STYLE: Crossover Progressive Rock
FORMAT: FLAC (Tracks + Log + Cue + Scans + 5% Recovery)
SIZE: 506 Mb
The line-up for this album is : Stefan Fredin (bass guitar, vocals, rhytm guitar), Dag Lundquist (drums, backing vocals), Robert Zima (vocals), Christer Åkerberg (electric & acoustic guitars), Mats Lindberg (keyboards), and Olle Thörnvall (lyrics). As with 2004's reunion album Elden Av År, the band focuses on guitar driven songs bolstered by Mellotron, Hammond organ, piano, and synths, as the band meshes a little bit of their early blues-rock style with the full-blown prog sound they took part in during most of the 70's and early 80's. Tracks like "Lovsång", "Öknen", and the two part "Ungdom" show a veteran band that is reaching a creative spark, as each are steeped with rich melodies and exciting instrumental interplay, especially between Åkerberg & Lindberg. "Floden" has some great vocals from Zima that are easy to get into despite the fact that they are in Swedish, and the ominous Mellotron and biting electric guitar leads add a wonderful dramatic effect. Think of a more aggressive Pink Floyd and you have an idea of where they are going on this one.
Now that Trettioåriga Kriget have shown over the last couple of years that they are back and a force to be reckoned with, let's get them on some of these progressive rock festivals so we can see what they can do in a live environment. This is very good stuff here and well worth seeking out if you like classic Swedish prog.
I am fairly new to this band, and I stumbled upon them for the first time through their Myspace page, where I heard several songs from their 2004 album Elden Av År and got hooked by the sound. I then proceeded to hunt down their earlier albums and managed to get hold of their first two albums which I am still getting to know, so I will not comment much on how similar or different than those, this current release is. I was contacted by Stefan Fredin (bass guitar, rhythm guitar, vocals) about adding this current title to their discography here in PA and he was kind enough to offer to send me this release as a promotional cd for review. I must say, I am glad he did so. If you don't feel like reading on, let me tell you just this - I find this to be a solid, enjoyable and overall very good album.
This is rock that, even though it has that particular 70's rock sound, sounds fresh and well produced. There is a very good flow to the album as most tracks are either a direct continuation of one another or connected in another way so that the music or sound never cease. The album has a clean sound, every instrument is clearly heard (For instance, follow the bass playing in the instrumental tracks). I like the sound of the Swedish language and the vocals (shared between Robert Zima and Stefan Fredin) are pleasant and suit the music (the booklet contains the lyrics in both Swedish and English); I love the lush and fabulous mellotron, and even though the guitar leads and solos are not terribly creative, they are well played, add groove and dynamic rhythm to the songs and overall fit the music. The melodies are beautiful and the songs well crafted, alternating between crunchy and frisky rock lead by the guitar and the atmospheric and more majestic sounding part lead by the mellotron. There is a musical motif in the album, a connecting thread throughout the album that is very distinct in several tracks (I Krigets Tid I, Ryttaren) and this serves as a good cohesive musical "glue" in this ongoing gush of sounds. This is best described as the sound of Trettioåriga Kriget.
I'd like to mention one track in particular; the title track "I Början Och Slutet" ("In The Beginning And The End"), is a superb song: moving (the mellotron adds much to the song) beautiful, powerful and engaging (in terms of sound, vocals and playing). The only thing wrong with it is that it's too short. I feel there's much more to explore in there, but I guess that Stefan Frdein felt he doesn't like to dwell too long or experiment in one particular song and to move on to the next part and "investigate" other musical ideas. And indeed, the next track, the instrumental close up to the album, is another highlight in this most entertaining album. This is not to say those are the only two good songs in the album, not at all. But as I am not going to go over the individual tracks, I'll only say that the various tracks are quite uniform in quality (I already said it's a coherent release, didn't I?).
To sum up: imagine good solid rock, not too complex but with enough variety (in instrumentation and musical ideas) to keep things interesting and captivating and with a good dose of lush mellotron; resulting in a beautiful and diverse sounding album. This album is best appreciated (as are many others) while listened to on headphones at high volume to get the full experience of this melodic journey. Give it your full attention, and the rewarding experience will be yours. I'll be returning to this album for more listens!
1. I Krigets tid (4:36)
2. Barndom (3:31)
3. Ungdom (4:54)
4. Ungdom II (5:56)
5. Benke (5:39)
6. Lovsång (7:03)
7. Öknen (2:42)
8. S-bahn (3:14)
9. Floden (3:43)
11.I början och slutet (3:47)
12. I Krigets tid II (4:10)
- Stefan Fredin / bass guitar, vocals, rhytm guitar
- Dag Lundquist / drums, backing vocals
- Robert Zima / vocals
- Christer Åkerberg / electric & acoustic guitars
- Mats Lindberg / keyboards
- Olle Thörnvall / lyrics
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