Exposé Online banner

Grandbell — The Sun and the Embryo
(Progressive Rock Worldwide PRW 022, 1996, CD)

by Mike Ohman, Published 1997-02-01

The Sun and the Embryo Cover art

My immediate snap-judgment upon first listening to this was "Yes-clone." This was mainly based upon hearing vocalist Renato Jardim, who is unapologetically influenced by Jon Anderson. Subsequent listens revealed subtleties I'd missed the first time round. Grandbell's instrumental backbone is composed mostly of acoustic guitar and flute. Electric guitar makes sporadic appearances, but it's mostly 12-string acoustic that I'm hearing. Keyboards are used in a quite subtle manner. They are all over the place, but rarely do they scream out and call your attention to them. Keyboardist Henrique Kunz is also credited with "programming," and he obviously put lots of thought into it. I was especially impressed with a very convincing harpsichord sample used on "Phoenix's Springtime" and a few other tracks. In the musical world of Grandbell, melody wins out over complexity; in itself not bad, but one gets the feeling that they're making it too easy on themselves, especially on the later tracks such as "Spiral." One also gets the feeling that the album is a bit padded (at something like 80 minutes, it could have been much shorter and just as good, if not better). Still, Grandbell have surely started out on the right foot with this, their debut release. I look forward to hearing more from them in the future.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 11, 1996 releases

Related artist(s): Grandbell

Latest news

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ange - By the Sons of Mandrin & Par les Fils de Mandrin Live 77 – Banco and PFM did it, so why not Ange? The world of rock music has always been dominated by the English language, and many of the bands who sing primarily in another language have seen fit to record...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues