Jonas Lindberg & The Other Side - 'Pathfinder'

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Jonas Lindberg & The Other Side - 'Pathfinder'

An album well worth exploring,

Oh boy! What is it about Sweden that means they produce so much quality music? In most genres it seems there are a myriad of bands delivering great stuff, especially in the Prog arena.

This is their third release, but their -first full album, and compared to previous output this has a grittier and Rockier persona, which represents a step-up for them. This revamp caught me slightly off-guard; I wasn't expecting this ramped up version of the band. It's not that their EPs were poor, far from it, but this album has far more dynamism and therefore both greater appeal and I suspect longevity.

Musically, I'm drawn to compare them to their mighty fellow countrymen Moon Safari, particularly for the vocal arrangements, with additional nods towards The Flower Kings, Spock's Beard and a few bands a bit heavier. Having a female voice in the mix adds wonderful warmth and depth to the aforementioned arrangements.

'Square One' lures one in with delicate flute before a big riff injects power and the track then takes on a feel akin to The Police (verses) crossed with MS (chorus). The instrumental section and following bridge have a Neal Morse Band quality. The verses of 'Lost' puts me in mind of RPWL whilst 'Peace Of Mind' again raises MS comparisons to the fore but also has me thinking of Beardfish. The swathes of Hammond Organ, the synth runs and latterly the piano solo are all delightful as is the guitar solo. Jenny Sandgren gets to take a section of the lead vocals. The structure of the verses during the title track doesn't seem to go with the music or have the strongest melody. The choruses are, however, wonderfully powerful.

'Leaving The World Behind' is utterly splendid with melody to spare and features both a superb arrangement and excellent vocals; it's totally addictive. 'On The Horizon' starts like Pink Floyd, the chorus is very tasty but the verses don't reach the same heights as earlier numbers. The instrumental 'Zenith' has a Spacey/Jazz feel before getting down and dirty and heavy. It then alternates between these two styles with solos being inserted. Closing number 'Closer To The Sun' brings back the very best of the band's traits, meaning that the album is rounded out in very fine fashion. An album well worth exploring if you like any of the bands I've referred to.

Gary Marshall

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