Sound of the Apocalypse
Even though Black Bonzo was formed but a mere four years ago, the sound that leaps off their latest album, Sound of the Apocalypse, is vintage ’70s. This is the album for all those prog fans who feared the genre had died. Well, fear not! It’s alive and well, and it’s apparently coming out of Scandinavia. Sound of the Apocalypse is the second release from the 5-piece Swedish band, and it’s destined for greatness. Okay, so maybe I’m a little biased, but how could you not love the fact that the album was mixed on the same console used by Pink Floyd on their Animals album? This latest endeavor literally oozes retro vibes; from Nicklas Ahlund’s Emerson-inspired keyboards and mellotron to Joakin Karlsson’s virtuoso guitar playing and Jethro Tull-esque flute to the vocals of Magnus Lindgren, who sounds like everyone from Steve Walsh to Jeff Lynne. And don’t get me started on the dynamic performances of Anthon Johansson on bass and Mike Israel on drums – let’s just say they’re up there with the likes of Genesis, Led Zeppelin, and Kansas when it comes rhythm.
This album strongly embodies all that was right with prog rock and stoner metal of the ’70s. And though the band wears its influences on its sleeve, make no mistake that the sound they emit is all their own. Heavy guitar soloing, symphony-sized analog sounds, lush poly-rhythms, impressive vocal harmonies and skillful arrangements are just the tip of the iceberg; this album will literally take you back in time. Of course all the songs on the record are brilliant, but a few will stick with you after the last track. “Thorns Upon a Crown,” “Giant Games,” and the hauntingly beautiful “The Boiling Point” just to name a few. Honestly, if this is the soundtrack to the end of days, I want a front row seat.
Black Bonzo: blackbonzo.com