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Trettioåriga Kriget - I Början Och Slutet  CD (album) cover


Trettioåriga Kriget

Crossover Prog

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4 stars I Början Och Slutet is Trettioåriga Kriget's second album since they returned to the music industry with "Elden Av År" in 2004. I regard that album as their best ever, so I approached the new one with a little anxiety. The CD starts with the majestic instrumental ("I Krigets Tid"), a track that includes all the well known Trettioåriga Kriget attributes like Stefan Fredin's very legible and upfront bass and Christer Åkerberg clear guitar tone. The production, done by the band's drummer Dag Lundquist is simply superb, giving the album a very transparent sound. A good example of that is "Barndom" and "Ungdom", two slightly psychedelic and Doors sounding tracks. "Ungdom II" is yet another instrumental, this time dominated by Christer Åkerbergs guitar. I'm a guitar freak but strangely enough I think this is the least successful number on the CD. Next up is "Benke", an atmospheric piece of work with a fine melodic touch. "Lovsång" starts slow and soft but the intensity gradually increases largely due to Mats Lindberg's massive pan-pipe sounding keyboards. "Öknen", a fine if unspectacular number leads directly into the superb "S-bahn" one of my favourite and heaviest tracks on this CD. After a quiet opening, "Floden" slowly grows into a powerful crescendo and on this song Christer Åkerberg shows what an immaculate guitarist he is. "Ryttaren", the next song has some magical and beautiful instrumental parts and once again the guitars are in the forefront. After that it's time for the catchy yet majestic and powerful title track "I Början Och Slutet", a song that must rank as the band's best ever. The album fittingly ends with part two of the instrumental "I Krigets Tid". No other band (that I know of) sounds like Trettioåriga Kriget, and that is no mean feat these days when conformity is the name of the game. Do yourself a favour and get hold of this album.
Report this review (#133600)
Posted Saturday, August 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I am fairly new to this band, and I stumbled upon them for the first time through their Myspace page, where I heard several songs from their 2004 album Elden Av År and got hooked by the sound. I then proceeded to hunt down their earlier albums and managed to get hold of their first two albums which I am still getting to know, so I will not comment much on how similar or different than those, this current release is. I was contacted by Stefan Fredin (bass guitar, rhythm guitar, vocals) about adding this current title to their discography here in PA and he was kind enough to offer to send me this release as a promotional cd for review. I must say, I am glad he did so. If you don't feel like reading on, let me tell you just this - I find this to be a solid, enjoyable and overall very good album.

This is rock that, even though it has that particular 70's rock sound, sounds fresh and well produced. There is a very good flow to the album as most tracks are either a direct continuation of one another or connected in another way so that the music or sound never cease. The album has a clean sound, every instrument is clearly heard (For instance, follow the bass playing in the instrumental tracks). I like the sound of the Swedish language and the vocals (shared between Robert Zima and Stefan Fredin) are pleasant and suit the music (the booklet contains the lyrics in both Swedish and English); I love the lush and fabulous mellotron, and even though the guitar leads and solos are not terribly creative, they are well played, add groove and dynamic rhythm to the songs and overall fit the music. The melodies are beautiful and the songs well crafted, alternating between crunchy and frisky rock lead by the guitar and the atmospheric and more majestic sounding part lead by the mellotron. There is a musical motif in the album, a connecting thread throughout the album that is very distinct in several tracks (I Krigets Tid I, Ryttaren) and this serves as a good cohesive musical "glue" in this ongoing gush of sounds. This is best described as the sound of Trettioåriga Kriget.

I'd like to mention one track in particular; the title track "I Början Och Slutet" ("In The Beginning And The End"), is a superb song: moving (the mellotron adds much to the song) beautiful, powerful and engaging (in terms of sound, vocals and playing). The only thing wrong with it is that it's too short. I feel there's much more to explore in there, but I guess that Stefan Frdein felt he doesn't like to dwell too long or experiment in one particular song and to move on to the next part and "investigate" other musical ideas. And indeed, the next track, the instrumental close up to the album, is another highlight in this most entertaining album. This is not to say those are the only two good songs in the album, not at all. But as I am not going to go over the individual tracks, I'll only say that the various tracks are quite uniform in quality (I already said it's a coherent release, didn't I?).

To sum up: imagine good solid rock, not too complex but with enough variety (in instrumentation and musical ideas) to keep things interesting and captivating and with a good dose of lush mellotron; resulting in a beautiful and diverse sounding album. This album is best appreciated (as are many others) while listened to on headphones at high volume to get the full experience of this melodic journey. Give it your full attention, and the rewarding experience will be yours. I'll be returning to this album for more listens!

Report this review (#134320)
Posted Wednesday, August 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars I Början Och Slutet is the eighth studio album released by the influential Swedish band Trettioåriga Kriget (Thirty Years War). It's different from the others, but from the first to the last minute the group's unique identity can be heard: music usually simple but not banal, the musicians are very talented but not exibicionist, and a constantly powerful sound without the need to go the bombastic way. The songs have the strong presence of bass and guitar riffs, and the keyboard is used normally only for harmonies, not melodies. The singer's timbre is quite peculiar and, in the case of this band with almost 40 years of history, it has aged well: the voice is still the same, only a little lower-pitched. We start with a signature track, showing all these qualities except for the voice. The music goes on a continuous crescendo, leading directly to the first song. In this album the tracks keep a certain relation between themselves, the sound is usually continuous, with no breaks between the songs. The album title means "In the beginning and the end"; it has a vague concept, some of the songs tell about the story of a poet/musician, with titles like Childhood (Barndom) and Youth (Ungdom). These tracks are in the first half; in the second half, the character is a grown up and some of the lyrics may have been written on the road, with references to Mexico (Desert - Öknen) and Berlin (S-bahn). While the album has a constant sound, the music is always in movement, with lots of variety. There are three instrumental tracks: I Krigets Tid parts I and II, sharing a common theme, opening and closing the album; and Ungdom II, which is a continuation of the previous track, Ungdom. The band also shows some new sounds, particularly from the keyboard. The package is a luxurious digipack covered with band's artist Johan Gullberg, keeping the same quality shown in the last few releases. It includes a 20 page booklet with band photos, the original lyrics and - for the first time - their English translations, a very welcome addition. The Kriget vocals always have a good dose of emotion, so it was easy to forget about the lyrics and concentrate on the quality of the music. However, with the translation, one can finally fully appreciate all the aspects of Kriget's music. In the previous 2004 brilliant reunion album Elden Av År, Trettioåriga Kriget showed the same strength they had in the '70s, putting other reunion albums to shame. It was as if the band had never disbanded in 1981. In this new album we can confirm the previous one's quality wasn't just the adrenaline of the reunited group: I Början Och Slutet shows a vibrant band, in continuous evolution. It's a solid work, with not a single bad moment. It's 54 minutes and 12 tracks are gone before you know it, and you'll want to reach for the play button and listen to it all over again.
Report this review (#134939)
Posted Sunday, August 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars It's great that these guys still are at it and releasing good progressive rock. Although this album do not reach their two first classic albums but it's still a good album. I consider this album not as good as their last one "Elden av år" but still good. They've kept their original sound wich only sounds like Trettioåriga kriget and I wish they keep releasing albums. There are some really classy moments on this album but some songs just don't do it for me so the rating becomes 3.5. Good but not essential.
Report this review (#154336)
Posted Wednesday, December 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars TRETTIOARIGA KRIGET are a Swedish band who've flown under a lot of people's radar unfortunately for years.Their first album came out in 1974 and they made a big splash with their 2004 comeback album "Elden Av Ar". This is the followup to that. I should mention that both ANEKDOTEN and ANGLAGARD list this band as a big influence. And yes they play mellotron, in fact this is their most mellotron laden album yet. I don't think i've ever pronounced their name right yet and I find it kikd of cool that my daughter likes these guys considering she's not the biggest Prog fan around. Andy at Planetmellotron desribes them as mainstream with a progressive edge. He also recommends "unequivocally" the first two albums along with this one and "Elden Av Ar". As do I. This is an interesting album because it doesn't have a lot of outbreaks or dynamics per se. Yet i'm really drawn to their sound here in a big way.

"I Krigets Tid I" opens with mellotron and intricate guitars before kicking in fuller after a minute.This is great ! It blends into "Barndom" where it's pastoral but it starts to build. Reserved vocals before a minute. Mellotron 1 1/2 minutes in.This is a beautiful section. It blends into "Ungdom" where it stays laid back before kicking in with vocals after a minute. It calms back down 4 1/2 minutes in and blends into "Benke" which is the last song of the suite. I like the instrumental intro here then it settles some when the vocals arrive, but then it picks back up quickly. I like this one a lot. "Lovsang" is dark with guitar to start, reserved vocals a minute in. It's building after 3 1/2 minutes then the vocals return after 4 minutes. It settles one more time. "Oknen" is a short mid paced vocal led track. It's kind of catchy too. "S-Bahn" has some nice deep sounds to open as the organ joins in, then vocals before a minute. It lightens some as contrasts continue. Mellotron ends it.

"Floden" features strummed guitar and reserved vocals. It kicks in at 1 1/2 minutes. Love the guitar 2 minutes in. "Ryttaren" is atmospheric with guitar. Drums and vocals before 1 1/2 minutes.The guitar style reminds me of Neil Young. It ends like it began. "I Borjan Och Slutet" is a great tune as the organ floats in the background while the guitar and vocals continue on. Mellotron too. "I Kriget Tid II" opens with guitar and drums.This is excellent. It's fuller before 1 1/2 minutes then fuller again before 3 minutes as the organ joins in. It settles with intricate guitar,bass and mellotron. Nice.

A very solid 4 stars.

Report this review (#429344)
Posted Friday, April 8, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars What the?...

Oh man, this ain't prog at all (maybe Lovesang is prog after all). It basically a band with soft /classic rock and some mellotron. They could sound like Pink Floyd at moments, but way less spacey. They were there a long time ago, and they still sound like that!

I read somewhere they influenced Anglagard and Anekdoten...still searching for that. It's not bad, there's somewhat something to chew on, if you can digest the Swedish singing. They do know how to put some good keyboard coating around the songs, but to me it's just another band that got under the radar and should stay there.

Curious only.

Report this review (#471486)
Posted Tuesday, June 28, 2011 | Review Permalink

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