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King of Sweden: The Training

One might expect King of Sweden to hail from The Elongated Country, but they are actually from Tampere, Finland. Their debut album is titled The Training. The release is described as a concept album by their label, Crusader Records, but I don’t hear that.

The album is mostly instrumental, with vocals used sparingly on only two tracks, the 13-minute epic “Two Thieves” and on “The Imprisonment.” The band features Sampsa Nelimarkka on guitar, vocals, and saxophone, Erkka Heinilä on bass, and Janne Savela on drums and percussion.

The album is largely atmospheric and jazzy, venturing into heavier sounds on only a few songs, such as “Help Arrives A) God Uses a Hammer B) Help Arrives C) Butterfly Hatches.” Why that track’s title is divided into three sections is a bit of a mystery to me. It seems like one longish piece, with no obvious distinct sections. Still, it is a good song.

The band often reminds me of King Crimson. There is nice use of saxophone on “The Imprisonment,” similar to Lizard and Islands-era Crimson. “And the Last Enemy to Be Destroyed Is Mathematics” recalls the 1973-1974 period at times, but without the same power. (I don’t hear any influence of Budgie, despite this song title, which wouldn’t seem unusual on that band’s albums.)

The members of King of Sweden are not outstanding on their instruments, but they are all more than competent. Also, this does sound like a debut release. It is a bit unrefined, with some songs that don’t seem to go anywhere before ending a little abruptly, and the production is lacking at times.

Overall, I liked this album quite a bit. It will get repeated play from me, often as background music.

Track Listing:
1. Dreaming About the Emerald
2. Two Thieves
3. In the House of a Witch
4. The Imprisonment
5. Help Arrives A) God Uses a Hammer B) Help Arrives C) Butterfly Hatches
6. And the Last Enemy to Be Destroyed Is Mathematics

Added: September 29th 2021
Reviewer: Aaron Steelman
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 315
Language: english

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