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The Thinking Man


Yes, it sucks Beardfish is gone, but Rikard Sjöblom is still going strong!

Yes, it sucks Beardfish is gone, but Rikard Sjöblom is still going strong!

Up until now I've concentrated heavily on full albums from newer artists, though this time around I'd like to take up a little digital space to mourn the loss of one of the best progressive rock bands there ever was, and to talk about one of the new projects spawned from said void.

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Beardfish was a progressive rock band formed in 2001 based out of Gävle, Sweden, and whose existence spawned eight albums whose quality range from "damn near perfect" to "perfect." The band started off in 2003 with a very retro progressive sound courtesy of Från en plats du ej kan se, and solidified what would eventually become the Beardfish sound in 2006 with the double album The Sane Day. From there, Sleeping And Traffic, Pts. 1 & 2 were released in 2007 and 2008, and still stand as two of my favorite albums of all time. Things got progressively more metal with the trio of 2009's Destined Solitaire, 2011's Mammoth, the extremely metal The Void in 2012, all before returning to the band's roots with its final album, +4626-COMFORTZONE in 2015.

Now in 2017, ex-frontman, guitarist, and keyboardist Rikard Sjöblom has resurrected his old Gungfly project under the moniker Rikard Sjöblom's Gungfly, and it's extremely promising. Alongside Sjöblom in the new/old project is founding Beardfish guitarist David Zackrisson, founding Beardfish drummer Petter Diamant, live Beardfish keyboardist Martin Borgh, and then bassist Rasmus Diamant and keyboardist Sverker Magnusson.

Sjöblom's output with his reactivated Gungfly isn't quite as progressive as Beardfish, in terms of lengthy compositions and humorous bits, though it doesn't mean it's any less fantastic. The project's debut song "On Her Journey To The Sun" is ultimately a pop-tinged song, though there's a lot of subtle time changes and progressive influences, enough to satiate anyone who's perpetually bummed out about the Beardfish split. Though it's worth mentioning that even outside the realm of Beardfish having been a band, Rikard Sjöblom's Gungfly is likely to catch the ear of old and new fans alike!

On Her Journey To The Sun is out May 19, and you can pre-order it here.

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