Released on May 7th under the Banner "PHWG," Disc Entitled "The Observer"
June 12th, 2013, New York, New York – The new album from Pontus Gunve has been out just a little over a month. So far the critical response has been great. Numerous critics have found a lot of great things to say about the album.
At Neufutur James McQuiston said, "With each track on The Observer, Gunve looks to challenge his listeners and establish more than the expected music / vocal dichotomy…Gunve lays down guitar riffs but marries them to a multimedia experience, all while the rest of the band (including tabla, drums, cello, violin, and bass guitar) fills out each composition. The various influences and styles that are touched upon during a PHWG performance are similarly diverse – the band easily sails through progressive rock, psychedelic, new age, and world music genres. Under a Lime Tree and Tale of a Mariner's Wife, two tracks from The Observer, illustrate this point perfectly."
In his review of the album, Andrew Metzger of Mountain Weekly News) said, "Listening to Pontus HW Gunve's newest album, The Observer, currently set to be released on May 7th, 2013, is an exciting and awesome thrill ride. The album title describes it all. The album entrances and morphs the listener into an observer by poising itself to be an epic soundtrack for your mind…I had never heard of Pontus HW Gunve before and had no idea what to expect. Luckily, I found myself in a quiet fascination with what I was hearing. The only way I can describe The Observer is by comparing it to Pink Floyd, Beats Antique, Umphrey's McGee, Queen, and The John Butler Trio (2006 period)…Take elements from all of those bands, combine them with a few classic instruments and you can have an inkling as to what Pontus HW Gunve is bringing to the table. The Observer is instrumental bliss and a wonderful find."
Giving it an extremely high rating, Larry Toering said at Mr. Music Chronicles "Pontus HW Gunve is yet another great progressive rock artist on the scene that is full of everything it takes to fit that category and then some, with complex arrangements that border on Space Rock factors combined with Indian themes in the music, which is all there is to it, being an instrumental band as such. The music pulsates a lot of these elements throughout The Observer, and it's yet another delight to simply rave about. That is one of the best things about this album, you really can enjoy it track by track without having to necessarily hear it all as one. The Indian drums really carry a percussive vibe that holds it altogether. But the string arrangements are what mostly dominate the recording...I was blown out of my seat at first listen, and that is just something that usually doesn't happen with me… There is just no describing the sheer quality on offer here. It's something one must hear for themselves to really dig into properly, so it comes highly recommended…If you like your music laid back and intense at the same time, with an eastern vibe that won't quit, this is right up your alley. In fact to me it's so awesome that I will be not only recommending for years to come, I will be following this artist's progress from here out."
At Music Street Journal, Jason Hillenburg said of the disc, "There are few musicians in the mold of Pontus Gunve. Rarely content to rely on the traditional, but instead plundering it for his own uses, Gunve brings a European sensibility to dense, intensely musical instrumentals. His album, The Observer, ranks as one of the most challenging and, ultimately, rewarding releases of the year." Scott Kahn had this to say of the single "Cavalry of Camels" at MusicPlayers.com: "World Music meets Prog Metal in the latest single from Pontus Gunve. This is big orchestral stuff that rocks thanks to the solid guitar and drums anchoring the complex rhythms. The percussion and string section really give the music its international, ethnic vibe... Melodic, rocking, beautifully produced... I'm not fully sure how we'd categorize it, but we definitely enjoy listening to it."
Progressive Rock & Progressive Metal - E-Zine