Von Hertzen Brothers have never been an easy band to categorise by genre.
Their music is often and better illustrated in terms one might use to describe a novella, painting or a movie: Dynamic. Thought provoking. Magical. Nuanced. Expansive. Epic. Uplifting.
So, it is fitting that these three Finnish brothers approached their 8th studio album ‘Red Alert in the Blue Forest’ from the perspective of three artists creating a joint exhibition. The resulting body of work, a double LP, reflects the brothers’ unique upbringing, love of nature and the global challenges faced by humanity.
It’s understandable how a strong artistic temperament was instilled into these three siblings.
Kie, Mikko and Jonne’s father, Hasse and uncle, Lasse von Hertzen both played in well-known Scandinavian bands in the 60’s and 70s. One of Kie’s godfathers was an early Finnish environmentalist pioneer, the other one a well-known artist and a sculptor. The boys spent their holidays at their family’s seaside cabin on Finnish coastland where they still spend time writing songs and exploring the nature. An inevitable mutual vision steeped in Finnish folklore, musical traditions, wildlife, and humanitarian causes is often evident in their songwriting.
Initially, in the 1990’s, the brothers forged independent musical journeys, playing in separate successful bands. In 2000, a side project born from the idea of creating something together developed into their first album ‘Experience’. By the time their 2nd album ‘Approach’ (2006) topped the Finnish chart with its blend of progressive guitar driven rock combined with rich layered vocal harmonies, it was obvious that this band was something unique and special.
Since then, Von Hertzen Brothers have consistently achieved top 5 albums including 3 number 1’s in their homeland with ‘Love Remains The Same’ (2008), ‘Stars Aligned’ (2011), ‘Nine Lives’ (2013), ‘New Day Rising’ (2015) and ‘War Is Over’ (2017).
In 2011, ‘Stars Aligned’ was the band’s first album to be internationally distributed and since then, the band’s vast sound has led to their popularity spreading across Europe and beyond.
Their ability to mould complex arrangements into vivid musical landscapes led to an Emma Award (The Finnish equivalent of a Grammy) and a Progressive Music ‘Anthem of the Year’ Award in the UK as well as nominations and plaudits along the way.
This success has made them one of the most important rock acts to have emerged from Finland in recent times. A stunning live force, the band have performed in 22 countries.
The three brothers are joined by one of Finland’s finest drummers, Sami Kuoppamäki, known for acclaimed Finnish cult band Kingston Wall, and for performing in metal giants Apocalyptica and Stratovarius. Visionary keyboard player, Robert Engstrand, best known for his work with Turisas and the Swedish progressive band The Flower Kings completes the Von Hertzen Brothers line-up.
Recording ‘Red Alert in the Blue Forest’ throughout the standstill of 2021 gave the brothers time to reflect and merge their individual ideas. The resulting themes explore whether we can still find wonder, inspiration, beauty and harmony amid destruction, anxiety, imbalance, and withdrawal?… As the ‘Red Alerts’ around us get louder and the loss gets bigger, will our response be fight, flight or freeze and will we find a way to save ourselves and the ‘Blue Forest’?
The first single from the album, ‘All of a Sudden You’re Gone’ comes in at over 7 minutes and will be accompanied by a video filmed over 5 days in December 2021 in an old chalk factory. Like the band’s previous cinematic videos for ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘New Day Rising’ it has been directed and edited by Kie.
‘Red Alert in the Blue Forest’ is Von Hertzen Brothers’ first independent release through their own label ‘DoingBeingMusic’. Released on 18th March 2022 it is available on limited edition double gatefold red and blue vinyl LP, digipack CD and all digital platforms.
Links to buy and social platforms can be found here
VON HERTZEN BROTHERS ARE:
Mikko Von Hertzen
Kie Von Hertzen
Jonne Von Hertzen
Sami Kuoppamäki – Drums
Robert Engstrand – Keys
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“A masterpiece. An early contender for Album Of The Year” – Prog Magazine
“These are huge songs which contain multitudes” 10/10 – Powerplay Magazine
“Absolutely breath-taking from beginning to end” – Uber Rock
“An album of stunning range” 9/10 – Stone Prog DE
“The best album of the year so far” – 9/10 Powermetal DE
“A contender for best album of the year” 9/10 – Sweden Rock Magazine
“This new work shines for maturity and surprises at every new listening without setting any apparent limits, but above all it manages to excite. Touching” 8.5/10 – Rock Hard Italy
“Their latest masterpiece, has once again become a total work of art” 8.5/10 – Saitenkult DE
“A record that has taken a captivatingly scenic route to making its point” 8/10 – Classic Rock Magazine UK
“Ethereal harmonies, delicate acoustic guitar, mournful folk violins, brass swells and a bewitching melody. Gorgeous.” – Louder
“It may well be the most beautiful song of the year” – Rumba Magazine FI
“Psychedelic, folk, rock and pop all free flowing in a swirling mass of stunning soundscapes. Some of the finest musicianship of 2022” – The Moshville Times
“A remarkable record… thought provoking and intense’ – Album of The Week Rush On Rock
“They push all the molecules god gave them into an avalanche of awe inspiring sound.” Get Ready To Rock
“A courageous, high-class and above all lyrically important album. The Finns deliver their best work so far and offer an extremely exciting mixture of Nordic folk elements and bombastic rock sounds. Great cinema for the ears!” Albums of the Month – Eclipsed Magazine Germany
“Their most ambitious work to date – packed full of mesmerising melodies, stunning solos and valiant vocals deserves your full undivided attention, you won’t regret it” Full Pelt Music
“An exceptional experience” HRH Magazine
“These Finns burn bright on this album” Musipedia of Metal
“Repeated listening reveals an unexpected emotional force.” At The Barrier
“One of the most precious realities in the Nordic scene” 80/100 Classic Rock Italy
“Incredibly enchanting…the music of Von Hertzen Brothers will be preserved for a long time” Sonic Seducer Germany
“More independent and liberated than ever, Von Hertzen Brothers expands the boundaries of their musical journey, keeping their quality levels high” Rocking Greece
No.2 Official Album Charts Finland
No.2 Album of the week – Get Ready To Rock! Radio
No.2 Album of The Month – Eclipsed Magazine Germany
No.15 – Official UK Charts Independent Album Breakers