Von Hertzen Brothers – Nine Lives


Review by Tosh Davies

Very much an unknown entity on these shores apart from a few select live appearances, The Von Hertzen Brothers have been very successful in their native Finland. Their 2006 album Approach won them a Grammy in their homeland and previous albums have fared quite well reaching Gold status.

Nine Lives is their fifth studio release and sees them combine their progressive sound with a sprinkling of tracks covering less familiar territory. Single ‘Flowers and Rust’ is a soaring catchy affair but ‘Coming Home’ is a combination of 69 Eye’s meets Brit-pop which somehow seems to work. Things then take a u-turn back to deep progressive elements the band is more associated with. The trippy ‘Lost In Time’ and meandering minimalist of  ‘Separate Forever’s’ are only fully appreciated with the help of a comfy chair and headphones. After its bombastic start the album is suddenly immersed in a wave of swirling quieter numbers, still heavy nevertheless for their own reasons. Picking up the pace somewhat with the almost medieval stomp of ‘Black Hearts Cry’, Nine Lives is a concoction of sleepy driven overtures.

Three bonus tracks add to the whimsical nature of the Von Hertzen message which is predominantly “mellow out man”. I’m sure after repeated listens this album will grow on you like a lingering melanoma, a difficult one to score as it is excellent for its own eclectic reasons. If you’re already a fan then I’m preaching to the perverted; if not, why not take a punt and open your head to the wonderful sounds of the Von Hertzen Brothers? Nine Lives is a strange affair but one I’m sure the wife won’t stab you in the heart for having! (Ed: How reassuring…)

Von Hertzen Brothers - Nine Lives7.5 out of 10


  1. Insomniac
  2. Flowers and Rust
  3. Coming Home
  4. Lost In Time
  5. Separate Forevers
  6. One May Never Know
  7. World Without
  8. Black Heart’s Cry
  9. Prospect For Escape

Bonus tracks:

  1. The Climb
  2. Do What You Want With Me
  3. Between The Lines



  1. It was a bit quiet in some places, wish they had ‘rocked out’ a bit more. As long as they keep the pace of their live set on the lively side I’ll be happy!

  2. I agree, Tosh, it is “excellent for its own eclectic reasons” but I just found it dipped into too many styles, went down a few cul de sacs and never hung out on enough main streets for me overall. Some lovely harmonies, mind.

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