Band: Brother Ape
Band Website: http://www.myspace.com/brotherape
Label: Progress Records
Label Website: www.progressrec.com
Release Date: 2010
A Rare Moment of Insight is the fifth release from the trio known as Brother Ape and as such picks up where the previous Turbulence left off. As a bit of a refresher, Brother Ape formed in the eighties and were originally known as Little Orchestra before changing their name and losing a member. The trio is made up of Stefan Damicolas (guitar, lead vocals), Gunnar Maxen (bass, keyboards, harmony vocals) and Max Bergman (drums, percussion). As before they’ve crammed all manner of musical styles from metal to jazz-fusion to symphonic into some very clever compositions.
There are 8 tracks in A Rare Moment of Insight most of which are on the longish side, being over six or seven minutes. This has given the band a wider musical pallet on which to craft their sonic images. The disc starts off with “Juggernaut Now” [7:27] with its furious drumming that runs the length of the song even as it ebbs and flows through a couple of musical changes, ending in a grand flourish. The shorter “Chrysalis” [5:34] starts off soft and hesitantly before launching into the major chord chorus and refrain. It’s a catchy tune that still manages to infuse some interesting musicianship. It’s a rather mainstream song that sounds great. Then we’re back into something different with “Ultramarathon” [7:49] starting off with an intense almost industrial feel before quickly morphing into some heavily Yes influenced passages, say from the Big Generator era. The fast-paced steady rhythm and heavy bass line persist until around the 3:30 mark where it becomes a little choppy and used more as accents. The next track “Seabound” [6:03] is one of a couple softer, pastoral acoustic compositions. Guitar picking and strumming are embellished with layers of synth strings and piano. The longest track, “Echoes of Madness” [9:06] starts off with the sound of breathing which is abruptly startled by the Brother Ape’s distinctive crashing guitar accents. Once again the drumming is furious and maintains a pretty steady pace even as the song itself keeps changing shape.
I said last time that the prog style of Brother Ape is an interesting blend of a little bit of old and new but more than that is the fact they’ve really developed a sound that is uniquely their own. This is music that will appeal to both fans of new prog bands such as Muse as well as older fans of bands such as Yes. A Rare Moment of Insight hits all the right notes and offers loads of listening enjoyment for those who take the opportunity to listen.