Spring is the second release of Swedish band Renaissance Of Fools. This is the dark progressive rock band founded by former Pain Of Salvation guitarist and composer Daniel Magdic and Thalamus drummer Magnus Karlsson. Since the debut album; Fear, Hope And Frustration, the band's line-up has seen two changes, both vocalist and bass player presented on the first album, Kjell Sjostrom and Bjorn Tauman were replaced by Silent Nation's David Engström and Linus Carlsson of Kamchatka respectively. As a special guest, Daniel's former band mate from Pain Of Salvation, Kristoffer Gildenlöw contributed bass parts to several compositions.
The album Spring basically has just four songs, three separate compositions and one, the album's title track Spring, composition that contains five different sections. Together forming a theme song about the Arabic spring in 2010, started in Tunisia and spread to Egypt and most of the Arabic world. The album begins with an eight minutes highlight; Counting Down. A song that combines the intensity of Pain Of Salvation with Porcupine Tree and Opeth's mood changes. Vocally, this song strongly refers to Pain Of Salvation, David has a similar emotional voice that is able to transmit the lyrics to the listener in a perfect way. Musically the song is strong; using progressive elements of the aforementioned bands as well as elements from nineties grunge and alternative rock; mainly Alice In Chains influences. The second song on the album; Internal Carousel also highlights the strong vocal style of David. Absolutely a song that is memorable, even sometimes reminding a bit of the Icelandic Agent Fresco. Due to the combination of the voice and the apparently simple song with a nice, weird solo part. The song Scars has more a vein of classic rock. It contains a solo that could be played by Slash whichcertainly fits to this song. On the other hand the aforementioned vocal style of Daniel defines Scars as a typical Renaissance Of Fools composition. The five parts that together form the opus Spring starts with a short eastern sounding instrumental part that is followed by On Your Knees. This has a pretty heavy section that holds parts of spoken words in the background, powerful guitars go together with gentle keyboard sounds, to end with a strong solo part. State Of Oppression is a smooth part, filled with multi layered vocals, a children's choir, an ultra-heavy mid-section and a perfectly fitting guitar solo that is followed by an acoustic guitar solo that takes you to the end. Revolution continues acoustically as a strong ballad style composition, reminding a bit of Orphaned Land and even some Blackfield. Spring ends with A New Dawn. Here the progressive rock elements are combined with Muse and the aforementioned Blackfield. This is a very strong part which finish the Spring opus and the album.
Renaissance Of Fools have recorded a perfect album that assures this is a band that holds a great future. Sure there are elements of Pain Of Salvation, but that only is obvious when Daniel was one of the band's composers in the early days. But all in all Renaissance Of Fools has its own face and sound and I am looking forward to see them perform live on stage.
****+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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