I was quite surprised after listening to the debut EP of A Secret River, a Swedish duo consisting of Andreas Álöv (bass, lead guitar, keyboards, vocals) and John Bergstrand (drums, percussion, vocals). The only problem is that the EP lasts hardly eighteen minutes which is way too short for an average diehard progressive rock fan like me. According to their biography they met in 1995. Initially they made music in the vein of bands as Dream Theater and Symphony X, which is hard to believe when you listen to the progressive rock they make nowadays. No traces of these bands can be heard on their first effort, although the music A Secret River later on created comes closer to their current style, which is more in the vein of bands like Anathema, Blackfield and Von Hertzen Brothers.
The first track Blinding Light will especially be appreciated by people who love the music performed by their fellow countrymen of Moon Safari. I think this track is the highlight on this EP, because it contains the most progressive rock parts. It's mostly dominated by fantastic synthesizer and guitar solos and strong close harmony vocals. The second track Starbomb is more rock orientated and could be labelled as a progressive rock version of U2. This more up-tempo piece is very radio-friendly and would certainly appeal to a wider audience. The final piece Are You Coming With Me features Samuel Olofsson on guitar, who performs an excellent guitar solo that provides the music with a real progressive rock touch! For this track Anathema and Blackfield could be influential. It ends this EP in style and made me hunger for more music in this musical style!
At the moment A Secret River are working on new material for their next studio release which is due in the summer of 2012. Andreas Álöv and John Bergstrand describe the music on that release as a natural step forward with regard to their debut EP. I'm already looking forward to this product of this summertime job! They already got my interest with this too short debut mini-album.
*** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
Where to buy?
All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2013