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

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Gentle Giant - 2005 DRT Remasters – [Note: This review was written upon the release of the albums on DRT in 2005.]DRT is Derek Shulman’s US based label, which has taken ownership of the band’s North America CD distribution. His push...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues