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Kebnekajse - Resa Mot Okänt Mål CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.32 | 37 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Hard hitting Swedish prog folk

The debut album from prog folk outfit Kebnekaise is a lot different than people would later know them for. Their works like Kebnekaise II and III stand as highlights of the prog folk genre, with amazing melodies, lush soundscapes and, at times, beautiful vocals. This album, on the other hand, is completely different. While shades of the later band certainly do shine through this one is a lot more rough, and a lot less relaxed. It seems that the band decided to start off their life as a hard hitting classic rock band with some folk influences. Many of the songs have vocals (compared to later, primarily instrumental work) and the melodies are not quite as refined. There's also a lot more quirk in this album than later in the band's career, meaning that if you have II and are looking for something similar, don't go here.

Still, the album is very good thanks to its own unique charms. The heavy, distorted guitar comes across as sort of a breath of fresh air to anyone who thinks that the band doesn't know how to rock, and the male vocals actually work well with the style. The opening Tänk På Livet features a fairly simple song structure and makes for a fairly catchy rock tune. The lyrics are all still in Swedish, meaning that single-lingual people (such as myself) will simply have to imagine what is being said instead of actually knowing. Still, the song opens the album with a bang and leads well into the second track. Fresteler I Stan is likely the biggest standout of the album. This is also, luckily, where the band would later decide to take their music. A wonderfully melodic instrumental with a great chorus makes for an excellent song, combining this album's hard rock sound with the band's later, more folk based work. Förberedelser Till Fest is the other instrumental on the album, and these days it almost sounds like crazy video game music. Still, its very quick playing is incredibly impressive, and the melody is once again a strong point.

The rest of the album is quite quirky and a bit more rock in flavor. Orientens Express is a short and fun instrumental that, compared to the others on the album, is really nothing special. Resa Mot Okänt Mål is completely bizarre - fast playing backed with odd vocals (a Swedish Alvin and The chipmunks, apparently) makes for a somewhat annoying tune that does eventually catch on, but will always stick out on the album like a sore thumb. The longest composition on the album is the 10-minute Jag Älskar Sommaren, and this is a pretty good one, relatively simple with some relatively needless vocals that fortunately don't get in the way of the quite good instrumental parts. Then it all finishes off with the uptempo Kommunisera, another good track in the style of the opening tune that makes for a satisfying end to the album.

All around a very good album. Not quite up to par with the music that the band would later play, and certainly in a much different style. Recommended for people who want to hear some Swedish hard rock with a heavy folk lean - but I would say hold your breath until you find their second and third albums. While this one certainly is satisfying, those ones are simply incredible. 3 stars out of 5! A good debut with much better on the horizon.

Queen By-Tor | 3/5 |


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