The Void

1. Intro (by Andy Tillison)
2. Voluntary Slavery
3. Turn To Gravel
4. They Whisper
5. This Matter Of Mine
6. Seventeen Again
7. Ludvig & Sverker
8. He Already Lives In You
9. Note
I. Note
II. Descending
III. The Void
IV. Note (reprise)

10. Were the Lights are Now
11 Ludvig & Sverker Solo Piano Version (bonus track)

Rikard Sjöblom - vocals, keyboards
David Zackrinsson - guitars
Robert Hansen - bass
Magnus Östgren – drums

Fran En Plats Du Ej Kan Se (2003)
The Sane Day (2006)
Sleeping In Traffic: Part One (2007)
Sleeping In Traffic: Part Two (2008)
Destined Solitaire (2009)
Mammoth (2011)



Released 28/8-2012
Reviewed 12/9-2012


A fish with a beard, sounds fascinating. Their seventh album is called The Void, it is introduced by Andy Tillison who is known for his work with The Tangent, on this album he speaks of a magician albeit not the one with a birthday. The quartet that make up this fish with a beard is from Sweden and they have since their first album in 2003 released six more which makes it seven in nine years, that is one busy band. Maybe too busy perhaps, compared with the ones considered great in the genre like King Crimson, Yes or Genesis means that they probably are good. But considering the look of the cover one might have his or her doubts about that, I have not heard Beardfish before so this will be my first experience with this band.

Musically the three bands they are compared to can be a good frame of reference, progressive rock maybe with some touches of metal at times. Kind of typical progressive rock to be honest, for those very much into progressive rock it can be considered a bit predictable perhaps. The album has a fair bit of variation over the ten tracks (there is a bonus one if one wants it) and this goes on for near 70 minutes unless of course you want the bonus track which makes it a bit longer still. The production is a bit rougher than many bands in the genre has but still polished and modern. It is a show of competence in music and creativity over this time, not really much to say when it comes to the musical stylistics of this band which encompasses a whole lot of different musical aspects.

I think it all starts excellently with Tillison’s spoken word part which sets up a lot of expectations for this album, it is probably the best spoken word intro ever. Thing is though that it never really reaches those levels again, the album is good all the way through but I have trouble staying with it for the entirety of the playing time. My mind starts to wander away to other albums, to form ideas for the reviews I wrote just before this one and such things. It becomes most of the time a sort of background noise generator, some times though I manage to focus and find a good album there with some exciting tunes.

I would say that the second track Voluntary Slavery along with the sixth Seventeen again and the fifteen minute long epic called Note and especially the part called The Void. The problem is though that the album is too long to retain my focus on it all the way through and as I stated before I found myself thinking of other things rather than this particular album and often when the mind wanders I find myself realising that I wasn’t paying attention and missed the good songs, several times. Thing is with many progressive albums that they either manages to grab your attention, or they pass by more or less unnoticed. These guys however manages to be a bit in between, their music is good enough not to go by completely unnoticed but at the same time not quite interesting enough to keep you spellbound either.

So I would say that Beardfish’s seventh album is okay but not great, I think that when you realise that a spoken word track is the best and most spellbinding on an album you realise that they miss the target. So, they slightly miss the target with this album but it is still too good to just pass over without at least taking a closer look if you enjoy progressive music.



Label: InsideOut
Three similar bands: King Crimson/Genesis/Yes
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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