Da Musically Inclined Bomb

DePauw University's First Year Seminar on Writing about Music

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Bernard Melts Faces

Artist: Bernard
Album: A view beyond a cave
Label: Floodgate Records
Reviewed by: Tommy Good

I have never so instinctively bought a CD after hearing only half of a song live. I heard a few of their last chords just because I went to see the band playing after them, and I started kicking myself as soon as I walked under the tent that I hadn’t come to hear them. Bernard is a fairly new band under the fairly new Floodgate Records, which is a “new-age” ambient Christian rock.
I expected a lot from the album after I heard them live, and I got just that, and then some. “A view beyond a cave” is best described as ambient, atmospheric rock that completely sweeps you away into another world. Bernard’s melodies are so beautiful and melodic, whether I am happy, down, spiritual, or angry, there is never a time when they are not the perfect band to listen to.
Bernard kicks off their awe-inspiring album with a 54 second intro with a continuous crescendo of dazzling synth and stunning guitar, which ends with a subtle cymbal splash to begin their first real song. After hearing their first song with the steady build up of piano, guitar, synth, Jonathan’s mollifying voice, and eventually an amazing drum and bass combo, you think that the rest must be downhill. You soon discover how painfully mistaken you are when the rest of the album plays and you find yourself nodding and tapping along, stopping whatever you were doing to give them both of your ears to experience all the beauty and bliss that Bernard has to offer in this album.
The only negative thing I can say about this album is that it is too short, having only 7 songs, not including the intro. I definitely would not have minded a couple more spine-tingling tracks.
You will be seeing big things from this trio!


At 9/02/2006 6:46 PM, Blogger Becca said...

I like the technical descriptions, and you mixed them nicely with more aesthetic observations: ...54 second intro with a continuous crescendo of dazzling synth and stunning guitar, which ends with a subtle cymbal splash to begin their first real song.


At 9/02/2006 7:21 PM, Blogger Kitt_Katt said...

The beginning sounds more like a life story than a CD review. Try not to use "I" when writing something like this.

At 9/02/2006 10:27 PM, Blogger Scott Spiegelberg said...

A review can be written either subjectively or objectively. When taking the former approach, "I" is fine. It is better than utilizing passive language in order to hide the author.

At 9/03/2006 12:16 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

The review was well written. You made it very clear how good this band is.

At 9/03/2006 4:20 PM, Blogger Melissa said...

It's really cool how you bought it after only hearing a part of a song and you ended up liking it so much.

At 9/03/2006 4:54 PM, Blogger iheart-t-ravs said...

I really liked how you incorporated your own experience with the band into your review. It just shows how a band can really surprise you.

At 9/03/2006 5:33 PM, Blogger Renee said...

so what was the band before you? were they better?

At 9/03/2006 6:33 PM, Blogger Nat said...

To go along with some of the earlier comments, again, I really enjoyed your descriptive language. I think your use of "I" really worked because it made your arguments more convincing. One thought, don't take offense, please, if you are going to make a comment about one of the band member and refer to them by name I would introduce them before commenting. But I still loved it!


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