A Secret River - 'Colours Of Solitude' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 20, 2015    
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A well-crafted debut.

Is there anything... anything at all that the Swedes aren't good at?!! Maybe we should challenge them to a race down a steep Gloucestershire hillside whilst in pursuit of a 9lb round of cheese? There again, they would no doubt emerge victorious in that too... and even accomplish it whilst simultaneously juggling a pair of pickled herrings!!! Not only are they amongst the leading proponents in regards to Melodic Rock/AOR these days, but they can diversify and master other genres too, in this case Progressive Rock.

A Secret River began life as a duo almost a decade ago; however, founder members Andreas Ålöv (vocals, bass, keyboards) and John Bergstrand (drums, percussion) have now been bolstered by the arrival of Mikael Grafström (guitar) and Björn Sandberg (keyboards) to craft a rich, atmospheric and serene soundscape that I feel justified in describing as "Soft Prog".

'Colours Of Solitude' is an aptly named title, and as the album cover beautifully illustrates, it has the ability to inspire introspective thinking whilst the sonic spectrum of sounds wash away life's negativity – yes, it's that kind of album; think Pink Floyd, IQ, The Tangent and Mike Oldfield, but in their most tranquil guise. There are no twenty minute songs overloaded with lengthy, and often pretentious, solos here (the longest is eight minutes) but what we do have are eight songs that each make their entrance wearing Hush Puppies and a reassuring smile.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Don't get me wrong, this isn't a snoozefest, but it could be if total relaxation is what you're looking for. Opener 'Blinding Light' immediately lays the proverbial cards on the table with its self-effacing ambiance, intimate vocal delivery and delicate keyboard passages. 'No Way To Say Goodbye' and 'Starbomb' are my personal highlights; '...Goodbye', with its throbbing bass rhythm and Tangent-like instrumentation begins to breathe life into proceedings – the Steely Dan-like, semi-Jazz fusion mid-song is a trait I'd like to see developed in the future. 'Starbomb' meanwhile features quality guitar picking reminiscent of such Prog greats as Marillion and Genesis, and a melody that is impossible to dismiss. The instrumental title track is a song that serves its purpose well, and replicates its very name, and, as throughout the album, the keyboard phrasing and articulation are impeccable. I must finally mention 'Passing Grace' which has a Rockier edge that I'd also like to see more of.

'Colours Of Solitude' is a well-crafted debut from which A Secret River can build. It reminds me of a stunning, aromatic bunch of flowers that stops just short of coming into full bloom. However, it will meander melodiously into your soul and impress you... eventually.

Dave Crompton

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  • SeaDog57 : just an observation. I just got Issue 89 at the Bookstore and when i looked at the spine of the magazine it says "Fireworks Issue 85 Winter Jan - Mar 2019" Was this a misprint? The rest of the Magazine is Issue 89. Was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
  • Berny : Apologies! Magazine can now be accessed from your download section. Best wishes, B.
  • Berny : @Martykelly: We're sorry
  • Martykelly : Just purchased issue 89 hoping its going to be in my download soon.
  • Johns Band : Will "Watch & Listen" music videos make a comeback. Just order H.E.A.T. "Live In London" CD.
  • Berny : @the trapps: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. The magazine is now available in your downloads section.
  • the trapps : waiting for the issue 89 which we purchased to be in our downloads section ???
  • Berny : @tomandpam: Many thanks for your purchase. The download instructions were sent yesterday, please contact me at «email» should you haven't received the email.
  • tomandpam : I paid for a download on issue 89 and didn't receive the download. Please let me know when I can get it. Thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Fireworks Magazine #89 will be available at selected UK based newsagents on December 16th. The digital version can already be purchased in our Download Store.
  • zom414 : When's the next mag due for release?
  • Berny : @el nowy: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. Pls. check your mail!
  • el nowy : Hi, how long does it take for my download license to be available? I purchased it 3 days ago. Thanks!
  • Rocktopia Te : @l.thijs: Apologies for the delay, your digital copy can now be downloaded from your "My Downloads" section.
  • l.thijs : Hi Fireworks Magazine. I made a purchase on 10 nov and I paid by Paypall. I bought the #85 fireworks mag download for GBP3,50. But I didn,t receive anything. Please can you find out what's going on?
  • kazooba : I have digital versions of every issue from 27 thru 88, any way I can get issues 1 - 26 with cd's digitally?
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: The links are in the Fireworks menu. Have you tried scrolling down? Maybe your screen size is too small...
  • SeaDog57 : Berny; there are only links up to Fireworks 86. Which is kinda strange because i already downloaded CD 87 but i'm looking for the link to CD 88...Chris
  • Rocktopia Te : @Johns Band: Can you please contact us here: «email»
  • Johns Band : Fireworks Magazine 88 did not arrive by post. paid by PayPal. Any Suggestion.
  • Berny : @bpomper: Can you pls. contact the Rocktopia team here: «email»
  • bpomper : i found the problem..old email i can not access.i have tried to change it by editing my info but it wont allow. any suggestions
  • Berny : @bpomper: A reply was sent yesterday, We recommend checking your spam/junk mail to see if our message was filtered there. The magazine was already sent to your shipping address. Please let me know if you do not receive it within the next couple of days. Thanks for your patience!
  • bpomper : Thanks didnt of that. I still have not heard about fireworks 88 was it sent out. Thankyou
  • Rocktopia Te : @bpomper: For security reasons, we removed your previous message. Please do not post your private e - mail address. Many thanks for your understanding.
  • bpomper : Thanks for the reply. I see download but can you confirm that hardcopy was or is sent ou .thanks.the email i used is inder the contact me info of the website
  • Berny : @bpomper: Apologies for your troubles. Where did you send the email to? We haven't received anything. I will send you a longer reply via mail. Also, you can download the free CD from the "Fireworks" menu on top, but the CD links are only shown if you are logged in.
  • bpomper : 3rd email inquiring about my purchase of fireworks #88. i purchased on the 2oth of sept and today is the 24 with no response...paypal has taken the payment. should i have a down load of the cd for mu usa magazine. Looking forward to an answer
  • bpomper : hello i purchased fireworks #88 through paypal on9/23 and have not recieved an email from rocktopia. purchase is for a hard copy of the mag. should i have cd download instructions.when should i expect it
  • Berny : @Johns Band: I've just sent you an e - mail. Best regards, B.

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