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Johnny Main

johnny main


Swedish progressive rockers Beardfish have been around since 2001 when the band was formed by front man Rikard Sjöblom and guitarist David Zackrisson. The band's debut album, 'Från En Plats Du Ej Kan Se' was released in 2003 with their second album, 'The Sane Day', appearing in 2006 when they signed to the InsideOut label.

Since then the band have been hard at work in the studio and have pushed out an impressive five albums in the intervening six years before having a couple of years away from the studio after 2012 to re-charge the batteries and to plan out their next album. After the protracted absence, their latest effort, the strangely titled '+4626-Comfortzone' was released earlier in 2015 to an expectant fan base it seems.

I'm usually in the heavier side of Rock and Metal, to be honest, but when the '+4626-Comfortzone' album popped through my in box here at MetalTalk Towers, I was intrigued by the title and thought I'd set aside the Thrash Metal for a day or two and listen to something of which I wasn't exactly sure what to expect.

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What I discovered, was nine incredible tracks that make this album such a pleasure to listen to. The harmony vocals at the start of 'Hold On' are stunning before the track settles down. Sjöblom's vocals here are excellent working with the rhythm guitar giving each one space to breathe within the context of the song. As the song heads towards its climax, drummer Magnus Östgren really picks up the pace as Sjöblom's turn a bit more aggressive. A fantastic performance all round.

The subtle start to 'Comfort Zone' has an almost Pink Floyd feel to it before they lyrical guitar and drums step in. You're a full two minutes and a half minutes in before the vocals begin, backed up with a simple piano sound from Martin Borgh. Once going, it's Sjöblom's sincere vocal performance that tugs the heart strings. 'King' raises the tempo once again and is a firm favourite of mine from an early listen. One of the more rock based numbers, the guitar riff here never quite overpowers the vocals but it does have a good try as Östgren thrashes away on the cymbals at the back giving this a noisier and totally different sound to the rest of the album.


The centre piece for the album is, without a doubt the trio of 'The One Inside' tracks that are spread across the albums sixty minutes. The simplicity of part one, '...Noise In The Background' is set against the simple acoustic guitar sound of part two, '...My Companion Through Life'. Again, it's the vocals from Sjöblom that really makes this song, even with the relatively downbeat lyrics.

The final part, 'Relief', closes off the album and leaves the listener pretty much where the band came in. The strummed guitar is left to hang in the air before the drums finally kick in and the song gets on its way. Again not their happiest of lyrical content but it's a great way to end not only the trilogy but also the album. Sjöblom spares nothing in his performance even though the lyrics can be on the sparse side and as the track builds towards its conclusion, you begin to wonder how it will all end.

I have to mention 'If We Must Be Apart (A Love Story Continued)', too. At fifteen and a half minutes it's by far and away the longest song here and really is a monumental track. The stinging keyboards and guitar during the intro build into a faster paced number as the drums and Hammond organ sound take centre stage. Again, this is no love song but rather a song about loss and the breakdown of a relationship, but it's handled delicately and comes across as sincere.

Who the couple we are, I'm not exactly sure, and whether this is from personal experience isn't known either but the song tells the story of the man spying on her online only to discover that "she's with child" before his decent is described. An incredible song that I think certainly deserves to be the centrepiece of the bands live show – will it actually make it? Well, the band has certainly performed it live in the past, so hopefully it'll be included in any future shows.

You can watch the official lyric video for 'The One Inside Part Three – Relief' here:

'+4626-Comfortzone' Tracklist:
The One Inside Part One – Noise in the Background
Hold On
Comfort Zone
Can You See Me Now?
The One Inside Part Two – My Companion Through Life
Ode To The Rock'n'Roller
If We Must Be Apart (A Love Story Continued)
The One Inside Part Three – Relief

Beardfish are:
Rikard Sjöblom – Vocals/Guitars/Keyboards
David Zackrisson – Guitar
Robert Hansen – Bass Guitar
Martin Borgh – Keyboards
Magnus Östgren – Drums

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