Reviews on
BROTHER APE "On the other side"

Brother Ape - "On The Other Side"

"What you have here is a nice blend of extremely accessible music that stands as another example of the great music that continues to come from those wonderful Scandinavian countries.

The music is not overly complex but is also no simple three cord rock and roll progression. Also the songs are not some artificial attempt at prog by throwing in excessive mellotron or similar “prog rock” clichés. Just straight ahead prog sounding music in a strong melodic format. You do have the interesting keyboard flashes and some rather tasteful bass guitar work.

Another strong part of this entire CD is the vocal harmonies. Seems these guys have taken a page out of the song book of bands like The Eagles, Spock’s Beard, even some of the Flower Kings. Not that any of their songs “sound” like any of those three bands but you do get some “feel” of those bands.

All in all this is a very good CD. No great musical revelations here but great music to hear none the less.

"Here you’ll get a total mix of different styles, played so damn well, it’s beyond me, how a “newcomer”, can contain so much musical talent. The power of the vocals, the incredible guitar- riffs. Keyboards are unique both in the “lead/ solo” and in the back of the mix. Make no mistake, this very keyboard oriented. Drums are put in just right for me. Up front where they should be (heard). Amazing. Bass are (to me) , very important. Here they are played like my heroes would have done it. Fast, beautiful & with lots of power. This is very mature, well composed & arranged prog/ fusion. Brother Ape plays various styles on this there first record. Few bands could have done this. If they did, they would probably fail. But not these gents. They come out just right. Excellent stuff from track one. Almost 50 min. of delightful and enjoyable music. Even the slightly pop-oriented tracks are great, kind a like Ambrosia in the vocals. This will definitely finds its way back to my player many times

Imagine a mix between UK, Weather Report, Yes, with a slice of Saga/ Styx. Then you come up with this unique outfit called Brother Ape. Progress Records could have yet another great thing going with Brother Ape. Comes highly recommended to progheads who search for something new & very unique."
Rating: 5 out of 5 planets

" The four musicians mix progressive rock music with fusion. Bands that might have influenced them are Saga, Yes, Rush, ACT, Weather Report and Brand X. The band is at their best during the more uptempo tunes. Good examples are “The jerk”, “Clockworks” and “I freak out”. You can certainly hear Saga in those songs. Yes and Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman & Howe must have influenced the title track. Not everything is fast and electric on the album. Two track are done acoustically; “Lucky fool” and “This hour”. Showing a different side of the band. After the release of this strong album one of the members unfortunately decided to leave the band. This musician (Peter Dahlstrom) did a lot of the lead vocals, bass and keyboard parts. But the other three musicians are capable to play all kinds of instruments. Therefore they could replace Peter’s recordings for the bands next album. An album which should be released at the end of the year. According to the band their best work sofar. Also some older stuff might be released sooner or later. Something to look out for. Until that time I will certainly play this album more often because good prog music needs to be played more often."
Rating: 4 stars of 5

"All in all I found this album to be a very strong debut release. The pleasing blend of styles is something that should help to ensure that this album appeals equally to fans of both progressive and melodic rock. If you favour 70's style progressive music with a modern edge, then this is another band that could give The Flower Kings a run for their money - Worth checking out!"

"Their music keeps the midway between melodic progrock of Saga and It Bites, the nervous fragments of Zappa, jazz-rock and fusion mixed with AOR, in a nutshell the entire ‘palette’ has been delivered here on an ingenious and musical-technical perfect way. Don't let you discourage by the jazz influences, it's hardly present. "The Jerk" was free for download on the official site of the record label and illustrates perfectly the genius of the music of Brother Ape, melodic progressive rock with enough complexity and a nose for composition, vocally on high standards and musically everything in balance. Anyway, the entire album has a very nice mood, both musically and lyrically, heart-warming between all the other melancholic albums, that are being released in the circuit these days. Sometimes this album reminds, not by coincidence, of A.C.T. like for example the guitar play on "Clockworks", only Brother Ape has a bit more to offer thanks to the diversity of the musical pathways, they tend to follow. The speed rises in "Unaccomplished", where you can discover influences of UK, as well on guitar as on keyboards, while "Farewell Song" undoubtedly reminds of Yes. A second fully acoustic but very short track introduces the longest one on the album, "On the other side". The beginning is surprisingly a mix of Dire Straits and The Police, but after 2 minutes the tone is changing into progressive rock ‘pur sang’, with references to the seventies and contemporary neo-prog. Furthermore, the production and the artwork are excellent, thus this album is an absolute 'must', you have to give it the time to grow on you.
Rating: 9/10
PROG-NOSE - Clayreon

"A very fresh and also direct album, which I find very pleasing. Brother Ape knows how use a broad range of styles and, in a skillful way, turn it in to something of their own. It is not neo, it is not too complex, and also not too commercial. It's the perfect mix. An awesome album!! A must have."
Rating: 5/5
PROGGIES - Daniel Eggenberger

"Already from the very first seconds I knew I was in for a real treat here. "The jerk" combines both typical progressive highlights as well as a very melodic approach as if Saga were to merge with Karmakanic. It sounds fresh, with the right amount of complexity, a well balanced sound and creativity as well as skill delivered all over this album. One of the trademarks of this band is that they tackle all kinds of influences and genres in order to mould them into the Brother Ape sound. During "I freak out" the instrumental section leans towards early Brand X with an emphasis on the guitar. Acoustic guitar forms the focal point during the peaceful "This hour" nicely blending with vocal harmonies resulting in kind of a fragile lullaby. More vocal acrobatics during "Farewell song" which embraces hazes of Yes' "Nous sommes du soleil". This superb album closes with the longest and most incredible track "On the other side" yet again reaching for a perfect blend of seventies American rock with a dash of contemporary prog. I hear elements of Saga, Yes and even Return to Forever genius and Weather Report darkness. Long may the ape reign! Brother Ape has clearly signed for musical Apex!"
PROG'N'ROLL - John 'Bobo' Bollenberg

"I can really recommend this CD to the progrockfans, but even the odd pomprockfan might actually like this band a lot. (Points: 8.6 out of 10)"

"The real highlight is the title track 'On the other side' which brings together some wonderful melodies and crescendos that are blended beautifully together throughout. As you listen to this CD one gets the distinct feel it has a definite American edge to the sound, so those familiar with bands like 4Front or Saga wouldn't be disappointed. On the other hand, there are distinct European melodies that place Brother Ape up there with the likes of Leviathan (Italy) or ACT (from Sweden). Most interesting are the vocals, which interact well especially on 'Accomplished' (Yes influenced here?) and it has to be said this has significant effect on the CD. Brother Ape overall have delivered a very good debut."
AUDION - Peter Beaman

"Score: ****"
SEA OF TRANQUILITY - Steve Ambrosius

"The latest discovery of Progress records label is a swedish band called Brother Ape featuring Stefan Damicolas (vocals/guitar), Max Bergman (drums), Gurra Maxen (bass/keyboards) and Peter Dahlstrom (vocals/bass/keyboards). There's really a lot of interesting stuff here: "The Jerk", "I Freak Out" and "Clockworks" are commercial but not easy songs due to a beautiful guitar and drums work. "Unaccomplished" and the title-track will appeal to all the symphonic prog fans, being more complex and so close to Saga and Rush stuff. Well, "On The Other Side" is so much a pleasant work that I have listened to it many times during the last weeks. I think you'll do the same if you buy it. Recommended."
RATING: 80/100
TALES OF WONDER - Luca Alberici

"With their harmonious boldnesses, sophisticated fantasies and sharp profiles does not leave more to wish for. For all fans with awake ears!"