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Trettioåriga Kriget - Trettioåriga Kriget CD (album) cover


Trettioåriga Kriget

Crossover Prog

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4 stars TRETTIOARIGA KRIGET (translated as Thirty Years War) debut album is amongst the best Sweden prog rock bands and albums of the 70's. Their first album offers a heavy dose of dramatic, heavy guitar centric progressive rock with some psychedelic leanings all culminating into a sound all of their own. Although keyboards are present, they take on a minor role really and fill in some quiet spacey backgrounds. The bass and guitar interplay are the feature of this album as they get into some great complex performances. If I had to create a comparison I might offer a combo of ANGLAGARD and ANEKDOTEN with dashes of IL BALLETTO DI BRONZO and YES. The vocals are fine and are seem to fit the music quite well. The songs features here are very written and offer a nice mix of complex yet tight detail that I find very interesting without getting into over 'noodling-about'. Overall this is quite a fine little album and one that I play over the years quite a lot.
Report this review (#22203)
Posted Saturday, October 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
3 stars This eponymous debut album contains guitar-oriented progressive rock. I'm impressed by the guitarplayer: he has a powerful and varied sound and many times he delivers very compelling soli, accompanied by a dynamic rhythm-section. I notice some echoes from Robert Fripp and Steve Howe but this man is absolute a creative guitarist! Because of the native Swedish vocals (it reminds me of German band Novalis their singer) the music from Trettioariga Kriget sounds rather original. Some songs contain mellow parts featuring the mellotron or piano, at those moments TK is a more progressive rockband but in general THIS IS GOOD GUITAR-ROCK WITH PROGRESSIVE TENDENCIES!
Report this review (#38943)
Posted Saturday, July 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
Tom Ozric
5 stars What a monster of an album. This, their debut release, just blows me away. These guys know how to play. Generally guitar-centric, the rhythm section is a knock-out, especially bassist Stefan Fredin, who plays the bass like lead guitar, with his up-front, almost twangy sound. The songs feature various tempos and moods throughout, and plenty of odd times and jagged riffs. The keyboard sounds on a few songs are supplied by the incredible Mellotron, uncredited, but has since been revealed that the drummer is responsible. This album alone could be considered a blue-print for fellow Swedes Anglagard and Anekdoten IMO. Vocals are in Swedish, and loud in the mix, actually, everything is loud in the mix, but it just adds to the 'arctic' vibe this music gives off. Crank it up !!!!!!
Report this review (#89302)
Posted Friday, September 8, 2006 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The first strikes of the song "Kaledoniska Orogenesen" reveal the essence of this record; overwhelmingly chaotic and aggressive jazzy psychedelia with great vintage sounds, harnessed upon firmly designed rock compositions. After some listening I felt that closest match of comparison for this music might could be the Wetton-Cross era King Crimson. As with them, Trettioåriga Kriget's sound is dominated by a strong and very skillful rhythm section. The bass guitar blasts forth a really fuzzy powerful punch, and the songs have both very structured, and difficult sounding instrumental arrangements and also space for free collective improvisation. And though it is not listed in the line-up data, the good old Mellotrons are hovering behind few tracks for the ultimate old-school heavy emotions. The lyrics are sung in Swedish, strengthening the local freshness on a release matching global scale observation. The overall feeling of the album is very melancholic and violent, still having moments of groovy playing and short shades of beautifulness in it. Some instrumental sequences follow the logic of subconsciousness, molding the album as a surrealistic nightmare, troubling mankind as a real classic art rock record.
Report this review (#95916)
Posted Friday, October 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

This debut album was far from being representative of the band's story so far, as the group is a quartet where they had been as much as six, when they recorded their first sessions (which have now been released under the Glorious War name. The guitar- dominated quartet has always had a bit of a rough/raw sound and in this album the only keys heard are the mellotron layers (outside the piano on the bonus track of the reissue) but TK pulled an excellent hard prog that would suit those early UK groups that developed what some call proto-prog (but not the way that this site uses it). The album came with an artwork designed by their former drummer (one of the two) and the sword is there to remind us that the group had a rather unhealthy fascination with war, and the sword will become the group's emblematic object.

Taking the bald move to sing in their native language, TK does not really make for an easy and comfortable first listening, but most progheads should not have much problems adapting to the peculiar sound of theirs, even if some of the more discerning ones might single out the apparent simplicity of some tracks. The key word being apparent, because TK is definitely into tempo changes and time sigs, even if they go about chord changes in an abrupt manner, which shows their lack of experience. Their sound is best cornered as a mix of Purple and Heep crossed with Crimson, where Fredin's bass often take a lead role.

Starting on the very abrupt, raw, blunt, uncompromising Caledonian Origins (I gather anyway) with a lengthy crazy intro where the groups seems to constantly change riffs (a bit too much for their own sake, IMHO) before the song proper starts, Zima's vocals sounding like Gillan in his screams and scats and XXX in his normal singing. The following Roster is a bit calmer and not their best, (starting out on a marimba) but it evolves slowly into a demented ending where the mellotron (played by their drummer) underlines the crazy playing. Too bad it ends so sloppily. The album's first side closes on the Butterfly Attitudes, which is their best-constructed song so far, where the Crimson influences become clear (ever-present mellotrons helping of course) even if there is a definite jazzy bass that sets them apart.

Mina Lojen (My Smile) opens the second half of the album, but even if this was one of their older tracks by now, it is only partly successful as there is too much singing (the song lasting only 8 minutes after all ;-), but when space is made for the instruments, they like to show their potential (a bit too much) and the song ends in great mellotron wash. Ur Djupen is a bit too Purple (Zima's voice is certainly helping here with his scats), even if mellotrons lines were not Purple's attributes, but Fredin's playing does remind me of Glover's. Same Fender Precision bass. The finale (based on ancient-Greek philosophical text) starts slowly to end fast again

From the three bonus tracks added on this re-issue, the lengthy Under The Pending Sky is a first version of the much shorter Ur Djupen with lyrics added on the latter version. A fairly useful addition as both version differ enough to have their own lives (but there are repetitions) this version coming with a grand piano played by their former member Krok, while I've Got No Time (from the same earlier session) is an acoustic ballad that evolves into an average hard rock. Both tracks are not well recorded or well produced, and the last Perspektiv (a live recording from that era) will not dephase you either.

As with all TK recordings, this album definitely sounds under-produced, and if the band was purposely raw, I'm not that sure that they intended to leave the record that way; another thing striking me is that outside lyricist's text are way too present in some songs. A rough uncut gem that could be one of the diamond of your collection if you give yourself the patience enough to delve deeply into it, but IMHO, it is hard to give a fourth star.

Report this review (#116623)
Posted Thursday, March 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars This is their debut album from 1974. The music can be described as dark with some light jazzy moments. It's not that accessible and i'd call this is a grower. It does boast some terrific guitar (the guy can play !). The vocals are in Swedish and this group has been a big influence on bands like ANGLAGARD and ANEKDOTEN. The cover art was done by the drummer who is an artist.

"Kaledoiska Orogenesen" is about the creation of the Caledonian Mountains and it opens with an outburst of guitar and noise.There is a quotation in English from the song "The Battle Of Epping Forest" by GENESIS. The song ends in a chaotic way. "Roster ran Minus Till Plus" opens with bass and vocals. There is some spoken words with a jazzy backdrop. The guitar melodies 6 minutes in with bass remind me of RUSH. Nice. Mellotron on this one too. "Fjarilsattityder" has a jazzy intro. I love the guitar solos 3 1/2 minutes in. I could listen to that all day.

"Mina Lojen" is my favourite tune. It's an uptempo song that starts and stops a lot to open.The song then builds quickly to a full sound 3 minutes in with mellotron and vocals. Some aggressive guitar to follow and what a beautiful guitar solo 6 1/2 minutes in with a bass solo to follow. "Ur Djupen" has some great mellotron floods a minute in. Vocal melodies remind me of Ian Gillan from DEEP PURPLE on "Child In Time". The song is just dripping with mellotron at this point. "Handlingens Skugga" slowly builds with vocals. It becomes raw and chaotic 4 minutes in until vocals come back. A great guitar solo to end it.

One of the bonus tracks "I've Got No Time" has English vocals and it sounds great ! The last bonus track "Perspektiv" was actually the first song they ever wrote in 1970. It features a passage where the guitarist just jams for about 3 minutes. Incredible ! As I said this one takes some time to get used to but it worth the effort my friends.

Report this review (#128146)
Posted Wednesday, July 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars First and best by this great band. Lots of energy and superb musicianship with great songwriting. One of the top albums in the heavy progressive rock and should be considered a classic album. Should be in every progfans collection. Get it now!
Report this review (#154333)
Posted Wednesday, December 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars TRETTIOARIGA KRIGET were born at the dawn of the 70's in Saltsjöbaden,a seaside resort of Stockholm.They started as a 6-men band,including two drummers (!),before they shorten the line-up to four members by 1972.During the summer of 74' they recorded their first album,which was released in August of the same year under the eponymous title.

TRETTIOARIGA KRIGET had their own music views,far from tne jazz/rock or folk/symph sound with the intense melancholy adapted by the Swedish bands of the time.Their debut is a nice example of hard progressive rock with superb breaks loaded with strong guitar playing,frenetic rhythms and heavy bass lines.Main influences come from mid-70's KING CRIMSON,especially guitarists Christer Åkerberg and Robert Zima had to be great fans of ROBERT FRIPP,imitating his complex breaks and intricate bluesy style of playing.A talented and very tight rhythm section provides the appropriate background to the guitarists,who sometimes even recall YES' Steve Howe guitar chords.Vocals are sung in Swedish by Robert Zima (despite he was of Austrian origin !),who has a very psychedelic and deep style of singing and,as for other instruments,you'll just find a couple of moments with very distinctive flutes and mellotron in the background.So,mainly this is a guitar-dominated album with a hard,bluesy sound filled with complicated structures and sudden breaks.Every progressive rock fan can find something to like in this album,which is another very strong release coming from the 70's Swedish prog rock scene...

Report this review (#162543)
Posted Sunday, February 24, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars This debut from TRETTIOARIGA KRIGET shows a rather wild and agressive band that play hard and rough on their instruments respectively. The singer also has a very powerful voice but especially the bass is very raw (Wetton-like) and uses distortion from time to time. Other reviewers have rightly mentioned early RUSH as reference but also KING CRIMSON, URIAH HEEP, BLACK SABBATH, LED ZEPPELIN and CAPTAIN BEYOND can be compared to for the mood of TRETTIOÅRIGA KRIGET. Musically I think it's rather wreckless, they really want to break the boundaries and play their strange riffs and chords with great selfconfidence. They don't compromise on their own style. Yet, this becomes the album's only weak point: they sure have an original sound and play a complex kind of progressive rock with strange time-signatures and try out new ideas (this is IMO their proggiest album) - but the songs are not really good/catchy/strong/melodic. The production is also not that brilliant but music is after all what matters...
Report this review (#164776)
Posted Sunday, March 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Trettioåriga Kriget is a living legend of vintage Swedish prog. Not unlike Kaipa, the band reunited in the last years and managed to retake their musical vision and still today remain an active item (if intermittently). This is where the similarities end, since the musical trend of Trettioåriga Kriget, at least for their debut gem album, is one of heavy prog open to the inclusion of jazz-inspired complexities and frontal psychedelic expansions. The band's heaviness even predates Rush for a few months, given the big doses of zeppelin and Sabbath elements jointly effective with electric blues flavors. But mostly, "Trettioåriga Kriget" is a genuine prog statement from a band that bears a clear vision from the starting point: the band is not just exploring the realms of art-rock, it is deeply involved and going for it all the way. 'Kaledoniska orogenesen' kicks off the album like a metallic eruption of whirlwinds aiming to sweep anything off of the ground: such menacing emergence of guitar, bass and drums almost makes Black Sabbath sound like Bread, at least for a few seconds. Funny how this song begins in a chaotic way that is usually reserved for explosive endings. Anyway, once the main body is installed, the vibe displays an energetic mixture of blues-rock and heavy-oriented psychedelia in a progressive framework; it won't be long before the inception of some jazzy deviations in the rhythmic development adds an interesting variation to the overall mood. Zima's ultra-high pitch makes the vocal deliveries fit well within this particularly powerful instrumentation, be it that he shouts or sings. Both his range and style can be bones of contention among prog fans and reviewers, but anyone who listens to this album from a clinical point of view can notice that he is the right singer for the band regarding both sound and repertoire. The track's finale is quite explosive, but actually it is more schematic than the opening passage. This opener has really heated things up, a definitive attention catcher. Track 2 'Röster från minus till plus' states a more constrained mood, sounding like a jazzy Hendrix, plus mellotron washes that display some eerie elements from the background. The track's development hints at a hardening in the mood, but it is only delivered very subtly: anyway, the empowered bass sound makes it crucial for the track's consistence, especially in those moments in which Åkerberg has to leave the riffing in order to solo. The final moments may lean closer to King Crimson with a slight Sabbath twist and an added touch of jazz in the rhythmic structure. Things won't get any softer with 'Fjärilsattityder': the power trio sound elaborated by the instrumentalists continues to be explored enthusiastically and gracefully, with a robust bassist and a confident drummer who state the nucleus for the whole band's dynamics. 'Mina löjen' opens with a frantic prologue, very much obedient of the jazzed heavy-prog framework that has been consistent so far; the emergence of a sung section based on acoustic guitar brings some calm, as well as a reference for the track's subsequent development that alternates lyrical and powerful moments in an ordained fashion. 'Ur djupen' is the album's shortest piece - basically, it is a slow rocker with a slightly complex rhythmic developments and a catchy bluesy intro. Actually, there is an earlier, longer version of this track that appears a bonus track in the CD edition: you can tell by the album's version alone that this track had a lot more going on than what was recorded in this album. This bonus shows that this is not an undeveloped track, but a (sorely) reduced refurbishment. The album's final 7 ½ minutes are occupied by 'Handlingens skugga' - it starts bearing a similar mood to the one displayed in the previous track, but some complex interludes bring in an interesting dynamics despite their brevity. The coda is an energetic jam that gives room for Åkerberg to deliver his best soloing in the album: I'm not totally charmed with the abrupt ending, since all the other tracks had benefited from appealing conclusions, but this is just a minor objection to a track that I enjoy so much. My personal highlights are tracks 1, 2 and 4. Overall balance: an excellent item that should grace any good prog collection.
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Posted Wednesday, September 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars An intriguing debut marred by unfortunately mediocre production values, Trettioariga Kriget's debut album is a sprightly and aggressive psych-prog tour de force. With lyrics in the band's native Swedish, the group were apparently part of the "progg" scene in 1970s Sweden, of which Samla Mammas Manna were also proponents - a movement that should not be mistaken for being analogous to our prog scene, though obviously there were bands such as those two who were part of both worlds. As far as Kriget go, their guitar-lead psych-rock is not enormously avant-garde or progressive, but it's competently performed and may be of interest to people keen on seeing what the guitar heroes of Sweden were getting up to in 1974.
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Posted Monday, September 19, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars This record, which is Trettioåriga krigets first, has a lot of talant and good progressive elements but it doesn't affect me. The best song in my opinion is Röster från minus till plus (Voices from minus to plus) which is a beautifull song with a deep sound and great instrument work, but the rest is quite boring. As a swedish man I would understand the lyrics but I don't. He is not singing very ambiguous but I think his pronounciation isn't the right. I think the singer Robert Zima comes from Austria (Österrike). What I understood the lyrics were dopey, is doesn't have to be bad. What I missed was strong melodies and symphonic touches. This was heavy but it really didn't hit me enough.
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Posted Thursday, April 25, 2013 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars Considered one of the most influential Swedish hard rock bands of the 70s, TRETTIOÅRIGA KRIGET which means Thirty Years War was conceived in 1970 by high school buddies Stefan Fredin and Olle Thörnvall after reading about the religious and geopolitical event in a history class. In the beginning the band formed with six members but was reduced down to four by the time this self-titled debut album was released in 1974. This is one of those bands that straddled the spectrum of influences and offered stark transitions between heavy rock with progressive elements in the vein of the most fiery King Crimson to more standard hard rock in the vein of Led Zeppelin, UFO or Uriah Heep but also the band could shift without warning into mellotron soaked acoustic space rock as well as exercise some of the knottiest time signature bombast in contrast to the otherwise highly melodic display of musicianship.

While never famous outside of their homeland, this band that began in the town of Saltsjöbaden near Stockholm was limited in their audience size mostly due to the Swedish only vocals performed exquisitely by Robert Zima one of the last members to join before the band released this debut album. This first album offered a rampaging display of heavy rock with a jazz-infused quirkiness laced with progressive outbursts that decorated the soundscape. Sounding unique even by today's standards, TRETTIOÅRIGA KRIGET's debut has been cited as a major influence on band's like Ånglagard and Anekdoten and is a primo example of how sophisticated Swedish prog was in it the golden years while the rest of Europe was capturing the world's attention. The band was also famous for changing its style dramatically from album to album and therefore this heavy rock debut was followed by a more pastoral acoustic sophomore release.

After forming the band was lucky enough to catch the attention of Epic Records which signed them up to release this eponymously titled debut. The original release consisted of six tracks that added up to the standard running time of an album, in this case just over 38 minutes long however newer releases offer three bonus tracks which are every bit as good as the original six and even offer an English vocal track with "I've Got No Time" unlike on the original. The album belies its hard rock leanings with the opening "Kaledoniska Orogenesen" which could even be considered heavy metal since it's heavier than anything either Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath had released. The track begins in classic rock form but then shifts into knotty prog territory with a barrage of time signature changes, dynamic shifts and hairpin turns. After an abrupt ending the following "Röster från minus till plus" jumps right into knotty prog territory but less frenzied in the world of psychedelic space rock with some jazzy overtones. At nearly eight minutes long it's also the second longest track and features some excellent prog workouts.

"Fjärilsattityder" showcases a jazzier guitar presence and a dominant choppy bass line. While the lyrics are in Swedish, lead vocalist Robert Zima sings like the Italian singers of the same era however this track is all about letting the guitar riffs and soloing rip. Jimi Hendrix is also a clear influence in the guitar presence however with two guitarists there is a beefier overall sound. This track in particularly reminds me of Osanna. "Mina löjen" just ramps it all up with the perfect mix of frenetic hard rock and prog. At an 8:09 running time also the longest track which allows it to explore much terrain. Another series of straight forward proto-metal moments and knottier jazz-rock prog which features softer vocal driven passages that alternate with angst ridden guitar fueled frenzies that are a mix of King Crimson and Led Zeppelin with a bit more Lucifer's Friend energetic discharge. "Ur djupen," the shortest track under four minutes is a more immediate mix of heavy rock and slower jazzy rock. The closing "Handlingens skugga" features a dramatic build up with military march drumming but then alternates between jazzy spaced out passages and frenetic heavy metal fury. The guitar solos are particularly unhinged.

TRETTIOÅRIGA KRIGET was quite successful in its native Sweden but unlike most rock oriented bands of this era, refused to use English and therefore stunted any international appeal however over time the band has been recognized for its significant talent beyond the local Swedish scene. The band would tone things down a bit on the following album "Krigssång" by jettisoning the heavier rock freneticism and focusing on the spacier prog aspects making this self-titled debut a unique slice of the band's lengthy history (they are still cranking out albums with the latest "Till Horisonten" coming out just this year in 2021.) As far as i'm concerned this debut is the one that works best for me. The contrast between caffeinated rock parts and the spacier slower jazz-rock segments is well worth the price of admission. While there could be a bit more variety especially as the albums reaches the final tracks, there's no mystery in how this band could've been considered Sweden's top hard rock band of the era because even by today's standards it is of very high quality. And to think that this album was released the same year ABBA won the Eurovision Contest and forever put Sweden on the map for exporting its musical talent!

Report this review (#2650248)
Posted Tuesday, December 7, 2021 | Review Permalink

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