Review – HFMC – Eternal Snapshots

The wonderful Swedish band HFMC (Hasse Fröberg & Musical Companion) formed in 2008, out of an idea by Flower Kings singer and guitarist Hasse Fröberg. The idea started to take shape and in 2009 HFMC started to play and prepare for what later became their debut album ‘FuturePast’.

HFMC also consists of Sampo Axelsson (bass guitar), Kjell Haraldsson (keyboards), Anton Lindsjö (guitar) and Ola Strandberg (dums). The band members have played together with names like Glenn Hughes, Michael Schenker, Jeff Scott Soto and Joe Lynn Turner amongst others… HFMC has a warm and unique sound of their own with influences from progressive rock, classic rock and even a hint of pop.

2024 marks the forty-year anniversary since Hasse released his first full length album. What can be better to celebrate forty years as a recording artist than to release a new one? The new HFMC record ‘Eternal Snapshots’ is the band’s sixth studio album.

It’s a concept album that deals with questions such as how do we become who we are. Is everything predetermined? Is destiny involved in our lives? The title ‘Eternal Snapshots’ reflects over the fact that new fate of lives is being born every second and here we get to follow two of them.

I will admit to being a big fan of HFMC, I made their 2021 release ‘We Are The Truth’ my album of the year saying, “This superlative gem of release is worthy of all the praise that is being heaped upon it and finishes 2021 on an utter high for this reviewer, the finest of a wonderful crop of albums released this year? You’ll have to wait and see but it is most definitely right up there with the very, very best.” So I had high expectations of this album and, being up front and central, Hasse and the guys have not let me down!

There’s just something immediately recognisable about Hasse’s vocals, maybe it’s because I am also a fan of the Flower Kings, I’m not sure but his vocal delivery is pretty unique and perfectly suited to the music and, in Anton Lindsjö, he has a superlative guitarist who can turn his hand to pretty much any genre he wants to and, in Sampo Axelsson and Ola Strandberg, a rhythm section as sharp and as cool as they come. What they have created is a masterly collection of brilliant, catchy songs that flow superbly and make a wonderfully cohesive album of progressive tinged hard rock that even has some poppy moments. It’s a record that makes you smile, tap your foot and sing along too and I love music like that!

Opening track All I Wanted To Be (Pt 1) has a big build up with some solid guitar and Kjell Haraldsson’s dextrous keyboards before it flies off with some thunderous drums and excellent bass play conducting the journey. Hasse’s almost plaintive vocal then joins in as the foot comes of the accelerator giving the song a more purposeful feel and then it segues perfectly into the upbeat and uplifting vibe of Deserve To be Happy, a track that showcases music with a sunny disposition. An earnest vocal with subdued music opens the song before it blossoms into something quite remarkable indeed, Kjell’s keys and Ola’s drums providing the driving force and Anton’s fine guitar playing the glue that holds it all together. Add in the wonderful, catchy chorus and you’ve got that joyous toe-tapper that just makes you smile, it’s just feel good music at it’s finest. I love the 80’s Asia/Boston vibe of the guitar, drums and keys that provides the musical palette for Hasse to paint his vocal lines on, “I deserve to be happy…”, you do indeed Hasse! Wistful and and nostalgic in feel, Wherever You may Go adds a quieter, inspiring feel to the album as the subdued acoustic guitar opens the track and Hasse’s poignant vocal begins. It is a beautiful song and one that just bleeds emotion, especially on the delightful chorus. It is a song that just stays in your head for a very long time, invoking sepia tinged memories that are almost melancholic but the music is just so spiritual that the feeling never lasts for long. Anton’s fabulous guitar work and Kjell’s Hammond organ are touches of genius, an outstanding piece of music indeed!

That 80’s vibe returns to grace another great piece of songwriting on No Messiah, an evocative mix of soaring keyboards, fiery guitar and a thunderous rhythm section that gets under your skin and drags you along on its emotive journey. Hasse said to me, “The lyrics might be a little “depressing” at times but as a whole it comes out as a positive experience listening to it.”, and I agree with him totally, they is a joy to the music and a real energising effect from the vocals, especially when harmonised as brilliantly as they are on this song! The sounds of a shipyard open Once In A Lifetime, a journey back in time with it’s 80’s hard rock feel. Powerful and reflective, a song that wouldn’t have been out of place on an album by Foreigner or Journey and it’s when I type the latter that an inspiration particle goes off in my head, that’s who Hasse’s voice reminds me of, the legendary Steve Perry! This is a song that lifts you up into its maelstrom willingly and you are captivated by the amazing musical journey. Only For Me and The Yard are two short interludes, the former having a feel of sunny shores and glimmering ripples in clear calm waters, “why can’t I see, this is for me…” and the latter could have come straight from a Spock’s Beard release and, despite being under two minutes long, possibly the most proggy track on the album!

The excellent songwriting continues with Searching For The Dark, which feels like a mix of classic Crosby, Stills & Nash and Yes with its gorgeous vocals and heavenly music that just floats suggestively in your psyche, the guitar is especially divine and helps make this engaging track something quite remarkable. A Sorrowful Marriner is another musical amuse bouche that has an almost choral feel to it, all church organs and heavenly voices. Just occasionally a band decide to do something quite left field from the other songs on the album, maybe just because they can and HFMC decide to channel their inner rock god with the utterly sublime Blind Dog, a brilliant, grin inducing, hard rocking song that wouldn’t have been out of place on a 70’s Led Zep album. I get the impression that everyone is having the time of their life on this fiery, thunderous behemoth of sinuous bass playing, primeval drums and Hammond organ to die for. Anton gets to cut loose and, boy, does he ever! delivering a lesson in classic rock guitar playing second to none, add in Hasse’s dynamic, ardent vocal and you have a superlative slice of rock music. The album comes full circle as it closes with the refrain of All I Wanted To be (Pt 2), the bells are ringing, the guitar is playing and we are coming to a tremendous tumultuous conclusion to an utterly exhilarating musical experience.

Music is written to connect with people, to move you on an emotional, spiritual and intellectual level. If it is done right then it leaves you in a much better place than when you listened to the first note and, with ‘Eternal Snapshots’, Hasse Fröberg & Musical Companion have delivered one of the most superlative musical events of the year so far.

Released 6th June, 2024.

Order from bandcamp here:

Eternal Snapshots | HFMC (

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