Whether or not you can pronounce their name, the music of Trettioåriga Kriget (The Thirty Years War) has universal progressive rock appeal. The Swedish outfit's unique take on heavy progressive rock may not knock you out on the first, second or even the third listen but over time, these tunes will haunt you. Krigssång, Trettioåriga's second album, was originally released in 1975 and the remaster under review is superb both in terms of sound quality and packaging. An added bonus is the informative history (in English) on the making of Krigssång by lyricist Olle Thornvall in the attractively designed booklet.
Describing the music of Trettioåriga is no easy task because they don't really sound like anybody else! They have a dramatic vocalist in Robert Zima who sounds like a cross between David Byron and Robert Plant. There's some good falsetto voices as well, calling to mind some of the classic Italian progressive bands such as New Trolls, J.E.T. and Alphataurus. With regard to instrumentation, most of the music consists of electric and acoustic guitars, ringing fuzzy bass guitar and excellent drums courtesy of Dag Lundquist. There's some uncredited keyboards here as well, mainly a sprinkling of Mellotron and Minimoog.
Every song is a winner here, with the creepy gothic title track that opens the CD being a particular highlight. Most of the songs fall under the five minute mark and are truly intricate mini epics as "Metamorfoser" and "Mitt Mirakel" amply demonstrate. The band shows a softer side with the acoustic oriented "Jag Och Jag Och "Jag". But the real masterpiece here is the 17 minute "Kriggsång II". It goes through many moods and emotions, at times dark and oppressive while managing to be uplifting and triumphant. The CD concludes with three bonus tracks that, while not quite of the same caliber as the CD proper, give a good indication of where the band was headed next.
Anyone who likes the darker, heavier side of progressive rock would do well to check out Krigssång. The Swedish lyrics may take some getting used to, but don't let that stop you from investigating one of the classics of the European progressive rock scene.
- Jag Och Jag Och "Jag"
- Mitt Mirakel
- Krigssång II
- En Kväll Hos X