BEARDFISH "THE VOID"
Beardfish have gained deserved popularity among fans of the prog genre over the course of their six note-worthy releases over the course of the last ten years.
Their vintage style might have clearly found roots with such titans as King Crimson, Frank Zappa and Gentle Giant, but they have managed to establish their own identity throughout their career with music that has always seemed more melodic and playful when likened to their contemporaries.
The Void, their latest effort, pushes stylistic boundaries to new limits, and the heaviness that was hinted on the previous disc shows significant expansion, turning up the amps to eleven and building a sonic assault with distorted riffs to remarkably intense effect. After a brief spoken word prologue, the album kicks off with frenetic heavy metal guitar play, thumping bass lines, thunderous drum fills and enticing vocal harmonies.
As the title suggests, The Void is thematically concerned about the subject of loss and the struggle to heal emotional wounds. Not only is this grim subject matter expressed in metallic songs, but also it makes its presence felt in blues-inspired ones.
Despite all these stylistic excursions, Beardfish don't really abandon their own refined style-on the expansive 70-minute album, with plenty of time for the band to pursue their well-trodden path of sublime progressive rock. Several songs on the album rank among the quartet's most instantly engaging work.
Overall, The Void is a multi-faceted work that, while a little heavier than past efforts, still warrants a listen.
WHERE THE LIGHTS ARE LOW