BEARDFISH — The Void (review)

BEARDFISH — The Void album cover Album · 2012 · Metal Related Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Unitron
Usually when we see progressive rock bands going in a metal direction, it ends up taking on a standard progressive metal tone, which does logically make sense. However, what if you want to hear other genres of metal blended rather than the typical power-prog sound? Beardfish breaks that paradigm of progressive rock bands going progressive metal, and instead blends eclectic rock with sludgy grunge/stoner/doom metal. For someone like me, who doesn't really care for much progressive metal apart from the classic bands, this comes as a welcome change of pace.

This is an eclectic and long album, so one thing that albums like this can suffer from is inconsistency, but Beardfish keeps things pretty steady for the most part. The opening two tracks as well as "This Matter of Mine" are definitely the heaviest songs and the best. Both the opening songs are like a mix of a Kyuss/Alice in Chains-type sound blended with progressive rock. "This Matter of Mine" has some pretty killer basslines and brings to mind a heavier Deep Purple at times. "He Already Lives in You" has a bit of this Deep Purple vibe as well, especially with the vocals and organ. Most of the other songs all have a range of eclectic progressive rock and a smorgasbord of softer passages, hard rockin' moments, spacey parts, and metallic dirges.

Rikard Sjöblom's vocals's are quite varied, but I notice that at times he reminds me of Deep Purple's Ian Gillan especially in "Voluntary Slavery". In the same song, one of the most memorable vocal lines is easily Sjöblom's deep low delivery of "Do you believe, in alchemy?" There is also some Gentle Giant influence in the form of group vocal lines and acapellas, this is heard in the songs "Turn to Gravel" and the nearly 16-minute suite "Note".

The Void is an oddity in Beardfish's discography. This is the only one I've heard but it seems that this is the only album with really noticeable metal elements. Not all of the songs are metallic, but for metal fans that want to hear a different take on metal mixed with progressive rock, this is certainly a good choice. Some of the songs are pretty forgettable, but the great songs certainly make up for those. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!
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Unitron wrote:
more than 2 years ago
As far as I've heard, all of their albums are different, though I've only heard this one. If you're in a doom metal and prog mood, this is certainly a good album for that.
more than 2 years ago
Beardfish is a band I keep coming to about once a year, give a sample listen, put an album in my shopping cart, and later remove it because my cart is too full of albums that I intend to buy "later". Now I'm interested again. I never lost interest. There was just always something else more interesting, Perhaps in 2017 I will finally bring a Beardfish album home.

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