Bridge to Mars
"Quality from start to finish, Bridge To Mars have the potential to make some serious waves in the world of classic rock with this debut album"
Jim Rowland, Uberrock
Not just a copy of course,Bridge To Mars have made their own wonderful way. They learned from a master, they run with the best, they make a stupendous noise.
9 out of 10
Steve Swift, Powerplay magazine UK
"Bridge To Mars is spot on target. If you like the genre, you will love this album"
Craig Hartranft, Dangerdog
"So I think it’s fairly obvious that I rather like this release and if 70’s rock / hard rock is your bag , then you will too."
Dan Mann, Rockposer
"All in all a killer debut for this power trio, a band I’d really like to see live, where I think the songs will really come alive. Highly recommended!"
So, on closing, if your into MetalCore, Djent, Thrash metal etc. then you may think this isn’t gonna be your cuppa tea. However, like everyone else who is into Rock or Metal or every genre and era, you will always listen to the likes of Zep, Cream, The Who etc., and if you liked these, then you will love Bridge To Mars. This albums sound, has its roots well and truly planted in the late 60’s and 70’s early classic rock, psychedelia era, but with an all important 2016 contemporary take on it. This is one classy album. Buy it! You sure as hell won’t be disappointed.
Would I buy it? – Yes, and I did, and so should you!
Would I recommend it? – Most definitely!
Would I pay good money to see them live? – Without hesitation. JJ Marsh is without doubt one of the greatest guitarists to grace this planet.
Rating – 5 out of 5
John J O´Neil, Firestorm.com
10 out of 10 cd review by Sleazethiscity, France
5 out of 5 cd review by Radio-Barbarossa, Germany
8 out if 10 cd review by Sweden Rock magazine, Sweden
BRIDGE TO MARS, a three-piece powerhouse from Stockholm, Sweden.
JJ MARSH: Regular co-writer and guitar player with Glenn Hughes for 13 years and played on a number of his albums, and also recorded and toured with Glenn and Joe Lynn Turner's 'Hughes Turner Project' (HTP). Has also played with the Swedish band Spellbound.
THOMAS BROMAN: Worked with many artists and bands including Great King Rat, The Electric Boys, Send No Flowers, Magnus Lindberg, John Norum, Silver Ginger 5, Glenn Hughes, Hughes Turner Project, Firebird, Joe Lynn Turner, Michael Schenker and many more.
ROBERT HANSEN: Also bass player in the swedish progressive band Beardfish and has been a part of many other projects.
There’s an unspoken edict handed down through the ages when it comes to rock bands: there are no rules.
Nobody picks up a guitar to be constricted or oppressed. It’s all about feeling free artistically. Now, The Sword—John Cronise [vocals, guitar], Kyle Shutt [guitar], Bryan Richie [bass], and Santiago Vela III [drums]—cutout boundaries since day one. Their style never stood predicated on a trend or a template. They always create what feels right and let the results speak for themselves.
When it came time to record the group’s fifth full-length album, High Country [Razor & Tie], Cronise landed at something of a spiritual crossroads. Following the final tour for their critically acclaimed Apocryphon, he holed up in his North Carolina home and eventually began writing new songs. The material began to veer into a different space that at the time Cronise felt was somewhat outside of The Sword’s sphere.
“I didn’t even intend for the demos to be Sword songs,” he explains. “But then I realized that I had taken on a sort of limiting view of what The Sword was, and that wasn’t actually what I wanted it to be. I think the new album is more reflective of the music I listen to and where our heads are at collectively. With each of our albums, it’s become less about fury and bombast and more about trying to write good songs. We realized that our music can go wherever we want it to go. There’s no pre-determined course here now, and there never was.”
High Country became new territory for The Sword, and they began doing things differently. That approach included more attention to backing vocals and harmonies, implementing more synthesizers and percussion elements, and tuning to E-flat instead of all the way down to C. As a result, the guitars stand out as more vital and vibrant than ever.
“I felt like the low tuning had become more of a crutch than a tool,” he says. “It was all a matter of trying to keep things fresh, and not fall prey to habits or expectations. We wanted to break out of any classifications and just putout a good rock record.
”Inspired, the boys headed to Church House Recording Studio in Austin, TX to cut High Country with Adrian Quesadaof Brownout and Grupo Fantasma producing, Stuart Sykes [The White Stripes] engineering, and J. Robbins mixing.Over the course of four weeks, they hammered out the album’s 15 tracks in the old converted church. Thematically though, Cronise’s head was still in North Carolina.
“There are a lot of lyrical themes that run throughout the album,” he explains. “I live out in the mountains, so nature really inspired the whole record. That’s a large part of the lyrics.
”The title track and first single “High Country” springs from a transfixing guitar melody into a sweeping refrain,illuminating the group’s inherent dynamics. Over those rolling riffs, the singer paints a thought-provoking topography.
“That was actually the first song I wrote that ended up going on the record,” he says. “The title can have quite a few meanings. Physically, it might mean mountains and literal high country, but it can also refer to a plane of being; a place of wisdom and enlightenment.”
“Empty Temples” opens with a psychedelic buzz that quickly ramps up into towering guitars and another robustvocal display evocative of rock’s golden age.
“It’s loose and swinging, but it has these epic moments,” says Cronise. “Lyrically, it’s about letting go of the past and moving on. You just have faith if you embrace change and be unafraid, and you’ll find where you need to go.
”The gathering storm of “Early Snow” eventually gives way to a rapturous horn section, another first for the band,while “Mist and Shadow” stirs up a haze of blues that’s instantly thunderous. “That song is based around riffswritten by Bryan, which is a new thing for us. He contributed quite a bit of music to this album, and in many ways it’s our most collaborative work to date.”
Both “The Dreamthieves” and “Tears Like Diamonds” have titles inspired by the work of science fiction author Michael Moorcock, though Cronise insists the lyrics have lives of their own. “I’d prefer to let people interpret the songs how they want,” he says, “which is one reason the lyrics aren’t printed in the album sleeve this time. I think they’re pretty intelligible and accessible, and I didn’t want them to distract from the music.
”The Sword’s impact continues to expand. 2012’s Apocryphon debuted at #17 on the Billboard Top 200, marking their highest entry on the chart. Since first emerging with 2006’s Age of Winters, the group has been extolled by everyone from Rolling Stone and The Washington Post to Revolver and Decibel. Metallica personally chose them as support for a global tour, and they’ve earned high-profile syncs in movies including Jennifer’s Body and Jonas Åkerlund’s Horsemen. However, High Country is the band’s biggest, boldest, and brightest frontier.
“I want to make positive, uplifting music,” Cronise leaves off. “High Country has moments of darkness and thoughtfulness, as anything I write probably will. But at the end of the day I want to put smiles on people’s faces.”