"Far away voices reaching across the sky"
With The Soundtrack of Our Lives, one of the few bands operating at the turn of the millennia to pull off retro-rocking without sounding derivative, going their separate ways in 2012, frontman Ebbot Lundberg quietly released his solo debut album earlier this year (well, his debut if you ignore the album length song that he recorded as part for the art project (In)Visible Dialogues). Backed by the critically acclaimed Indigo Children, could Lundberg recapture the powerful dynamics of his previous band’s first four albums?
On the strength of For the Ages to Come, he certainly gave it a good shot. Lundberg remains in fine voice, and lyrically the album is a seamless continuation of TSOOL. To be honest, if you only heard snippets of For the Ages to Come, you’d struggle to identify it as anything but a TSOOL release. Over an entire album length though, it becomes a little more obvious. Although obviously a skilled musical collective, the Indigo Children have a sophisticated sound, but they just can’t match Lundberg’s previous bandmates in terms of energy levels and excitement. It’s a subtle thing, and maybe the desire to sound more mature and considered plays a part, but more effort and patience is required to get the most out of For the Ages to Come, which means that it is not as immediate as Lundberg’s fans might have hoped.
That said, this album is not enough of a change of direction for Ebbot Lundberg which draws a line of demarcation between his previous band and his solo career, more of a change of tone or pace. There are probably those that found TSOOL’s retro rocking to be less than gripping that will thrill at the sound of him and a new band sounding a touch less raucous.
Ultimately For the Ages to Come is an odd release simply because it is neither an extension of what has gone before, or a complete break from Ebbot Lundberg’s past, but something of a strange halfway house that, while certainly not a disaster, isn’t perhaps the definitive statement that maybe it should have been.
Simply put, For the Ages to Come is a good little album, but it probably won’t blow you away like the first three TSOOL albums did.