A Secret River are a new group from Sweden consisting of Andreas Ålöv and John Bergstrand with Mikael Grafström on guitars and Björn Sandberg on keyboards. They have featured in PROG Magazine who described their sound as being influenced by both classic rock and the accessible, melodic work of Anathema or Blackfield. I would add a jazz rock influence as well as Camel or even Greenslade from the seventies.
The first sounds you hear when the album starts is a clear piano playing single notes and this sets the tone for the rest of the album. The production of Colours Of Solitude is crisp and clear and each instrument commands its own space. I really like the playing on this album and some of the keyboard sounds take you back to the wonderful days of analogue. But this is still a modern work which grows and grows on you. There are some nice vocal harmonies that contribute to the lush sound and it needs a few listens to appreciate the extra dimensions they bring to this album.
Stand out tracks for me are Blinding Light, the instrumental title track, Are You Coming With Me which has a great acoustic guitar part and Passing Grace which features a plethora of sounds from vintage organ, classic rock guitar and heavy bass all over pinned by a melodic synthesizers.
All in all this is a nice full fledged album debut after the release of their self titled debut EP (2012, see review) and very much recommended.
**** Dave Smith
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