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Articles Home » 2011 Articles » Von Hertzen Brothers - 2011 Stars Aligned
Von Hertzen Brothers - 2011 Stars Aligned

ARTIST: Von Hertzen Brothers
ALBUM: Stars Aligned
LABEL: Universal/Spinefarm
YEAR: 2011


LINEUP: Mikko Von Hertzen - vocals, guitars * Kie Von Hertzen - guitars, vocals * Jonne Von Hertzen - bass, vocals * Juha Kuoppala - keyboards * Mikko Kaakkuriniemi - drums, orchestral percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Miracle * 02 Gloria * 03 Voices In Our Heads * 04 Angel's Eyes * 05 Down By The Sea * 06 Bring Out The Snakes * 07 Repeat Mode * 08 Always Been Right * 09 I Believe



This brotherly trio danced a merry tango with the rock world this year, appearing at the prestigious High Voltage Festival in Victoria Park, London (Nope I didn't go either, just read about it), whilst every review I've comes across has mentioned that Emerson Lake and Palmer seem to be crawling from every orifice of this band, it did make my think whether any of these reviewers actually get past the opening tune, being the exceptional, 'Miracle' before sending their badly prepared review off to the editor as the final notes come to the end of that said tune. Personally this likeness maybe in buckets on the first track but little of this ingredient can be found elsewhere, good or bad thing you can decide for yourself. By delving deeper into this album you will find a band of brothers developing their own strong individual personalities and musical styles.

The Songs
Together they are an excellent team and perform a number of precision set pieces that are well rehearsed, imaginative and carried out with pin point accuracy, this is evidenced by the likes of 'Voices In Our Hearts' (Talk Talk with Muse) the marvellous 'Gloria' (more of a modern sounding Queen in parts) or 'Angels Eyes 'which is a spaghetti western of styles. The first quartet of songs is a real assault on your music senses and maybe I have skipped over them a tad too quickly, but believe me you won't if you get the chance to listen to them. The second half is just as good but maybe not as instant, although I am starting to revel in the likes of 'Down By The Sea'. Closest I can get near to fully describing this is being like The Carpenters attempting a cover version of Black Sabbath's 'Planet Caravan', it's beautiful, but do you know what the best parts of the song are? Gong! yes, that underused musical instrument. Ok it's probably a symbol, but to me I'm imagining this huge gong, just behind the drummer. Bigger than the Rank Organisation used on their opening film credits, I wonder if the conversation in the recording studio went something on the lines of? 'gong, again, this needs more gong, and again, yes but my arm hurts!.... more gong, need more gong'. Actually I've counted that it was hit at least over 20 times during the song. The melodic strangeness continues with 'Bring Out The Snakes', which merges a computer animated conversation with the rhythms of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's 'Two Tribes', before being flattened by a Rammstein hammer, after being severed by Sigue Sigue Sputnik, then hospitalized by Yes, visited with tea and sympathy by members of Spocks Beard. Really the album continues with beautiful melodies with the pop purification of 'Repeat Mode' and 'Always Been Right' both containing choir harmony vocals, flutes, pipes and a selection of weird instruments that I can't even spell.

In Summary
This feels like combustion of melodic rock gases exploding with the vibrancy of youth and even though there are acres going on, at times it's relaxing, in fact the musical equivalent to Yoga or Pilates. Spawning more than the odd pop characteristics even by Coheed and Cambria standards, challenging doesn't go far enough as a means of explanation, more of a full body blood transfusion. In Prog terms it makes the Yes 2011 release, 'Fly From Here' taste like a flat bottle of lemonade, no fizz, no mean feat as Trevor Horn's produced album was their best in years. Whether they continue crouching below the public consciousness to avoid being tied down by popular admiration is yet to be answered.

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