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Gungfly On Her Journey To The Sun
Rikard Sjoblom's Gungfly - On Her Journey To The Sun CD Album Review

Gungfly: On Her Journey To The Sun

Melodic Progressive Rock
5.0/5.0

The demise of significant Swedish prog band Beardfish in 2016 hasn't slowed down it's vocalist Rikard Sjoblom in the least. The songwriter and multi-instrumentalist dropped a new solo album, The Unbendable Sleep, and cut a new album with his new gig Big Big Train, Folklore, in the same year. Right back at you this year comes another BBT album Grimspound and what we have here, a new Gungfly album, On Her Journey To The Sun. So gungfly is an insect right? Nope. Sjoblom explains its meaning this way, "The name Gungfly is a Swedish word meaning unsecure ground, it came from a novel I read where it was used to describe that someone didn't have grounds to back up their statements..."

Gungfly Band Photo

Gungfly

Considering his considerable resume, you can easily surmise that melodic progressive rock is Sjoblom and Gungfly's larger musical context. Sjoblom himself is known for his smooth, melodic, and versatile vocal style, generous guitar lines, and signature keyboard maneuvers, mostly from the Hammond organ. The latter is most significant across this album where the keyboards play various roles, from atmosphere to texture to leads. Like much of Gungfly's music, they can be playful, quirky, and abundant. A prime example is instrumental Polymixia, the title easily alluding to the diversity and range of Sjoblom's keyboard parts, not the least of which is some delightful piano before the midpoint. Later in the song, you could suggest his Hammond takes the role of vocalist.


Yet speaking to only the keyboard lines alone, as significant as they are, ignores the immense depth and breadth of any Gungfly compositions. The guitar lines are equally sweet reminding of neo-classical English prog from guitarist Steve Hackett or that fellow Scandi mate Roine Stolt. Within songs like The River Of Sadness, Of The Orb, or the slightly heavier My Hero, leads offer crisp accents while at the same time following the melody of a song. Within the song Old Demons Die Hard, notably in the latter half, the guitar lines have a jazz fusion feeling.

Mostly, with On Her Journey To The Sun, Gungfly offers the proper balance between melodic accessibility and prog complexity. A rather long album at nearly 75 minutes, there's plenty of music to engage and entertain you, and multiple spins will be necessary. Suffice to say, Rikard Sjoblom's Gungfly and On Her Journey To The Sun is exceptional and creative melodic progressive rock, and fans of the same will enjoy this album. Easily recommended.



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The Bottom Line

Suffice to say, Rikard Sjoblom's Gungfly and On Her Journey To The Sun is exceptional and creative melodic progressive rock, and fans of the same will enjoy this album. Easily recommended.

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