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Alter Echo - Alter Echo CD (album) cover


Alter Echo


Symphonic Prog

3.15 | 21 ratings

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Special Collaborator
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3 stars Hans Hagstrom and Ingemar Hill met each other during their military service around 1974 in Sweden and decided to collaborate together, writing their first few songs on guitar and keyboards.By late-75' a band to fully develop these instrumental pieces was necessary with Heinrik Nordgren joining on bass and Jalle on drums.Nordgren gave the band the name Alter Ego and Charlie Lidstrom joined them on drums, just prior to the first live, followed by a singer named Goran.All tracks were sung in Swedish, abandoning the early Tolkien-inspired texts, but in 1977 Hill and Goran quit and they were replaced by Lars and Micke Wedberg respectively with Lars Guldbrand entering as a regular keyboardist, while Lidstrom also left his place to Pete Alsing.A cassette was recorded and released in February 79', but the fading time of Progressive Rock condemned the band to total failure.In 1997, motivated by an interest of Musea, Hagstrom, Nordgren, Guldbrand, Alsing and Micke Wedberg re-recorded old tracks of the band under the name of Alter Echo and a CD was released in 1997.

Almost 20 years after the original recordings, these songs sound so much deeped into the 70's you will hardly think these were recorded in late-90's.Analog keyboards, old-school Scandinavian melodies and Swedish lyrics were not quite common in 1997.Musically Alter Echo combined some tricky plays with Jazz and Classical touches with acoustic soundscapes and symphonic arrangements, while a fair dash of poppy vocal deliveries are also in the menu.As a result a mix of GENESIS, KAIPA, YES and GENTLE GIANT seems like a fair description.Featuring one of the most balanced guitar/keyboard offerings of Swedish Prog, they tended to create dreamy and melodic songs with lovely keyboard instrumentals, sensitive singing parts and beautiful work on acoustic crescendos, electric textures and piano lines for what appears to be a symphonic-oriented release, full of nice synth, clavinet and organ moments.Speaking of clavinet and adding some of the quirky bass lines in the discussion, Alter Echo were definitely the most GENTLE GIANT-oriented Swedish band of the 70's.Just listen to the happy grooves combined with the complex time signatures and the symphonic/folky injections to make yourself sure.The album lacks long tracks, on the other hand Alter Echo did not need one to display themselves as a full-blown Prog band with all these impressive twists, breaks and melodies presented in their only document.

Great album for all old KAIPA, GENESIS or DICE fans.Melodic Symphonic Rock with a charming sound and a good amount of adventurous ideas.Rather unoriginal but warmly recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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