Het overkomt mij slechts een aantal keren per jaar dat ik een plaat opzet waarbij ik na een paar seconden eigenlijk al weet dat ik de hele plaat goed ga vinden. Een plaat die onmiddellijk bij de eerste luisterbeurt al op zijn plek valt en je daarna niet meer loslaat. Een plaat die vervolgens na meerdere luistersessies stukje bij beetje zijn geheimen aan je prijsgeeft en een plaatsje krijgt in het lijstje van je favoriete albums van dat betreffende jaar.
Dit overkwam mij nota bene op de allereerste dag van dit nieuwe jaar toen ik de promo-CD van KC’s komende debuutplaat in mijn brievenbus aantrof en deze plaat op de eerste middag van het jaar aanzette. Een betere muzikale start van 2011 had ik mij niet kunnen voorstellen.
Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you mister Rikard Sjöblom. People who prefer listening to progressive rock may recognize this name as the 28 year-old singer, guitar player, keyboardist and writer of the band Beardfish.
Now please, ladies and gentlemen, don’t be scared and walk away because I mentioned the words “progressive rock” and “Beardfish” in one sentence. Mister Sjöblom does not deserve that. At all. Certainly not if you took the time and opportunity to listen to the album “Please Be Quiet” that he released under the name Gungfly.
Rikard Sjöblom is a musical phenomenon. He is a master on every instrument he touches. He played practically all the instruments on the album except for a few drum and bass parts on a couple of tracks. An absolute joy to listen to. Except for the standard instruments like guitars, keys, bass and drums, he even gets away with incorporating the accordion on a few tracks.
As you could have read in one of my previous journal entries I was having quite some trouble getting Moongarden‘s album “Round Midnight”. Because I got a gift coupon for my favorite local record store I decided to let them try and get an other album of this great band called “The Gates of Omega”.
This almost turned out to become a disaster! It took them more than two months to get a hold of a copy. But the good news is that they did succeed! And I am a happy camper now! 🙂
Yep, this record is definitely Flower Kings! The fantastic guitar playing, the great keyboard sounds, the magnificent bass chops, it’s all there!
There is only one problem: it’s too much. Far too much! At least in my humble opinion. One epic song I can handle, but not four. It’s just too much prog, too bombastic, arranged too death with yet another section added and another section, and another. Structure is totally lost at some places. It’s just too much.
More than a week ago I got a message on my cellphone from a friend of mine: “Guess what’s in my CD player right now?!”
This could mean one of two things:
1) He bought the latest Rush album “Snakes and Ladders”
2) He bought the latest Dream Theater album “Systematic Chaos”
I called him back to find out which one was true. It turned out to be the second option. He was pretty enthusiastic about the new album. I did not know that the new Dream Theater was already for sale in Holland, so after work I drove to the nearest record store and picked up a copy of the special edition.
The new record is pretty good! I have played it a couple of times now and it is still growing on me. When I listened to it the first time, tracks 1 to 4 stuck immediately! Of course I heard their free single “Constant Motion” already and saw the video of “The Dark Eternal Night” already on YouTube, so that may have helped here. The second half of the album took more time to get into, but it’s getting better and better with each spin.