Album Review: Bruce Soord with Jonas Renkse - Wisdom of Crowds

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Heavy metal and prog rock are two genres that are very close to my heart. Due to growing up around the people I did, I see bands like Opeth and musicians like Mike Oldfield as brilliant musicians who play music of a very original and expressionist genre. With this new album coming from two heavy hitters in the world of prog rock, it naturally comes with high expectations. Luckily, it delivers... but not as much as I thought it would.

One of the perks with prog rock is that it keeps you guessing as to what is coming next; for all you know the band might randomly place in a keyboard solo mid way through a harmonic verse, just because they can. That is one of the reasons I love this type of music so much; it has no blue print - it is a completely individual experience in which every band has their own sound. This album, 'Wisdom of Crowds', doesn't do that as much as I feel it should. Half way through this 9 track album there is a track called 'Pretend' and, for me, this is the point in the album that I got bored. By track 6 you have heard it all and really feel that they aren't going to experiment any more.

This is shame, because the album is good. Don't get me wrong about that, I like this album. Lyrically it is strong and the vocals of Jonas Renkse are perfectly pitched throughout - but it just got dull. That isn't a good thing for any album, let alone one that belongs in the prog rock scene. There was so much more that could have been done with these songs. While I understand that they might not have wanted to over do it, by the end of the album it seems they are massively under doing it and it becomes a dreary album of simple guitar chords and little enthusiasm. There is only so far the vocals can carry an album.

So, if you like prog rock give this album a listen. It is very well put together, and on a production level it is masterfully done. Just don't listen to it in one sitting, mix it up a bit - stick it on shuffle.

Mark Wiglesworth

I am a student at the University of Portsmouth doing a Journalism and Media Studies degree who has an absolute passion for anything involving films or music. Give me any piece of media, I will do my best to review it.


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