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Trettioariga Kriget - Efter Efter (After After) CD (album) cover

EFTER EFTER (AFTER AFTER)

Trettioariga Kriget

Crossover Prog


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Finnforest
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3 stars Reflections on their journey

"Efter Efter" is the 9th studio album of the long lived Swedish outfit known as Trettioariga Kriget (TK), who've been around for about 40 years now. "After After" (in English) is the final album of the trilogy that began with "The Fire of Years." It was recorded in Stockholm between late 2010 and early 2011. The themes of the album deal with the past, looking back on their lives and years as a band, and looking at how those events have shaped the present. While I've only heard two of their albums, TK reminds me most of Dire Straits before their commercial phase, when they played longer and more instrumentally focused music. Their albums have a similar feel to early Dire Straits with melancholic, blue-mood atmospheres rising from the background keyboards and mellotron. Other reference points for me are the Yugo bands LebiSol and Tako. The superb lead guitar work touches on blues and fusion with a refined quality not unlike Mark Knofler or David Gilmour in places. Some of the solos are truly epic and will please guitar aficionados; overall the TK sound certainly presents guitars over keyboards. Occasionally there will be heavier riffs or softer passages but for the most part the tracks are somewhat middle of the road, rocking with good emotion, but nothing mind blowing. TK is a refined and mature project that is of a good quality but unfortunately they have never really excited me in a huge way, though to be fair many rate them higher than I do. Certainly worth investigating if you like the bands mentioned. 3 stars.

"....these masters of dynamics are able to enact the play of sunlight upon waves in the landscape that has formed them and that they have made their own. What do they achieve? I would say: vigorous beauty. What has been the major force behind their years and years of playing together? I think the answer lies in one of the lines of this song: at their best, love itself has been their guest." ---band reflections from their website

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#490538)
Posted Monday, July 25, 2011 | Review Permalink
avestin
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4 stars The band returns with the last part of their trilogy and the third album since their reunion. Named "Efter Efter", meaning After After, I hope this name and the album being a trilogy closer don't imply the band is done with. Thinking about it, it seems not likely at all, as they have been getting media coverage and enthusiastic responses to their last albums and they've been touring and will continue to do so, in and outside their homeland of Sweden. And so I hope that After After this trilogy will be getting More More of this band's music.

I mentioned in a previous review that while I like their 1970s output, I much prefer their current incarnation and the music they're releasing now. That is uncommon for most, if not all bands I listen to that have reunited, particularly looking at other prog bands like the Italian prog revival currently ongoing as well as the VdGG reunion (I do like and listen to these bands' current music, I'm not dissing them). There is just something that speaks to me more about Trettioariga Kriget's music today than their first time around.

On Efter Efter, Trettioariga Kriget make rock music like it should be: Melodic, powerful and varied. They have their formula, their sound and style and they don't steer away from it too much, but manage to create catchy and warm sounding, in large part due to that lush mellotron sound but also their cool guitar tones and the other keyboards. They also manage some intricacy and variety to come into play in their compositions, spicing things up.

The music, ambitious hard rock with soft edges courtesy of lush keyboards, is accessible and charming. While being somewhat straightforward in their writing and song structure and a little naďve-sounding at times (and that is part of their charm as they come up with wonderful riffs and melodies), their arrangements introduce intricacies, complexity and exploration into their songs, such as the proggy middle section of Barnet, the ending of Tavlan and the solos in Efter Efter for instance. The results are songs that start in a straightforward manner and gradually introduce twists and shifts that capture the ears.

Their instrumentals are where they really shine. In the three studio albums released since they returned to activity, they had captivating instrumentals. With a poignant and catchy melody, wonderful layering instrumentation and gorgeous climaxes. These show the band's enthusiasm at its highest and their musical skills, the most fulfilled. Listen to The Dance on this album and you'll hear the band's emotions as well as their epic side.

The title song, Efter Efter combines their epic side and their skill at creating a catchy song. The song's main riff can get stuck in your head for a while. The keyboards and guitar solos in the middle are a little different than what I heard previously from the band and they're a welcome addition to the band's palate.

Of the current trilogy of studio albums by the band, I still find I Borjan Och Slutet to be the standout album, the one I'm most excited about and gets my enthusiasm spring out as I listen to it. But slowly and gradually, Efter Efter is growing on me; there certainly are several pieces on here that have become my favourites by them. Like in previous albums, this one comes with the lyrics in Swedish and the English translation.

What will be after this album? I just hope for the 30 Years War to remain active.

For PA rating purposes: 3.5 stars rounded up to 4

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Send comments to avestin (BETA) | Report this review (#499336)
Posted Sunday, August 07, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Man, what a find was this album. I had never heard of this band but when I heard the track Mannen Pa Banken on Last.Fm I decided to check this album out. This is truly a hidden gem. There are some weak moments but the highs of the album are just so great and so addicting, Chrsiter Akerberg is an amazing guitar player. This band is definitely guitar oriented but there are some keyboards in their but they rarely take a front seat.

The first track Mannen Pa Banken immediately hooks you. It has some great guitar playing by Christer and Robert Zima's voice is pleasant. If I had to compare his voice with anyone's it would probably be Roine Stolt's, but in my opinion Robert's is less of an acquired taste. I also think Stefan is great bass player and they really give him his places to shine, I imagine this is due to him being the main songwriter. Barnet is another great track, reminiscent of the Flower Kings, I especially enjoy Dag Lundquist's drumming, and I think this is one of the best track for Robert's vocals. The Dance is probably my favorite on the album with opener. It is a very good instrumental, I love Christer's guitar tone on this track. I also love the song Glorious war, another great one for Robert. The Title track Efter Efter is the longest song on the album and another highlight. Feature's more keyboard than most of the album.

The Rest of the album is mostly three star material, nothing I would want to come back to frequently. Boring mostly but a pleasant occasional listen.

Overall I Give this a 3.5 due to some weaker tracks, but I round it up to a four because with some of the great material on this album I couldn't bare to give it any lower, and I plan on adding more Trettioariga Kriget to my collection. I recommend to this to any fan of Anglagard, The Flower Kings, or any fan of guitar oriented prog in general.

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Send comments to Master of Time (BETA) | Report this review (#755060)
Posted Saturday, May 19, 2012 | Review Permalink

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