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Trettioåriga Kriget: I Början Och Slutet

For a band that's been around since 1974, Sweden's Trettioåriga Kriget still show that they can dish out the prog rock goods on their latest I Början Och Slutet. Though they have released a fair share of albums over the years, the band had a habit of never really sounding exactly the same each time out, a tradition they continue here. I Början Och Slutet is filled with dark instrumental passages littered with guitar lines and various keyboards & synths, and the vocals, though in Swedish, are well sung and highly melodic.

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.

Track Listing
1. I Krigets tid- In the time of Kriget(War) 4:36
2. Barndom- Childhood 3:31
3. Ungdom I- Youth I 4:54
4. Ungdom II- Youth II 5:54
5. Benke 5:40
6. Lovsång- Song of praise 7:00
7. Öknen- The desert 2:41
8. S-bahn 3:14
9. Floden- The river 3:40
10. Ryttaren- The rider 4:20
11.I början och slutet- In the beginning and the end 3:45
12.I Krigets tid II- In the time of Kriget(War) II 4:05

Added: September 28th 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2506
Language: english

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Trettioåriga Kriget: I Början Och Slutet
Posted by Duncan Glenday, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-09-28 13:20:53
My Score:

This band first formed when its members were just 17 years old. That was in the '70s, though, and the music has evolved remarkably since those school hall rehearsals - and despite several lineup changes, there's clearly a lot of depth here.

The band's eponymous 1974 debut is often considered a classic, and thought to be the first Swedish hard rock album. But they're all grown up now, and today's Trettioariga Kriget plays modern progressive rock, eclectic with bright-sounding guitar-led instrumentals underlining soft, comfortable vocals, and plenty of jamming. It is professionally constructed, with imaginative songwriting and excellent performances. And more important - it's melodic and pleasant - and in many ways, it might remind you of the French band Nil.

It runs the gamut - from minimalist, through folksy, to rich walls of sound - and from long instrumental jam sessions to tightly composed sections - and through all that, it always holds your interest. Having said that, though, there isn't much textural variety and an occasional Mellotron a Hammond and a harmonica (always a Trettioariga Kriget staple) break the guitar / bass / drums lineup. With most guitar-led bands, you get tired of the guitar pretty quickly. I Borjan Och Slutet doesn't seem to have that effect.

Production is very good - 'bright', as we said earlier, and it was recorded and mixed by the drummer Dag Lundquist who also produced the album. Songwriting is courtesy of bassist and singer Stefan Fredin, and the lyrics were constructed by Olle Thörnvall. We couldn't begin to tell you about those lyrics, though - they're all in Swedish. But they're clearly enunciated and softly sung, and will leave you with an impression of sophistication. In fact - here's the extent of the Sea Of Tranquility's Swedish expertise: Trettioariga Kriget means "The Thirty Year War, and I Borjan Och Slutet means "The Beginning And The End". Or something like it.

Go on - try saying "Trettioariga Kriget I Borjan Och Slutet" three times. To us non-Swedes, the name is about as complex as the music.

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