels of 2009's Turbulence, which was a wonderful mix of frantic rhythms and stinging guitar breaks, comes A Rare Moment Of Insight, which is the fifth album from Swedish trio Brother Ape. The overall structure of album number five follows a similar path to its predecessor, with Max Bergman's busy, but precise beats pulsing behind some understated guitar fills and atmospheric keyboards. On paper it feels like a strange, uncomfortable mix, but the skilled arrangements actually blend the disparate parts together seamlessly, with the end result making a subtle, yet indelible mark.
Things though have changed slightly between Turbulence and A Rare Moment Of Insight. Firstly is that the guitar work of Stefan Damicolas and Gunnar Maxen's throbbing bass is less aggressive this time round, and this may directly affect the second main change, which is that this is a slightly harder, less instant nut to crack. Persevere though and the rewards do begin to reveal themselves, with the mixture of Damicolas' guitars (and keyboards) swaying through songs like "Echoes Of Madness" with a gentle, yet insistent ease. Add to that Maxen's layers of keys and thoughtful bass contributions and the results vary from light, airy release to claustrophobic intensity. What really gels it all together though is the vocals which are also performed by Damicolas, he somehow always manages to sound totally in control of the songs, even though the slight echo on his voice makes him feel slightly isolated and melancholy, whether the music is galloping at full pace, or meandering gently.
The best example of Brother Ape at their deep, dark best comes in the shape of the brooding "The Art Of Letting Go" which slowly builds from a vocal dominated, guitar motif into an intense riff fuelled rocker that builds in ferocity. Oddly enough this setting sees Bergman's percussion at its most restrained, as he lets the other instruments take centre stage. However when the guitars and keys are more refined and understated, as they are on "Juggernaut Now" and "Ultramarathon", the drums busily fill the gaps the other instruments leave with the thickest, danciest grooves you are ever likely to hear in prog rock.
Whether it is through familiarity I'm not sure, but Turbulence still has a slight edge on A Rare Moment Of Insight, as I do ever so slightly miss the harsher tones that are not quite as prevalent this time round. That said, every new listen to this album reveals more shades and textures, ensuring it will be a disc I revisit on a regular basis, and who can ask for more?"
Rating: 4 stars
SEA OF TRANQUILLITY
"Their best album to date. You won’t be disappointed!"
"This fifth album Brother Ape confirms all the good we thought of them. They again gained even more power and creativity. This is undoubtedly their most successful to date."
Rating: 4,5 of 5
MUSIC IN BELGIUM
"Now this was a nice surprise from Progress Records a new album from Brother Ape, I really enjoyed the album “Shangri-La” but missed last year’s release “Turbulence” for some reason. This is something I am going to have to put right but for the meantime let`s get on with the review.
It is always exciting listening to a new album especially when a band such as Brother Ape are concerned as they always seem to transfer their excitement for music directly onto record as well, something that I am sure a lot of bands would love to be able to replicate.
Before I start reviewing the music though I must mention the excellent design of the artwork for the album, it was designed by their drummer and percussionist Max Bergman. It really adds another dimension to the package and is something I know progressive rock fans hold dear to their heart and will appreciate.
The first track on the album is called “Juggernaut Now” it is a quirky bass driven, slow burning type of track with a laid back vocal underpinned with some urgent guitar stabs at its heart. Keyboards add an additional layer and blend beautifully within the overall song structure. Subtle progressive rock fusion beautifully written and warrants a second play to fully appreciate.
A very mellow beginning greets us with “Chrysalis” with some dreamy heartfelt vocals throughout, and superb production. The instruments are given a huge amount of room to breathe on this track, subtle at times and forceful with melodic overtones when required. The percussion really adds to the overall ambience on this track a real triumph at this point I am very impressed.
“Ultramarathon” begins with some urgent guitar stabs before picking up pace with keyboards and effects drifting in and out of the mix to superb effect. It really hits the ground running after a few minutes and finds it feet with rhyming guitars which really shine on this track. The vocals also seem a lot more forceful and urgent than before telling the story with great feeling and harmonic tone. Yet again all members of the band contribute to a very lush melodic soundscape.
An excellent vocal harmony and acoustic guitar are the apparent winners here on “Seabound” the atmosphere is just pitched at the right level with the vocals telling the drama of the song with a barebones guitar performance and occasional keyboards. This is Brother Ape stripped back and naked and sounding absolutely superb, a triumph of atmosphere and song writing prowess.
Layered Keyboards and superb bass come to the front of the mix on “Instinct” the trademark vocals sung superbly well on this track really see a band at the height of their game, they understand the sound they want to produce and blend it superbly well with melody and feeling without it ever feeling forced or over produced. There is an excellent guitar solo as well about half way through that never sounds indulgent just crafted with precision and atmosphere.
The pace is lifted for the next track “Echoes Of Madness” which is the longest track on the album clocking in at just over nine minutes. I found this track to be the most immediate so far on the album and certainly my favourite. The guitar sound is just superb with able support from the percussion and bass once again. The keyboards sit subtly in the background at times, occasionally dominating the structure of the song. The vocals are never overpowering, just subtly pitched to tell us the story as it unfolds. If you want a song to demonstrate the Brother Ape sound this is the one.
“The Art Of Letting Go” starts with a piano and the lone vocal of Stefan Damicolas and lulls you into thinking that this will be a beautifully told ballad, but I am sure by now you wouldn`t be surprised to hear that it isn`t that easy.So after 2 minutes the song explodes into a mid-paced melodic workout with a very memorable music signature that you will be humming for a long time after the song finishes. They hit a real groove with this track yet again, the instruments are placed perfectly in the mix and combine to complete and round off another track that has the Brother Ape signature all over it. The keyboards and Guitar are just sublime just take a listen and you will hear what I mean.
To finish off the album we have the purely instrumental “”In A Rare Moment” which finds Brother Ape in a very subtle and reflective mood it is purely acoustic guitar and it gives you an excellent chance to reflect on the rest of the album.
This is another must have for progressive rock fans,2010 has been an excellent year for music and this album is up there with the best that has been released this year."
”A rare moment of insight” actually is exactly what the title suggests; a, not rare though, moment of insight into the special world of music that is Brother Ape's. I gladely, and often, return to their world. The trio's 5th CD is their best one up till now, an elegant an exciting album for everyone with an opened mind and a healthy dose of curiousity."
"Brother Ape has truly progressed into a phenomenal progressive rock band and this new album belongs to the best that were released in 2010.
The album opens with “Juggernaut Now” which is a real musical treat, full of subtle progressive rock passages and surprising hooks. “Chrysalis” is a rather mellow track, followed by the more up tempo “Ultra marathon”, which features lots of great guitar riffs and passages; making it one of my favourite songs on the album. The next song “Sea bound” however does not belong to my favs as it is a rather bleak semi-acoustic track with nothing special whatsoever.
“Instinct” features a great guitar solo and has lots of fantastic melodies and the tempo is lifted for the following song “Echoes Of Madness”. This track clocks over nine minutes and it is the best song on the entire album as the guitar passages are amazing and this song really captures THE sound of Brother Ape anno 2011!
“The Art Of Letting Go” kicks off quietly before it emerges into a mid tempo track with a very addictive melody.
The album ends with the instrumental song “In A Rare Moment” and sad but true the acoustic guitar “dominates” this track too much.
Conclusion: a MUST for lovers of great progressive, melodic rock; so do not miss out on this one!"
More reviews coming soon