Sweden Private Press 55mins

Artwork By  Saida Krause Soderstrom

My Rating 90/100


I was delighted to receive a message from my friend Björn Sandström, asking me to check out his recently completed ‘solo project, which is due for release in early December 2022. This project actually being his second ‘Cyklad Band’ release titled ‘Off-Line’

Brian, more usually the lead guitarist with the Swedish heavy rock band ‘LostQ, had utilised, to good effect, the inconvenience of the recent Covid Pandemic to compose this second solo venture. Björn worked closely with illustrator and wordsmith ‘Saida Krause Soderstrom’ in bringing together the various concepts to fruition. Björn composed and assembled the instrumental score and Saida composed the majority of the lyrics.

On the first spin and certainly inspired by the band name ‘Cyklad’, I was immediately transported to the dazzling Mediterranean 200-strong archipelago of the same name. The alluring Cyclades of Greece, where there is so much variation, movement, colour and architectural deviance. This, for me, echoed the essence or hallmark portrayed within the spirit of the music found on this dynamic album.

An idealistic introduction to this eight-track album maybe, but the entire affair of eight tracks really does encompass the entire spectrum of rock music from heavy metal to genial folk. And cleverly interwoven throughout is a threaded web of progressive delights, bringing together variation, movement, colour and deviance to the structural musical building blocks. To explain this further, the music is layered in such a way that there are many musical happenings going on at any one time. It is therefore impossible to soak up everything in one go requiring several listens, to fully appreciate the complexity of the compositional makeup.

There are many delightful instrumental convergences’ with beautifully executed guitar dancing together sublimely with a series of melodic keyboard sequences. The competent drumming throughout certainly drives the music forward and actually needs to be applauded for managing the changes of tempo created by the demands of the compositional complexities associated with the musical score. The interest value is maintained throughout with no less than five different vocalists participating, each giving a fresh approach to the proceedings with their different vocal delivery styles. Such styles range from snippets of ‘Rush’, Fotheringay and a definite helping of Musical theatre rock opera style.

Summary: This is an album that should appeal to the entire spectrum of rock fans. A journey, if you will, through different rock styles but with a definite progressive rock foundation of resourceful instrumental interplay. Strong vocal support enhances the individuality of the eight tracks. An album too, graced with a set of beautifully created cover artwork that reinforces the album’s uniqueness and its private press status.

1    Haunted                 4.18

2    Alive                       7.29

3     Twilight                 4.26

4     The Game            7.28

5      Limbo                 7.58

6    Silence               9.18

7. Off Line               7.30

8. Old Man              7.33


Bjorn Sandstrom: Composer, instruments, (LostQ)

Björn Nyberg- drums

Vocalists Therese Thomsson, Michaela Odby, Mikael Thyberg and Bo Törnhult (RIP) and Ronny Hemlin,