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Landberk - Lonely Land CD (album) cover

LONELY LAND

Landberk

 

Heavy Prog

3.58 | 90 ratings

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tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I am so elated, I finally get to crow about having a disc my dear friend sinkadotentree does not possess. I have a big one but so does he! (Not what you think ladies! We are talking collections). He loves that dark, tenebrous Viking sound, owning somber traits that somehow feel positive perhaps due to the heavy Scandinavian folk tradition, a genre still vibrant today (Sigur Ros is its proggiest "fer de lance"). "Waltz of the Dark Riddle" has a title that says it all. A glorious flute mellotron introduces a shadowy dirge on which vocalist Patric Helje complains about the bitterness of misunderstanding, a mournful "danse macabre" in a desolated ballroom, where the imagined unsmiling couple share their despair. A despondent piano ushers this into the starless night. Wow! "The Tree" is an extended piece that starts of jaunty mid-period King Crimson style, drummer Andreas Dahlbäck pounding fiercely, the mellotron humming once again, letting the Stefan Dimle bass pave the way. Within the ever-growing guitar din, the contrasting mellotron waves await a brief accordion passage and some odd high-pitched vocals, further saluting the KC influences. The gentler contrasts are exemplary, a slow, moody groove that is hard to describe, very vaporous and yet powerful. Guitarist extraordinaire Reine Fiske shows why he remains a prog legend (though often sadly unknown), a raunchy picker that oozes emotion and wails with passion. "Pray for me Now" gets a tad more raucous, grumbling guitar rampages with rolling bass and relentless beats. An echoing axe solo burns up the grooves, crashing suddenly into an acoustic pondering that is typical of this band, waving the listener into some incredible melodies and passionate vocals. "My body is ready for leaving" sounds pretty depressing (Sweden long held the dubious record for most suicides), the rest of the lyrics just as desperate , a parallel to a proggy Joy Division is very much called for. It's a "lonely land" after all! The placid "Song from Kallsedet" is woven from folkier threads, fleeting yet icy acoustic musings that recall the starkness of this fabled country, highly ambient at first with soporific psychedelic sensations strewn throughout. "No More White Horses" is a highlight track here, a palpitating psych-prog groove fest with hysteric guitar bites that will leave you astounded, this is where they earned their "Heavy Prog" moniker, a killer bass bopping between piano accolades brooming away the dark leaves from the path of Helje's hovering anguish with a hefty chorus. Absolutely tremendous track that has all the hallmarks of greatness, Fiske's brooding solo will undoubtedly make your hair stand. The delicate piano adds the melancholy touch to the majestic beauty displayed here. "You & I" is more Norse balladry, mellow yellow with more glorious (and endless) mellotron cascades, a glowing vocal and more desperate lyrics and even a hint of veiled bitterness. This is prog, baby! The masterful and epic 10 minute+ title track shuts the doors on this exhilarating ride, a massive melody that aches, pants and pleads, a series of sublime mellotron rushes and some , hold it?hold it? SITAR! Incredible, really. By far the wildest track on this cleverly moody recording , Landberk simply shine on like a crazy diamond. Together with Anekdoten and Anglagard, this sadly short-lived outfit certainly set the standards for Progressive rock from Scandinavia. They therefore deserve our respect and occasional adulation. 4.5 friendless territories
tszirmay | 4/5 |

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