Bright & Black – The Album

Bright & Black - The Album



3.9/5 Pros

  • Symphonic orchestra with metal spirit
  • No classic rock music instruments lead to a very special listen Cons

  • Rather a set of song than an album

A Symphony Orchestra
Composers from the World of Metal
A Wild Conductor
A truly unique Solist
Attitude and Talent

This is the contents of a banner with with Bright & Black described themselves on their own Facebook page.You find the same words on their homepage. Bright & Black is intending to mix metal elements with classical music. Screaming guitars and gently stroken violins? Sounds like a perfect listen for – doesn’t it? It will be a bit of different, finally, though. The release date of the project’s debut album has been 26th January 2024. The album is simply named The Album.


Bright & Black – About The Artists

Bright & Black is a project initiated by Jacob Hellner and Per Kviman. 1961-born Hellner is a Swedish music producer, who is majorly known for the hard rock and metal genre. One of the key bands he has worked with is Rammstein. Per Kviman is another very successful and well-known producer of the Swedish music scene. Apart from managing the Stockholm-based artist management company Versity Music, he is also the head of the EMMA, the European Music Managers Alliance.

In addition to that, the two main artists behind the project are Eicca Toppinen and Kristjan Järvi. The Finnish cellist Toppinen is most famous for being a forming member of Apocalyptica. Järvi is a composer and producer, but also a conductor. He is based in the Estonian capital Tallinn and is the artistic lead of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, which has also the orchestra you hear on the recordings.


Bright & Black – The Album – Track by Track

The twelve song album lasts 66 minutes.

1. Nidhugg

If you just know the information from press kits or my introduction and also haven’t watched the AI-generated music video of Nidhugg, you might be rather surprised. Like the songs thereafter, the opener is completely driven by the orchestra? Wild drummer, who feel to be somehow related to Animal from The Muppet Show? Nah! Howling guitars? Not at all.

The instrumental stars of this album are the Estonian orchestra members. Only very few elements have been additionally recorded in Oslo – all the other metal influence is coming from the composition and production only. This turns into a really thrilling.close to nine minute listen. If there were the typical metal instruments, this would like me a melodic metal piece with some symphonic metal influence. Instead, Nidhugg is a lovely orchestral recording, which somehow feels familiar even though you might not be the typical target audience of orchestral recordings.

2. Bloodgrind

While the opener came with rather gentle, harmonic face, Bloodgrind does not hide its metal heart that much. I guess that the percussionists rarely has to hammer that quick when he is doing Beethoven or Mozart  The smashing uptempo track with some backing vocals is one of the recordings which illustrates best how much potential this project in fact has.

3. Can’t Explain This

Can’t Explain This opens with a rather dark and frightening atmosphere. Likely, in classical recordings, you would not invest more than a minute into bringing the listener into the right mood. Of course, you should bear in mind that despite the high quality recordings available of The Album, it is rather music made for the concert hall than for the Spotify playlist at work. The third song thereby is one of the most atmospheric listens of the project, with a strong focus on the string instruments.

4. Collateral Damage

Collateral Damage does not sound too much like a harmonic track. Actually, the epic almost ten minute anthem could be an amazing soundtrack for a role playing video game. Especially the first half of it feels very intense, while there are some more quiet moments as well thereafter. The Nordic collaboration creates some real magic in here.

5. The Secret

The eight minute track The Secret follows as the fifth song of The Album. The percussion open the song in the style of gun or cannon shots, which lead to a catching touch from the very beginning. The Secret feels complex and multi-faceted, as this main theme is accompanied by other elements like a very present string part. The cellos later proof that they can also add some electric guitar-alike sounds. Very impressive.

6. Mounts of Misfortune

Mounts of Misfortune has been the other single release by Bright & Black so far. The track has been written by Erik Danielsson, who is part of the band Watain and just one of several guest musicians, who added bits and valuable pieces to this record. The song starts rather slow and quiet, but then more and more makes use of the wide range of instruments available. Great one.

7. Armies of the Preposterous

The seventh track, Armies of the Preposterous, is my favorite of the album in regards of the development of a song the plot behind it. Especially towards the middle of it, this piece of arts also does have a somehow artificial touch and fees a bit too complex and confusing. On the other side, I love that this song really spreads some metal song spirit.

8. A World of Strange

The following 4:24 minutes belong to A World of Strange. The track opens with a baffled violin theme. Some dark, threatening vibes are added to it, before the song has a rather melodic finale. Overall, this one does not attract me as much as several of the predecessors.

9. From Dust and Mud

From Dust and Mud feels to follow-up on the mood with which A World of Strange is ending. This is (unfortunately) remarkable, as I sometimes miss the link between consecutive tracks. It is a bit easier for this one as well, as the 93 seconds listen rather takes an epilogue role – I don’t want to call it interlude, as the tenth track has a different style.

10. And Flesh And Blood

I could imagine that classic music lovers enjoy And Flesh And Blood most on The Album. This is not due to the fact that the song is just three minutes long so that they don’t have to bear it for too long, but as the composer here made great use of the different sections and kinds of instruments. On the one hand, there feels to be an unstoppably marching theme, on the other hand, there are a lot of nervous and anxious reactions on that in the other instruments. Wisely done, indeed.

11. Midnite Son

The eleventh track is a warm and harmonic song, which here and there presents some marching and rhythmic elements as well as some playful and easy melody. This leads to a beautiful plot and development and an easy to digest track.

12. End of All

The very sterling and solid End of All is just the perfect reprise, which is leading out of the album. I would have loved to have some more metal-alike references, though. It would have pointed out that this very unique instrumental journey comes with a very surprising and special musical background.


Bright & Black – The Album – Spotify

Here is the album on Spotify:


Bright & Black – The Album – My View

On the one hand, I really like The Album by Bright & Black. It does feel somehow rocking, even if there are no guitars, no bass grooves, no wild drum lines or screaming vocalists. Bright & Black did a really good job bringing at least some metal spirit into a symphonic orchestra. However, I would love to feel a stronger dramatic plot, a link between the songs. This unfortunately does not work out between all of the songs and thus rather makes The Album rather feel like a set of really good orchestral tracks rather than a really album, which is telling you a story.

Favorite Song: The Secret


Bright & Black – Tour 2024

Bright & Black have announced four tour dates so far.

Th 07.03.2024 Tallinn (Estonia() – Alexela Concert Hall
Fr 08.03.2024 Stockholm (Sweden) – Filadelfia Convention Center
Mo 11.03.2024 Berlin (Germany) – Philharmonie
Th 14.03.2024 Hong Kong – Hong Kong Arts Festival


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