Rikard Sjöblom's Gungfly -
Alone Together

(CD 2020, 61:46, Inside Out Music)

The tracks:
  1- Traveler(13:04)
  2- Happy Somewhere In Between(6:19)
  3- Clean As A Whistle(6:24)
  4- Alone Together(9:35)
  5- From Afar(2:46)
  6- On The Shoulders Of Giants(14:50)

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“Workaholic” Rikard Sjöblom is of course known from Beardfish, Bootcut, his work with Big Big Train and his solo work. Alone Together is a new solo released as Rikard Sjöblom's Gungfly and I can tell you right away that I love it, as this album, dealing lyrically with human relations, is an old school prog rock gem in the veins of Genesis, Rush, Yes, Pink Floyd and even Porcupine Tree and Opeth.

The absolute highlight on this album is the longest song called On The Shoulders Of Giants, a tribute to Frank Zappa and to all the bands Rikard listened to. This one is sheer bliss filled with marvelous guitar artistry reminding me of Led Zeppelin, Queen and Floyd; check out the awesome guitar at the end of the song. Opening track Traveler is also an epic one, clocking over just 13 minutes, featuring very tasteful keys and guitar passages and the song also has a very relaxed middle part. Happy Somewhere In Between is quite up tempo and even funky and that one has a very addictive great chorus with Aerosmith and Lynyrd Skynyrd characteristics... The title track is probably the proggiest and craziest piece of the album filled with lots of melodic moments, an unexpected death growl and some surf rock guitar parts!

Alone Together is a massive album where Sjöblom's eclectic musical style related in prog fully comes to live, making this album a timeless prog rock classic. Check it out and you will love it.

**** Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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