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Bruce Soord With Jonas Renkse: Wisdom Of Crowds

Prog/metal heavyweights discover new vistas

As frontmen with The Pineapple Thief and Katatonia respectively, this double act have little to prove to fans of modern prog, but even by the high standards they have both set Wisdom Of Crowds is a jaw-dropping work of art.

Bruce’s songwriting remains as subtle and incisive as ever on these nine mini-masterworks, but freed from a standard band format and graced with Jonas’s beautifully world-weary baritone, his imagination has been unleashed. The result is an album of exquisite melodies and wildly inventive arrangements that take in everything from fragile acoustic balladry and dreampop ambience to pounding gloom-rock riffing and wickedly distorted beats.

Initially, the widescreen pathos of the opening Pleasure and the spinetingling dynamics of Frozen North stand out, but with every plunge in this reveals new treasures. From the bittersweet thud of Radio Star to the glacial shoegaze grandeur of Pretend and on to the sublime sprawl of Flows Through You, this is the sound of two supremely talented artists snatching magic from the ether.

Dom Lawson has been writing for Hammer and Prog for 14 intermittently enjoyable years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He listens to more music than you. And then writes about it.