January 1, 2022

Well, this is going to be an album that makes people sit up and take notice. The band was initially formed in Sweden (where else these days?) way back in 2007 by guitarist Andrée Theander and keyboard player Erik Gafvelin Wiss when they met at university and together they produced a 30-minute EP called Influence Grind which was an interesting affair being a little prog and pop and some jazz influences plus complex time signatures which made them stand out and sound just a little like later years Tears For Fears. Sadly, they went separate ways after graduation with Theander becoming a guitar teacher and session musician as well as running his own band Theander Expression whereas Wiss built a studio and has been producing bands like Arctic Rain, Cruzh and Creye which, of course, meant a working relationship with the Frontiers label. They have since got together and decided to resurrect the old band to produce the official debut with all writing and production being done by Theander and Wiss although Wiss did not take part in the music process having decided to stay with his chosen production career. His role as keyboard player has been handed on to André Egbo with Chandler Mogel coming in on vocals, Linus Abrahamson on bass and Johan Ludvig Rask on drums.

High On Deception is an album that pretty much follows on from what was happening on Influence Grind EP which again is a huge slab or progressive rock at its finest with sublime musical passages, great solo breaks, amazing vocals and all the complex time changes that you can handle. All still comes with a popular music appeal (but not pop) with a little soulful jazz in the background so you get the occasional feel of Hall & Oates and Steely Dan set against the musical complexity of Yes and some very Rick Wakeman like keyboards and piano plus fellow Swedes A.C.T., Karmakanic and Kaipa. Once again, there is a spirited, mid-Atlantic sound to the proceedings whilst still retaining that particular Swedish progressive rock sound that they do so well with some very Roine Stolt type guitar to enjoy as well. There is so much happening on this album that you are still discovering new facets even after 10 plays and under headphones it is an audio delight.

If you love progressive rock then this is absolutely perfect for you; certainly there is a broad music base here and this keep you enthralled and the music interplay is as good as it gets with Chandler Mogel being an undiscovered treasure but, rest assured, all that is going to change as High On Deception is most certainly one prog album that you most definitely must have.

High On Deception

  1. Crazy Enough (4:49)
  2. High On Deception (4:17)
  3. Disaster Mindset (4:36)
  4. In The Shade Of The Masquerade (4:02)
  5. Shadows On The Wall (9:14)
  6. Our Brightest Day (3:55)
  7. My Destination (5:00)
  8. Run Before We Walk (4:36)
  9. As Long As You Believe (6:41)
  10. Dopamine Overflow (5:56)