Friday, April 19, 2013


Rating: RRRR

Label: Spinefarm

Review By Alan Holloway

So, a three piece crossover prog band, eh? No, don’t mention the “R” word, because it’s a long way to Finland from Canada, and the Von Hertzen Brothers (who really are brothers) would be upset to be so easily dismissed with a comparison that isn’t remotely apt. So that’s cleared that up, then.

Album number five for the boys is certainly not a step back, mixing powerful classic rock sensibilities with full on, hippytastic prog that is more Pink Floyd than Rush. Closing track “Prospect For Escape”, for example, is seven and a half minutes of psychedelic weird that is probably best listened to in a darkened room lit only by a single lava lamp. Yeah, it’s THAT sort of prog. Not to say that even the trippiest of tracks can’t pack a punch, as the VHB can throw in some powerful guitar and know a good crescendo when they see one. It’s not all slow and interesting, though, and the casual listener will find a good dollop of more straightforward rock to amuse, such as the rather Doors-like “Coming Home”, which barrels along with a killer bassline, totally at odds with the slower stuff.

The thing with the VHB is that they are happy to defy convention, mixing their no holds barred prog with songs that would go down a storm at any rock disco. The thing is, I actually like it quite a lot - you can pick your tracks to suit the mood you’re in. “Nine Lives” really is a something for everyone kind of album, showing great talent and adaptability on the band’s part. Not just for proggies, this is a fascinating and entertaining album.

Official Site: Website

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