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Trettioariga Kriget: War Years

Trettioariga Kriget, translated in English means Thirty Year's War, were formed in 1970 in Sweden. Their debut album came out in 1974 and they have had a series of albums since then, including a new album released in 2007. Suffice it to say these guys are well seasoned veterans of the Scandinavian music scene. The latest release is a double live cd set featuring performances from various gigs around Sweden and the US. This is another one of those cds that may not come to you immediately. I would not call this pretty music or delicate in nature, although it does have its share of nice melodies and mellower parts. If typical symphonic prog is all you are into you may be disappointed with this band as that is not what they are about. First of all, many of the tunes have their basis firmly rooted in heavy/psychedelic 70s rock n' roll. This is not a sweet, saccharine affair but a hard hitting balls to the wall slice of blues inflected heavy progressive rock with some helpings of jazz, metal and psychedelia. This live recording really captures the essence of 'live' as the audience can clearly be heard, adding an intimacy that is not often found. As what might be expected the sound quality of the earlier songs can be a little murky at times but this almost adds to the record's charm. The more recent concerts definitely show an improvement sound-wise but the intimate atmosphere is still captured.

The first disc takes us back in time to the 70s and early 80s. I think most fans of heavy rock will find something to appreciate here. Crunchy Black Sabbath-like riffs, sweeping keyboard sounds, pulsating bass lines and melodic vocals that suit the music. One of the highlights of the first disc has to be "Krigssang II" from a 1976 concert in Sweden. Starting with a prominent bass line, this song blends a funky groove with jazz leanings, and provides some tasty instrumental sections. At over twelve minutes in length, there is plenty of time for odd metered rhythms and instrumental prowess. "Krigssang" boasts light airy guitars, a nice keyboard melody, tempo changes, a cool bass solo and some histrionic singing in the mould of Uriah Heep, which I find totally endearing. All vocals are in Swedish.

Performances from the second disc are taken from the more recent concert of Prog Day 2004 in North Carolina and three selections from their 2007 concert in Nacka, Sweden. The sound quality of Disc 2 is far better than the first cd. Highlights include "Andra sidan" featuring crisp guitar notes, subtle cymbal work, and excellent keyboard play. Some may find the guitar a bit repetitive but I like how it provides a solid back-drop in the music. The poignant "Jag och jag och jag" features melodic guitar arpeggios and strong singing with nice backing vocals. The beautiful guitar in "Moln pa marken" along with some smooth sax make this one of my favourites. This is not complex music but Akerberg's guitar playing really speaks volumes in that you do not need to play a thousand notes per second to be effective. Again, Akerberg really shows his stuff in "I borjan och slutet", taken from the last studio album. His guitar playing is a real strongpoint of the second disc.

The cd booklet contains a detailed history of the band for those of you unfamiliar with their story and makes for interesting reading. I enjoyed this cd and can safely recommend this to fans of 70s Scandinavian heavy progressive music.

Track Listing:
CD 1 (Past)
1. Introduction Tippen (0:55)
2. Confusions (1:28)
3. Perspektiv (11:11)
4. Handlingens skugga (8:21)
5. Krigssang (4:37)
6. False Start (1:07)
7. Krigssang II (12:27)
8. En kvall hos X (5:18)
9. Den stora kliniken (3:59)
10. Mot alla odds (3:48)
11. Daliga nerver (3:05)
12. Blues (3:18)
13. Som forut (5:27)
14. Errolito (3:28)

CD II (Present)
1. Introduction (0:31)
2. Lang historia (8:17)
3. Mina lojen (8:27)
4. Om Kriget kommer (5:32)
5. Andra sidan (6:11)
6. Jag och jag och "jag" (4:53)
7. Moln pa marken (3:41)
8. I borjan och slutet (3:49)
9. Krigssang (4:58)
10. Gnistor (8:42)
11. Ur djupen (6:40)
12. Dagspress (2:41)
13. Kaledoniska orogenesen (6:07)

Added: February 9th 2009
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 2096
Language: english

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