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INDIAN SUMMER

Landberk

Heavy Prog


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The Owl
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars The opening cut "Humanize" shows much promise with its mournful sonorities, haunting Mellotron hook and chiming guitar. "All Around Me" and "1st of May" are nice tracks too, but after that, the whole affair starts to get very sleep-inducing. There's just not enough excitement or sizzle here to make me sit up and bark.

I tend to think of Landberk as more of a U-2 influenced moody pop band with keyboards far more than a progressive band at all.

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Send comments to The Owl (BETA) | Report this review (#4318)
Posted Friday, November 28, 2003 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!!

Fourth album (or third depending on how you view the double version of the debut album), and what was to be their last, Indian Summer can surprise a bit, partly because of the unusual pregnant women artwork, but also the change of drummer, Dahlback being replaced by Lindholm. After the generally disappointing One Man's Tale Another, the group was awaited around the bend, and many were quite pleased with the present album. If many are pleased with IS, this is not the case of yours truly, who doesn't find the album much an improvement over the previous snoozefest. This is one of those albums that received two official and contemporary releases (both now long OOP), one on their usual Record Heaven, and the other on the famous Musea label.

Most of the tracks on the present IS are either moody mid-tempo or slightly more upbeat rockers, but we're a long way from the double-versions of the debut album's haunting ambiances, partly due to the new drummer's unsubtle drumming. Another thing is the band's now-eroded over-reliance on the mellotron sound, even if it is still effective enough, especially countering the still-effective and unique Fiske guitar sound; but should you take the trons out, I'm not sure there is that much substance left to these. Because it is not loud crappy tracks like 1st Of May that do much good to the album, and neither does the equally loud Dustgod, which seems to have some programmed keyboard sounds or the drum-loud but overly simple Dreamdance. Unfortunately the better tracks are the moody ones, but they remain unexciting at best and a bit soporific at worst. Landberk's swansong is probably one of prog's most overrated supposedly masterpiece.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#4320)
Posted Tuesday, February 03, 2004 | Review Permalink
Hibou
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This being the only LANDBERK album I own, I cannot compare it any previous ones. I'll just say that "Indian Summer" offers a unique sound as far as prog is concerned - call it prog dressed in an 'alternative' suit. The vocalist sounds like a carbon copy BONO but the music is nothing like that of U2.

The album is made up of simple melodies with interesting textures and experimental sounds (lush, symphonic keyboards, mellotron and prominent drums through out). It is very low key and the sadness that pervades the entire album (dark atmosphere, sensuous yet mournful vocals) is perhaps its weakest point. Even the more up-tempo tracks such as "1st of May" and "Dustgod" give the impression of having been written during some bout of existential ennui. It's cool stuff, in a way, and will surely hold you spellbound for a spin or two, if only for the uniqueness of the sound, the shimmering guitar play and the drums which are used to good effect. Its shelf-life, however, I find rather short.

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Send comments to Hibou (BETA) | Report this review (#4323)
Posted Wednesday, May 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
Neu!mann
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars By whatever stroke of grace or good fortune Scandinavia became a crucible of Progressive Rock in the 1990s, with Sweden in particular a nest of musical creativity to rival Italy in the '70s. The talent pool at the time was deep enough to hide even a first- rate outfit like LANDBERK, who in a perfect world could have rivaled the popularity of their compatriots in THE FLOWER KINGS (who, let's face it, were never really very Nordic, probably a key to their international success).

I first heard LANDBERK on the Musea label "Progfest '95" CDs, sandwiched in between the Japanese gender-bent ELP clone ARS NOVA and the high octane Latin language fusion of DEUS EX MACHINA (the previous year's compilation had introduced me to, among others, fellow Swede favorites ÄNGLAGÅRD and ANEKDOTEN). Landberk was the notable exception to the largely instrumental bias of the show: a song-based band with a spiky post-Punk guitar sound not far removed from JOY DIVISION or CRISPY AMBULANCE (or the pompous phonies of U2, if you want a really cheap comparison).

Likewise they also favored a mood of introspective gloom that the late Ian Curtis might have appreciated, although here it was expressed with a subtlety and nuance not often found in the typically grandiose ambitions of Progressive Rock. The music on this, their latest to date (and last ever?) studio album, is steeped in the same unique Midnight Sun melancholy, giving even the more up-tempo numbers ("Dustgod", "Dreamdance") an indelible air of wistful regret.

The production is sharp, the packaging is classy (again, unlike the histrionic visual overkill of too much Prog Rock cover art), and the performances are uniformly excellent. Listen to the relaxed yet confident drumming of Jonas Lindholm. Or Simon Nordberg's keyboards, employed more for atmospheric color rather than the usual virtuoso wanking. And Reine Fiske proves himself a guitarist of rare delicacy and understated strength. His playing over the long fade out of "All Around Me", or during the climactic chorus of "Why Do I Still Sleep" (I just now noticed the telling lack of a question mark in the song's title), is almost cathartic in its beauty, wringing out every last drop of emotion from his strings.

But is it really Progressive Rock? Only in the same sense that a thoroughly modern rock band like RADIOHEAD can be considered Prog: i.e. in the best, genuinely creative (and not simply derivative) sense of the word. And, of course, they use a mellotron too, so that certainly qualifies them as closet Progheads.

If this was truly LANDBERK's final album, and after an almost ten-year silence it's beginning to look likely, they can at least boast of having quit at the top of their game.

.but hold on. Stop the presses: I just learned (honestly, at the very moment of mopping up this review and simultaneously surfing the backwaters of the Prog Archives site) that Reine Fiske and Landberk bassist Stefan Dimle are now members of a new (to me at least) Prog Folk quintet called PAATOS. So will they carry that bittersweet Landberk legacy forward into the new millennium? Stay tuned, a sample download is now in progress.

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Send comments to Neu!mann (BETA) | Report this review (#38482)
Posted Monday, July 04, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpää
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This swan song album of Landberk shows us a band, which has matured in a way that may not please many prog fans. As pointed out in previous reviews, the influences of their original inspirers are not anymore present, but I see it only as a good thing. The music is soft, clam, melancholic and emotional, and I like it very much. This record is also accessible to listeners not fond of chaotic avant-garde music. The album opens with a great couple of "Humanize" and "All Around Me", which are tied as a one musical packet. The other highlights for me here are "I Wish I Had A Boat" which is very mournful and beautiful, as is "Why Do I Still Sleep". The closer "Indian Summer" is a silent post-rock influenced tune. Though the band faded after this, their spirit continues in the band Paatos, check that out if you liked this album (and also Anekdoten's albums from "From Within"). There are some interesting small details in the arrangements, like the second final verse on "I Wish I Had A Boat", where the lyrics are echoed as silenced screams, barely audible.

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Send comments to Eetu Pellonpää (BETA) | Report this review (#40054)
Posted Saturday, July 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Somebody wrote that this album sounds like a prog U2 (?) I really don't know...

The truth is thit: the album sounds like and art rock/pop recording. It isn't bad, but is miles away from "Lonely Land" or "One Man Tells Another"... I enjoy with the excellent guitar work of Mr. Fiske. In fact, the first notes that opens the album are very athmospheric. But I couldn't find anything else. There is a few songs that I can hear again and again (Humaniza, All Around Me and I Wish I Had a Boat) but I think the album is a little bored and (why not?) sometimes very "U2"...

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Send comments to progadicto (BETA) | Report this review (#40326)
Posted Monday, July 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
silvertree
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I only have this album from Landberk, a prog band from Sweden, so I cannot compare it with the others. This album was published by Musea which is well known for quality in the presentation and this album is a good example. The music is not typical symphonic prog. It is very much on the alternative side : it sounds more like Radiohead really ! The singer gets sometimes very close to Bono (U2) in some tracks. All in all it has a mellow and dark atmosphere. The mellotron can also be heard on some tracks. I would say this is a nice album to listen to but not a classic (unless you have those already !).

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Send comments to silvertree (BETA) | Report this review (#90502)
Posted Tuesday, September 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
Heptade
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars There are mixed reviews out there for this album. Landberk tried pretty hard to do the dark prog thing for a while, with not much success in my opinion. There was always something better about Anekdoten's tunes, although Landberk always had the secret weapon of Reine Fiske's wonderful, delay-drenched guitar leads, which now grace Dungen. This last album is the one where they finally got their own sound, which makes it a shame that it is their last. The band focussed less on traditional Crimson-derived dark prog styles and more on refining what was best about their sound. Indian Summer is extremely, determinedly sparse and wintery, mostly focussed on Fiske's slowly unfolding melodic leads and subtle mellotron chords. Singer Patric Helje is sometimes compared unfavourably to Bono, but the resemblance is trifling- he's a serviceable vocalist, although not the main attraction of the group's sound. This album works best in the slow, ponderous pieces, not so much on slighty more upbeat pieces like "1st of May" or "Dustgod". But check out the celestial beauty of the second half of "All Around Me", the delicate melody of "Why Do I Still Sleep?" or the closing instrumental title track to hear melancholy prog at its best. This album may have been an effort to establish a more modern, accessible sound, but whatever Landberk was going for, it works. For fans of Anekdoten, Radiohead, Dungen, Paatos, Mogwai etc, this is a good one to track down.

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Send comments to Heptade (BETA) | Report this review (#97525)
Posted Tuesday, November 07, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars nice, calm, easy, soft, smooth, mellow almost fractile like album. To some people much too shoft and emoniotal I believe but not me. I like this kind of mellow felling. If you are feeling hectick take a deep breath and listen this album and time will stand still. I don't have any other of their previous albums so I can't compere to those. But i have to say that i really liked this one. Paatos the band wich continues to carry Landberks legacy more or less is familiar to me though. They don't make suchs an impact to me as did this album.

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Send comments to Siddhartha (BETA) | Report this review (#106730)
Posted Tuesday, January 09, 2007 | Review Permalink
Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Incredible to think that this Swedish band released four studio albums over four and a half years. Even more incredible is the fact that this was achieved in the 90's! Landberk are one of those progressive sounding bands from Scandinavia that endorses the very reason that they are in my opinion second or third after the British for true sounding progressive music output. Indian Summer is a bleak , desolate landscape of sound interspersed by some of the most beautiful guitar playing.Just listen to the second part of the song ' All around Me'. Another great song is the closing title track ' Indian Summer', vocals are almost minimalist in nature. There is a similarity to Landberks sound found in Talk Talk's Spirit Of Eden and Laughing Stock material. Not easy to get hold of in any media format this album is a must have though to any prog enthusiast. This gets a solid 3 and a half stars rounded up to four. It's musical quality deserves a solid rating on their final studio release.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#117790)
Posted Tuesday, April 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This last Landberk album is not a revolutionary one but could be in the liking of the fans.

What you'll get here is the melancholic mood which is so typical of these Nordic bands. As if their climate influenced their works. This album is the continuation of their previous albums but I admit that there is some feeling of tiredness here.

Inspiration is average IMO, even if Humanize is on the melodic and good side. The feeling I have while I listen to this Indian Summer is that it seems as if the band is on some sort of obliged duty. The magic of their debut is far away. Songs are more straight-forward, heavier (1st Of May) which has no particular added value for a band as Landberk.

There are hardly any highlights on this Indian Summer. The band seems to draw his melancholy throughout the album. Uninspired melodies and vocals like the one that can be listened in I Wish I Had a Boat is quite alien to their good and early work but the same applies to Why Do I Still Sleep (no wonder though with such a dull tone).

I am rather disappointed with this recording. The flame is almost extinguished. I understand some low ratings here. Mine wouldn't be that harsh, but let's be honest: we are not facing a great album here. Average I would say. I will still round it up to three stars, but I am not sure this album deserves it.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#187014)
Posted Sunday, October 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars For some reason this album is classified as one of the most overrated Swedish prog records... Well, after years of fruitless search I was lucky to find this rarity (second hand, of course - looks like it is out of print now) in some small but nice record store in Stockholm for a reasonable price. Although it sounds somewhat like U2 being in a very low spirit, I am not quite dissapointed. The band has managed to create their unique sound based on stretchy mellotrone and slow and calm guitar chords. The music is really dark and sometimes catches the spirit of (just so) JOY DIVISION's Closer, sometimes approaching the late CRIMSON's works. Best tracks, in my opinion, are All Around Me and Why Do I Still Sleep. For those who are tired of cheerful marches.

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Send comments to groon (BETA) | Report this review (#193121)
Posted Sunday, December 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover Team
4 stars Landberk was one of the trio of prog wunderkinds from Sweden that was at the forefront of the fabled prog Renaissance in the early 90s, together with the spectacular (and still active) Anekdoten and the legendary but troubled Anglagard. All three where purveyors of dark, brooding and mystical Norse tendencies , adding colossal doses of dense mellotron, a brutal rhythm section with up front bass and bashingly titanic drums. Sadly, Landberk would dissolve into the fjord mists, unleashing this final "Indian Summer" masterpiece, as well as the intense Morte Macabre cooperative effort with the Anekdoten boys.

This album is a prime example of misunderstood genius, not particularly liked by the fans because of its rather radical low-key atmosphere, quite distant from the previous "Heavy Prog" formula. In fact, it's so moody it can verge on soporific, like a soundtrack for an opium den. But these guys are full of surprises and they succeed in paving the road for future prog acts such as PTree, NoSound, White Willow, Paatos and the brilliant Sunscape by deliberately expanding on the veil on the sonics, less rock and more roll if you will. Landberk is unquestionably led by the scintillating guitar work of Reine Fiske, a unique somber style that winks reverently at a reserved Fripp or U2's The Edge on quaaludes combined with an abundant use of fluffy mellotron carpets at the hands of producer Simon Nordberg. Both bassist Stefan Dimle and drummer Jonas Lindholm excel at setting a mood and keeping it firmly anchored, just plain solid.

There are some insanity inducing tracks here that would make Syd blush with respectful envy. "Humanize" is a deep felt excursion into inner pain, a wallowing waft of melodic despair, as close to sonic depression as possible. Cavernous melancholia draped with stalactites of distant memories, the whispery vocals from Patrick Helje are stunningly a propos. "All Around Me" is the 9 minute epic that defines the recording, echoing voice effects within a metronome yet organic beat, eerily close to Steve Wilson's early material , the jangling guitar slashing the butterfly clouds with soaring ferocity. Even on the more raucous "1st of May" and later on the robust "Dustgod" whether the pace quickens, the intensity remains, verging near a proggier Joy Division or perhaps Radiohead. The music remains focused, edgy and impalpably disturbing . Quite pleasant really! Hahahaha! I mean you need to be respectful of this record as it will not fit easily into a playlist; it's an experience on its own. Yes, candles and very dim lights are an option when listening to this stuff. "I Wished I had a Boat" is another platonic annoyance of doomed gloom, a palette of pastelled dejection, Helje's gorgeous voice passionate and yet repentant, a complete prog gem of the highest order. "Dustgod" has a more immediate presence, with a huge vocal melody still mired deeply in atmospherics The brilliantly vaporous "Why Do I Still Sleep" is a true classic, the perfect definition of a prog dirge with Viking overtones. One can imagine a burning funeral "drakkar", blazing arrows of fire arching towards the aquatic tomb, a heady mixture of pain, regret, respect and sorrow. The repeated Sara Isaksson wailing is hypnotic and tortuous. The title track closes out this peculiar disc, a "not a prog for all seasons" testament to fabulous prog giant that left us way early, for whatever frail human reason. If you want to hunt down one bizarre disc that many will puzzle over, get this stunner.

4.5 downy blurs

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Send comments to tszirmay (BETA) | Report this review (#245598)
Posted Thursday, October 22, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I think part of the reason I relate so well to this band is that i'm a Canadian who has to put up with a long Winter every year just like these Swedes.There's almost a longing that can be felt in this music, a longing that only us Northerners who spend up to 4 months in snow, ice and cold can possibly understand. LANDBERK continue to drift from their progressive roots on this their final album. This is very much an atmospheric and melancholic affair with a rich full sound. We still get lots of mellotron just not as much as before. I was reminded of PAATOS at times which isn't surprising since some of the band members here would go on to form that band.

"Humanize" opens with some atmosphere as mellotron and a beat take over. Vocals follow. This song seems to drift along. I like the plodding yet prominant bass. "All Around Me" is about being stuck in the middle of Winter. Sounds build as vocals join in. Processed vocals and mellotron before 2 minutes then back to the previous sound as contrasts continue. A calm before 5 1/2 minutes that sounds amazing. Fiske plays some intricate melodies before 7 1/2 minutes as it continues calm to the end. "1st Of May" is a date that is very meaningful because you know Winter is dead and gone. So yes we get more energy here as drums pound, and the vocals are more passionate too. Mellotron after a minute with some excellent guitar in tow. "I Wish I Had A Boat" is melancholic as reserved vocals come in. What a gorgeous track with the mellotron and atmosphere.

"Dustgod" is really the first uptempo track and the drums and vocals stand out. A feel good tune. The guitar takes the lead before 4 1/2 minutes to end it. "Dream Dance" is the only song on here I was familiar with from the "Progfest 95" album. A bass intro as guitar is strummed. Drums then vocals come in. This is catchy yet dark and mysterious. An incredible sound after 3 1/2 minutes with that relentless beat along with guitar and mellotron. "Why Do I Sleep" opens with laid back guitar as drums and bass join in. Vocals arrive around a minute. This is a hypnotic and melancholic track and I love it. Things get more passionate late. "Indian Summer" features a beautiful opening guitar melody as soft vocals join in. The vocals stop and all that's left is the lone guitar melodies.

Check out tszirmay's review which describes the music much better.Thankyou LANDBERK and Thomas for the meaningful music.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#250972)
Posted Monday, November 16, 2009 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
4 stars As Sinkadoten pointed out in his review, you might have to know the hardship of a yearly dark and snowy winter to capture the intense melancholy of Landberk and other Swedish acts. Well, I'm not sure if that's true, an unhappy childhood might do the trick as well :) Besides, even a sunny fellow like me adores them.

Right, Landberk have come quite a way in just a few years. Starting as a symphonic prog unit that rode on the waves of the Swedish prog revival, they turned into an innovative rock combo with strong Talk Talk influences that can be heard right from the opening seconds. Apart from an addiction to mellotrons and woolly trousers there's little here that betrays any of their traditional prog roots. Even on a long piece like All Around Me, the band sounds more like a 90's continuation of Joy Division then like anything heavy or prog.

The musicianship is very strong though. It's very laid-back and austere, Landberk never goes for big gestures but shines at understatement. The drums and bass have a solid presence and while they never dominate, they drive most songs forward. The vocals of Patric Helje are very melodious and sensitive, they sit somewhere inbetween Bono and Tom Yorke. Not a bad place to be really, especially as he stays clear of pop oriented melodies. The bright star in this unit must be Reine Fiske. His unique guitar playing always stands out and provides that craving and almost hesitating tone in Landberk's dim and bare sound.

The song writing is dazzling throughout but might not appeal to you if you're not into minor chords and desolate spaces. Of course it's highly recommended to all fans of Anekdoten, Joy Division, Talk Talk, Paatos, Morte Macabre and other cheery folks. 4.5 stars

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#263880)
Posted Tuesday, February 02, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Reine Fiske is a genius. He plays guitar unlike anyone I've ever heard--on a par with maestro Jeff Beck and the late and, sadly, much obscured blues axeman, Roy Buchanan. Fiske and Beck are similar in the way that the two create astoundingly beautiful and totally unexpected soundscapes with the same implement that all other musicians who claim to play guitar use. The answer to the riddle: What makes them so different? must be that Reine Fiske and Jeff Beck must be gods--or, at the very least, not of the same Earth/human substance as all other guitarists. Seriously: Check out this player. He is a player of a totally different ilk. Indian Summer is my favorite Landberk album, despite some odd familiarity--especially in the vocals (at times I hear striking similarities to ICEHOUSE, THE CHURCH, INXS, and DAVID SYLVIAN). This album shows maturity and, yes, autonimity; they've really come into their own sound. It started with the end of One Man Tells Another--the brilliant "Tell." Indian Summer starts out by hooking you in with the catchy "Humanize" (8/10) but then lags a bit with the next two songs: slightly monotonous, Icehouse/Church-like. "I Wish I Had a Boat" (8/10) picks it back up again in a very David Sylvian-sounding 'avant- ambient'-like way. "Dustgod" (9/10) combines the earlier Icehouse/Church sound and feel with the Sylvian-ness in a brilliant way. "Dreamdance" (9/10) shows off some absolutely amazing guitar playing/styling (all songs on which genius Reine Fiske participates are worth a closer listen, but this one puts his uniquity right in your face). Then comes my favorite, the eight-minute gem called "Why Do I Still Sleep?" with its masterfully delicate guitar stoking and the surprise female vocalist pleading the song title to us at the end. Yeah, with all the crap going on in the world, why do I still sleep? Or, as Jonathan Wilson put it only this yeart, Can we really party today? The finale, the delicate Pat Metheny/New Chatauqua-like title song (6/10) is frankly a bit of a let down. While not a 5 star masterpiece of prog music, this is an excellent album that I highly recommend. And don't forget Reine Fiske's other projects: Morte Macabre, the first Päatos album (Timeloss), Dungen, and The Amazing. They're all worth checking out.

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Send comments to BrufordFreak (BETA) | Report this review (#589574)
Posted Friday, December 16, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Another time, swedish music makes me proud. No, I'm not from Sweden.

Medicine can take away depression, but I still can understand this dark feeling. Years ago, The Cure, Joy Division and Katatonia would describe my inner self. Indian Summer is the last Landberk album. This album is sad. And is not for everyone. Maybe not so prog. Absolutely not the progressive Landberk of the early albums. Mellotron and keys are smooth and deep. This work does not focus on skills and technical passages, it's atmospherical, filled with harmonious beautiful chords and vocals. Reccomended to post punk, post rock, and Anedokten-like stuff" fans.

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Send comments to VOTOMS (BETA) | Report this review (#982657)
Posted Thursday, June 20, 2013 | Review Permalink

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