It was 2015 when I first came across VON HERTZEN BROTHERS; I interviewed them at the Finnish Ambassador’s residence and reviewed New Day Rising which was their release at the time. Fast forward to the present day and they are back on my radar. They are due to release Red Alert In The Blue Forest and it is easily one of the most fascinating albums I have come across to date.
Day Of Reckoning lures you in right from the off. The first thing I notice is the flawlessly haunting vocal harmonies, bands such as BIFFY CLYRO and KEANE come to mind during this opener. I often say the best openers lure you in and hit you with an impact at the same time, this is what Day Of Reckoning does.
Due to the diverse content this record shows, this album proves that you simply can’t pigeonhole VON HERTZEN BROTHERS into one genre box. Below are a few examples of what I mean.
Picture the scene. You’re in a dark forest and slowly you see the warm glow of a campfire in the distance. You are uncertain of what lies ahead, and you have no idea what the outcome is, but you are still curious and carry on approaching this. The Promise reminds me of this feeling; you enjoy discovering what this song offers without worrying about the outcome. Adding the touch of a curious yet playful sounding strings was genius as it allows you to fully immerse oneself.
I have one word to describe the melody in All Of A Sudden You’re Gone; stunning. I am certain due to the vast sounds and the ability to root you to the spot that this will be a stadium anthem.
Pirates Of The Raseborgian is a sea shanty with a modern twist. Steampunk Pirates come to mind instantly when I hear this song. Advice when listening to this song; hoist anchor, grab a bottle of rum and sing along me hearties.
Anil has the power to calm you right down. This will be due down the ethereal arrangements throughout. This track is so calming that it could be played during a yoga class. The words calming and empowering come to mind when I listen to this track. I ought to mention Anil is the Hindu God of air so this calm feeling in this song perfectly encapsulates this.
Northern Lights is one of those tracks where you really need to pay close attention to. It takes you on quite a few twists and turns, I won’t give away what those are but one thing I will say is that the album is great at keeping you on your toes.
It ends with the beautiful and moving closer Disappear There. Even right down to the last track, the band keep us guessing on what’s to come next.
There is an aspect of Mindfulness called Beginner’s Mind that encourages curiosity, letting go of expectations and approaching things with an open mind. Red Alert In The Blue Forest definitely encourages this aspect; not only did I feel a lot calmer when experiencing this work of art, my inquisitiveness piqued for the duration of the record. It also shows that VON HERTZEN BROTHERS are still going strong.
Note for when you listen to this: close your eyes and let your imagination wonder.
Words: Lotty Whittingham
Red Alert In The Blue Forest will be released 18th March 2022 via Doing Being Music.
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