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Gösta Berlings Saga - Et Ex CD (album) cover


Gösta Berlings Saga

Eclectic Prog

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Heavy, RPI, Symph, JR/F Canterbury Teams
4 stars One thing is sure with this band is that every album is very different from the others, maybe this has to do with the fact that each musician comes from different backgrounds, but one thing is common they create music for fun and that has always been the case from their first to this new album. Someone came in the studio with a riff and the band plays around it long enough until they are satisfied with the result. This time most of the ideas came from the keyboard player David Lundberg which result in a spacey electronica style of an album. The producer decided to bring more new synthesizer sounds apart from the usual mellotron sound. The funny thing is that sometimes it sounds like synth pop music, see the song "Over and Out". The music has that little dark mood, but it's never dull. They enjoy experiment with sounds and extend the melody in a trippy atmosphere. It's not your static electronic music, the melody is there and if the guitar is more in the background in this album the synthesizers parts are so impressive that you won't miss the guitar. You will be seduced by the catchy melody of the song "Over and Out". "Capercaillie Lammergeyer Cassowary & Repeat" show some Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze influence. which is spread out through the album." The Shortcomings Of Efficiency" is the only song that reminds me of the first influence of the band with more guitar in the Anekdoten style. The album ends with another fine piece "Fundament".
Report this review (#2045140)
Posted Wednesday, October 17, 2018 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars Named after the debut novel of Swedish author Selma Lagerlöf, which was published in 1891, GBS are a band who have always gone their own path, from their early days as a duo to where they are nearly 20 years later, now operating as a quartet. Founders Alexander Skepp (drums) and David Lundberg (Fender Rhodes, Mellotron and synthesizers) are still very much at the helm, while Gabriel Tapper (bass, Taurus pedals) has been there since 2004. Guitarist Einar Baldursson parted ways with band not long after the release of the album, and he has been replaced by Rasmus Booberg, who apparently also provides clarinet, synthesizer and humming!

The immediate reaction when hearing this album is that while the band have obviously been inspired by Tangerine Dream in many ways, this isn't all about complex layered synthesisers and repeated patterns. Some of the most poignant aspects of the album can be heard on "Artefacts", where the use of simple notes from the top of the piano's register takes the music into a whole new area. The feelings from that are very different indeed to the bombast of "Capercaillie Lammergeyer Cassowary & Repeat" which follows, which moves far more into areas normally reserved for the likes of Art Zoyd. Here is a band demonstrating that music which is mostly keyboard-based can be dynamic and powerful, bringing Krautrock themes and styles into the modern age while never moving too far away from the Seventies roots. Well worth investigating further.

Report this review (#2183984)
Posted Thursday, April 18, 2019 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars For a lot of GOSTA BERLINGS SAGA fans this is the album that pushes the boundries a little too far for comfort. Electronics dominate this album combined with mellotron, clarinet, Fender Rhodes and "rock" instruments. I have so much respect for this record and like the cover it is dark electronics for the most part. Problem is that they go places I am not that into which you kind of expect with an album that is so radical. The Post-Rock vibe is strong at times. We get some guests like Swedish guitarist Henrik Palm co-writing "The Shortcomings Of Efficiency" and "Fundament" the two longest tracks on here and he plays guitar on both. Singer Michael Berdan adds some yells late on "The Shortcomings Of Efficiency" and this man is no stranger to Electronics. Lars from SOEN adds sax on that incredible song "Capercaillie Lammergeyer Cassowary & Repeat".

I'll start with the one top three track I haven't mentioned yet and that's "Over And Out" with that mellotron! Come on you Swedes! And thanks. The Fender Rhodes and just so much going on in this monstrous soundscape of ghostly mellotron creating the base for the "rock" instruments to standout. Killer tune. My favourite though is "The Shortcomings Of Efficiency" and Henrik's guitar. Outbursts of sound come and go with spacey synths and a beat before it kicks in bringing a smile to my face. Uptempo and sounding great. Check out the bass! Guitar after a minute and it's a highlight. I like the calm with the urgent drumming nonetheless and how it builds. A lot of Post Rock references on this one. More amazing guitar after 4 minutes as the two guitarists trade off. So good! Our singer comes in late as Post Rock guitars dominate.

The opener "Veras Tema" and "Square 5" both have their moments that's for sure but there are some sections that I'm not that into. The layering of sounds on "Artifacts" is pretty cool and "Brus Fran Stan" works with the acoustic guitar and humming. So reminding me of? Not sure. Sequencers on the closer but top song number three is "Capercaillie Lammergeyer Cassowary & Repeat". That sax and deep moving powerful sound brings Zeuhl to mind for me as it swells and recedes. Some driving music on this one too before 1 1/2 minutes with the Electronics dominating. The final minute is so good as it turns powerful again.

Gotta go 4 stars here despite some ups and downs for me personally when it comes to my tastes but man how can you not be blown away at the inventive ideas as they blaze new territories.

Report this review (#2740790)
Posted Friday, April 29, 2022 | Review Permalink

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