Artist: Prehistoric Animals
Album Title: Consider It A Work Of Art
Label: Altzarian Daydreams
Date of Release: 30 November 2018
Here’s a band that I literally knew nothing about prior to ProgPower Europe 2019. A week or so before the festival, I did a little homework and listened to a couple of the available tracks via YouTube and the like. I enjoyed what I heard and went to Holland with an open mind. On stage, the band were excellent, and so naturally I bought their debut album after their set.
For the last couple of weeks, ‘Consider It a Work of Art’ has received heavy rotation in the Mansion of Much Metal and every time I listen, it seems go get better and better. So it seemed right that I review it and spread the word about a very good album indeed, despite being released in 2018. If music is good, what does it matter, right? Especially when the band appear to be criminally underrated…step forward manofmuchmetal.com.
Prehistoric Animals hail from Borlänge in Sweden and began life as a duo of Stefan Altzar (Vocals, guitars) and drummer Samuel Granath. They have since increased to a five-piece with Stefan Jernståhl (Keys), Peter Holmstedt (Bass) and Daniel Magdic (Guitars) joining the fold.
The thing that initially drew me to the music of Prehistoric Animals was the warmth and immediacy on offer. Right from the get-go, you’re drawn to the songs and without even realising it, you’re hooked. And to be hooked after a single listen is impressive, whatever the music. On their Bandcamp page, they describe their music as “own version of Prog/rock/metal with focus on great melodies” and this is 100% accurate.
The ten tracks on ‘Consider It A Work Of Art’ do sit at the crossroads of rock and metal; the material isn’t the heaviest you’ll ever hear but there are plenty of powerful riffs that rear their heads from time to time (the opening to ‘Would You Crack The Sky?’ for just one example), alongside a strong, punchy rhythm section. But Prehistoric Animals are not afraid to wear other influences on their sleeves, such as their apparent love of pop music from the 80s. The swathes of keys that bathe much of the material add to that aforementioned warmth, injecting another intriguing facet to the compositions at the same time. There are some proggy moments to be enjoyed, such as the breezy but quirky ‘Still Feels Like Magic’, but they are cleverly ingrained within the songs to the point that you don’t even realise you’re listening to a song with progressive leanings.
For all the sophistication and subtlety however, it is the blend of Altzar’s vocals with some absolutely stunning melodic sensibilities that take Prehistoric Animals from a good band to a great one. Stefan Altzar has a wonderfully expressive and mellifluous voice, with a lovely smoothness to it. And when he sings atop the jaw-dropping, hook-laden melodies within such fantastic and deceptively complex compositions as ‘March For Ignorance’, ‘Never Thought I Was A Monster’ or the title track, it is a devastatingly enjoyable combination.
To add icing to the cake, the lyrics on this album are very intelligent and profound a times, making me think whilst I dance around the house with the songs at full blast.
From start to finish, ‘Consider It A Work Of Art’ is a wonderful record that rarely puts a foot wrong. It contains the kind of music that plants a huge smile on my face and makes me feel good about life. If this sounds like your kind of thing, then I urge you to check out this hugely impressive band. If you do, I suspect you’ll be quickly adding the aptly-titled ‘Consider It A Work Of Art’ to your collection.
The Score of Much Metal: 93%
If you’ve enjoyed this review, check out my others from 2019:
Voyager – Colours In The Sun
Odd Logic – Last Watch Of The Nightingale
Avandra – Descender
Darkwater – Human
ZW Band / Zonder Wehrkamp – If It’s Real
Teramaze – Are We Soldiers
Rendezvous Point – Universal Chaos
Our Destiny – Awakening
Evergrey – The Atlantic
You can also check out my other reviews from previous years right here: