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Landberk - Lonely Land CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.57 | 92 ratings

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4 stars Progressive rock is often nailed for being too clinical, too self indulgent and too ambitious. Well, here is a band that sounds the opposite by focussing on simple structures, evoking emotion and delicate interplay. The first time I listened to Landberk its debut album (I got it as a promo to review in 1992) their sound blew me away: not only because of the omnipresent Mellotron but also the strong emotional element in the music, far away from the 'conservatory' Classic Prog like Yes, ELP and Gentle Giant.

1. Waltz of the Dark Riddle (4:31) : The album opens with dreamy track featuring wonderful, very intense interplay between the Mellotron (violin ' and flute section), melancholical vocals (pretty dark lyrics) and tender piano runs.

2. The Tree (8:40) : A slow rhythm with a tight beat, soft Mellotron violins and a rock guitar sound, topped with emotional vocals. Gradually the music creates a hugh tension between the raw electric guitar and soaring Mellotron violins. Halfway a swinging rhythm with accordion, emphasing the melancholical atmosphere. Then the music turns into dreamy with a bit high pitched vocals and twanging acoustic guitar, a prelude to a hypnotizing climate with fragile electric guitar, mellow organ waves and tight drum beats, culminating in a final part with an accellaration featuring emotional vocals, organ and propulsive drums, what a varied and compelling composition!

3. Pray for Me Now (7:55) : This song alternates between dreamy, a catchy mid-tempo and bombastic outbursts, the guitar work shifts from sensitive to howling and biting, adding an extra dimension to the dark and emotional atmosphere. The rhythm-section does a great job with a pumping bass and powerful beats and the vocals are again pretty emotional, with dark undertones.

4. Song from Kallsedet (6:08) : First beautiful interplay between the Mellotron (flutes and violins) and warm classical guitar, then fragile electric guitar work, with subtle use of slide and sustain. Finally again that warm interplay between the classical guitar and the Mellotron, how beautiful!

5. No More White Horses (6:58) : This a cover from T2, a very promising UK band that made one strong album (1970) and played on the Isle Of Wight festival, but then disapperead. It sounds very varied and dynamic, with huge contrasts in the music: from dreamy with tender piano or soaring Mellotron violins to tight rock beats with fiery guitar and bombastic eruptions with emotional vocals, biting guitar and thunderous drums. Halfway an intense guitar solo with mellow organ, another excellent example of emotional prog.

6. You and I (6:05) : First twanging classical guitar, melancholical vocals and mellow organ, then swelling Mellotron violins, emotional vocals, blended with warm classical guitar, tight drums and Mellotron flutes in a slow rhythm. This culminates into an eruption with tender classical guitar runs en majestic Mellotron violins, goose bumps, what a build-up and climax! Finally dreamy with a slowly fading sound of the classical guitar and piano, wow!

7. Lonely Land (10:27) : This long compositions starts with guitar overdubs (solo and twanging) and dreamy vocals, in a slow rhythm, soon Mellotron violins and emotional vocals join. Then the music turns into a hypnotizing beat and the sultry sound of the Indian sitar. After a short bombastic eruption with Mellotron violins the music continues with a long break featuring drums and percussion, to me it sounds a bit too long. Halfway an electric guitar joins, with swelling Mellotron violins, in the end compelling interplay between tight and powerful drums and majestic Mellotron violins, this is trademark Landberk: beween rock and prog, between fragile and bombastic, with dark undertones.

What an unique prog effort, very compelling, highly recommended to Tron-maniacs and aficionados of the Nineties New Wave Of Skandinavian Prog!

TenYearsAfter | 4/5 |


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