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Kebnekajse - Kebnekaise II CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.95 | 89 ratings

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4 stars First time listening to Kebnekajse, it was hard to imagine this was the classic swedish prog folk groud i had been hearing so much about, as the music wasn't what i at the time consdered to be progressive. Rather, it sounded like the opposite.

Kebnekajse takes a step back and looks at the classic swedish tradition of folk music in a completely different sense than other Swedish bands. They don't just let themselves be influenced by traditional folk songs, they take the whole thing as it is and then put their mark on it. Being swedish myself, i found it hard to grasp the concept of this album when i first heard it, since this kind of music is somehow very familiar to me and the melodies seemed just very natural and hard to identify as rock music, but eventually i got around that and discovered the traditional swedish folk melodies from a new point of view, and how beautiful they can be. As the opening track begins, you immediately picture lots of people dancing around on a swedish midsummer night, and if you don't, then the wordless vocals by Turid should get you into the right mood.

One thing that sticks out of this traditional swedish folkiness, however, is the fact that Kebnekajse II features both rock percussion and congas as well as prominent electric guitar by both Ingemar Böcker and Kenny Håkansson. Ingemar Böcker has a jazzier style of playing which compliments Kenny Håkanssons more straight-forward style of only playing the melodies and not much more.

This exotic blend of Swedish folk, dual percussion and twin guitar keeps up for the first four songs on the album. The melodies are very addictive and at times there are hints of something resembling a psychedelic vibe through all the folkiness.

Last song on the album is Commanche Spring. Cue major change in direction, towards the much more jazzier territory. No doubt a very good song, but it sticks out, both in style and length, being over 16 minutes long. The indroduction is slow and building and and after an extensive guitar workout there is a quieter passage with steay bass and some soloing by Hassan Bah on the congas until the guitar picks the song up again before leaving it to the violin to round it up.

Overall, Kebnekajse is a very smoothly flowing album, and even if the concept is nothing which will thrill the RIO/Avant-heads, the melodies in themselves are surely timelessly beautiful.

Evans | 4/5 |


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