The late 1960s and the 1970s gave us progressive rock, while the late 1980s and the 1990s gave us various shapes and forms of alternative rock. While quite different in approach and aesthetics, with progressive rock seeking complexity and grandiosity and alternative rock often seeking minimalism and introvertness, a number of bands have showed us that progressive rock and alternative rock can definitely be combined, and, I would think that this is because the fundamental ideal of both branches of rock music is to deliberately deviate from the mainstream rock and pop scene.
The Swedish band We Could Build An Empire (yes, I actually though it was a metalcore band, too, but it isn't) give us another lesson on their eponymous debut album in the compatibility of alternative rock and progressive rock. Taking their starting point in some relatively uncomplicated, yet well put together and definitely sophisticated riffs and figures (spiced with jazz chords and other elements that are atypical for mainstream rock), the Swedes' music is actually quite melodic and compelling.
Drawing on the introvertness and some of the aesthetics of expression – specifically in the guitar melodies – of melancholic alternative rock, the insert various spacey effects into the overall sound pictures. Moreover, their approach is not atypical of progressive music, as their compositions are generally multi-layered and generally have some interesting buildup and breakdown moves. We are not dealing with overly technical music here, although the musicians insert a couple of advanced moves every now and then as if to shows that they definitely know how to play their instruments.
We Could build An Empire is a fine modern melodic rock release which perfectly fuses elements from alternative rock and progressive rock into a collection of completely saturated and compelling tunes. Fans of the likes of Mew, Soundgarden, Muse, and Coldplay might find it further interesting, since We Could Build An Empire presents yet another way of combining alternative rock and progressive rock.
1. Finest Work
5. The Power
6. Fall Free
8. Back to Start