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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An Excellent Album that IQ Fans Would Love .

Yeah .another prog band from Sweden!!! And. it's a good one man!!! Well, I strongly believe that Sweden has the highest index in number of progheads (good quality ones) per capita. That's my guess and I think I'm pretty close with my guesstimate. Some musicians involved in this band have been around in the prog scene in their own bands ie. CROSS, GALLEON and GRAND STAND plus female lead singer Lizette von Panajott. Poor me, I have never heard the music of any one of previous bands, so I cannot comment how deep the influence in styles and songwriting from previous bands to SPEKTRUM. What I have researched about the history of the band was that there were talks among the members on topic of musical creation they individually made that did not really fit with the format of their individual band. So, why don't we form a collaborative efforts to form an album? The result is a Sweden-based collaboration, a bit different (by concept) with Trans Atlantic as Spektrum members are coming from the same country.

So here I am, giving my views (and possibly thoughts?) with a fresh look as I have never known the musicians before. As I learn from the net, the name Spektrum refers to the optical term and also the different musical background of the musicians contribute the band. Is it band or project? Well, let's see .. as this album was released approx two years ago and seems no further development since then.

On musical influence, I would say it's mostly from Genesis. To be specific, I hear many segments or nuance that resemble The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Wind and Wuthering albums even also on post Hackett era: And Then There Were Three. The other point that I need to add, whether or not the musicians are aware of, there are bits of keyboard patterns that remind me to ROYAL HUNT's Andre Andersen. I know, these two bands are totally in the different musical vein and luckily I have been enjoying both veins really well so I can smell of it. For those of you who are similar with me in terms of musical taste, will definitely agree that the keyboard patterns of the final track "Chemical Release" reminds us to Royal Hunt music from Moving Target album. To give a close picture about how the band sounds, it's basically an IQ music with female vocal. Yeah, I think that's about correct. You probably think that with female vocal it should sound like Magenta. Unfortunately it's NOT. It's more similar to IQ.

Spektrum (Music: Anderson / Cross) is a very short overture that plays its role as atmosphere setter for the whole album. It's a very nice overture that I think if it's extended another one minute to include with some sort of Hackettian howling guitar sounds would be extremely excellent. But, this 22 seconds overture is not bad at all.

Land of Longing (Music: Cross / Anderson / Fors; Words: Anderson / Cross) starts off with an upbeat tempo music in a rocking mood, soft guitar riffs and solo that brings a catchy melody on the opening part. Keyboard plays its role as a filler of symphonic style, played at the background music. The duo vocal line enters the music augmented with some melodic chords played at the back and in between lyrical verses. The music flows pretty smooth with insertion of some tasty melody by keyboard / guitar on transition pieces. Structure-wise, this song is bit unusual as with 5 minute duration, there is no "long" interlude. However, the band replaces it with some longer transition pieces. It's an excellent album opener.

Now (Music & Words: Cross) begins with an ambient keyboard sounds followed with low register notes voice line sung clearly by Panajott. The music turns in a faster tempo with an energetic rhythm section on neo prog style. Keyboard consistently produces symphonic nuance at the back during lyrical passage and sometimes turn into an organ style. The song includes a quiet passage followed with a medium tempo and energetic singing. The guitar solo performed in the middle of the track is simple yet it's enjoyable to listen to. It is then followed with a Tony Banks'-like keyboard solo. Oh man . this keyboard solo is really catchy and reminds me to Genesis music. The guitar solo performed as continuation of this catchy keyboard solo is also wonderful. Stunning!

Perpetuum Mobile (Music: Johnson) is a melodic music with no lyrics. It starts with a sort of baby doll's music box. It continues with a keyboard work in a mellow style. The first half of the music explores the work of keyboard. The music flows nicely and features stunning guitar solo at the end of the track and it's closed off with baby doll's music box.

The Quest (Music & Words: Anderson / von Panajott) starts with a firm keyboard sound with sort of space nuance to feature Panajott's powerful vocal augmented with solid basslines. The keyboard sounds continue in the style of opening part and it forms a nice textures of the music. Panajott demonstrates her capability to sing in a high register note. The interlude part is begun with a nice transition piece using keyboard and followed with melodic keyboard solo before it returns back to high register notes singing. At the end of singing verse, the guitar continues with stunning solo until the music ends. One thing to note here is the beginning guitar solo at approx. 3:47 reminds me to "IT" from Genesis' The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.

Ivory Tower (Music: Cross / von Panajott; Words: von Panajott / Cross) is another good neo prog track great melody and neat arrangements. It flows from a relatively quiete passage into a more louder music but in a slow-medium tempo. Acoustic guitar is used in between transition and it helps enrich the song textures. At approx minute 3:01 the guitar solo starts to insert its sound to the music in alternate with Floydian keyboard sounds. It's a wonderful sounds in this part. Yes, I think this track is influenced by Pink Floyd. I do enjoy the stunning guitar solo that brings the song to an end.

A Chemical Release (Music: Anderson / von Panajott; Words: von Panajott) is performed in a rocking style with an energetic vocal power. Panajott's voice is excellent in performing this track. The rhythm section is hard driving with relatively fast speed. The keyboard patterns remind me to Royal Hunt's Andre Andersen and in some segments are Tony Banks.It's truly a symphonic prog music with catchy melody and an uplifting mood. Guitar style is very close with Steve Hackett, performing its sound at the background, combined with a stunning keyboard.

SPEKTRUM is a band with a lot of potential as this debut album proves their virtuosity in creating a melodic symphonic neo prog music where its music is refreshing. All musicians contribute their best with an excellent arrangement. Basslines are solid, drumming is dynamic, guitar is stunning with a style of Hackett and a bit of Gilmour, keyboard is powerful with variation of textures and layers, vocal quality is excellent. Anyone who loves neo prog or IQ, would agree with that this is an excellent addition to any prog collection. I'm keen to know the band's future release. Keep on proGGin' .!!!

Yours progressively,


Report this review (#17633)
Posted Friday, March 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
2 stars On paper this looked like a winner. We have the guitarist from CROSS, the drummer and keyboardist from GRAND STAND, and the bass player from GALLEON. Then add a female vocalist and we have SPEKTRUM.

"Spektrum" is a short intro that sounds good. "Land Of Longing" opens well but then the vocals and synths come in and both make me cringe. I'm not sure if I just get used to them as the album plays out or not but I don't like either on this tune. "Now" is mellow with soft vocals to start. It kicks in after a minute with some good guitar then settles back some. Synths and drums lead before 6 minutes. "Perpetuum Mobile" is my favourite track and it is the only instrumental on here besides the short intro song. It opens and closes with the sounds of a music box. Synths a minute in as it builds. Guitar and a powerful section 4 minutes in.

"The Quest" has some nice sounding bass and synths as vocals join in. Pulsating synths arrive when the vocals stop later. "Ivory Tower" opens with a fairly powerful sound as vocals enter the fray. This is an interesting song. The melancholic guitar after 5 minutes suits the mood. "A Chemical Release" picks up quickly with synths and vocals standing out. Guitar solo after 3 1/2 minutes. Synths lead 6 1/2 minutes in to the end. A nice way to end it.

I'm just not into the vocals to be honest, and the instrumental music while being pretty good doesn't do a lot for me either.

Report this review (#291306)
Posted Wednesday, July 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars More of a side project than a regular band, Swedish act Spektrum was an idea of Grand Stand's keyboardist Olov Andersson, after he felt some tracks left out of Grand Stand's works were too good to be hidden from publicity.He recruited Grand Stand bandmate Göran Johnsson on drums, Hansi Cross on guitars/keys, Galleon's bassist Göran Fors and female singer Lizette von Panajott to complete the project.The sole self-titled work was released in 2003 on Progress Rocerds.

Spektrum come as an extreme rip-off of MAGENTA around the same time, but yes Mr Andersson was right, as the music is generally attractive and the inspiration hits high levels.That means you have to deal with a pure Neo/Symphonic Prog group with plenty of lyrical moments but also huge instrumental themes filled with captivating melodies.It is hard not to recall classic MAGENTA albums like ''Revolutions'' or ''Seven'' listening to this work, however Spektrum manage to keep a high level regarding the very good arrangements contained in the album.These are characterized by melodic guitar themes, symphonic synthesizers, some incredible solos and a great performance by von Panajott behind the microphone.GRAND STAND, GALLEON and even better ODYSSICE are good reference points.The production is outstasnding and the balance between the vocal parts and symphonic instrumentals remain at a good level, never boring and at moments even bombastic.

Reputedly Spektrum were on the way of recording a second album around mid-00's, but this was never finished and it seems this project ended before making an even bigger impact.However ''Spektrum'' is sure to please all fans of Neo Prog, Symphonic Rock and even melodic Classic Progressive Rock, despite the obvious lack of personality.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Report this review (#814463)
Posted Sunday, September 2, 2012 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars Spektrum is a semi-supergroup in that it contains members of Galleon, Cross and Grand Stand as well as vocalist Lizette von Panajott. I was immediately taken by just how commercial- sounding this album is as it comes across as a mix between It Bites and 'And Then There Were Three' era Genesis. Certainly nothing that could be construed as being a bad thing. It has a definite Eighties feel and yet is also very fresh and quite different to much that is currently on the underground progressive scene. There aren't many bands that use similar musical references and this is surely going to be an album that is going to make them many friends.

It has been released on the Swedish Progressive Records label but it should be easy to find in this country or through the label site at (where there are many other albums also available). This is music that is melodic, and often quite different from one song to the next. I really like "Land Of Longing" and can almost imagine that being released as a single while the following number "Now" moves from space and gentleness to some driving guitar. This is an album that has so much going for it yet at the same time is not only intricate yet is also so very listenable. The vocals are different to the norm, which gives the music an added edge.

It is a debut album yet given the background of the players it is of little surprise that this is of such high quality. A superb album that progheads need to search out.

Originally appeared in Feedback #74, Jun 03

Report this review (#990054)
Posted Sunday, June 30, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars Just EXCELLENT. Formed by musicians from another great swedish progressive rock bands, I would like that this band could have another album. By difference with some other female singers, Gisette Von Panajott, has a fantastic voice full of cohesion and power, and the keyboards sound very very in a Tony Banks way. Despiting the intro (almost nothing in terms of time), the opening Land of longing is a good track, but the best becomes after it, cos the song Now is a stunning prog number. The keyboard solo is just incredible (Hey Tony, wasn't you there?). Perpetum mobile is an acceptable instrumental pice, and The Quest is another great track with good solos too. Ivory Tower is a powerfull song in which Von Panajott really shines with the melody line over a good electric guitar support.. Finally A Chemical Release is the other highlight, another superb progressive rock track, and long enough to enjoy this kind of music. Again the voices on the melody line sounds great and again too, the full orchestra keyboard closing section is stunning. I really enjoy this album, and I can not give it less than five stars.
Report this review (#1075966)
Posted Tuesday, November 12, 2013 | Review Permalink

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