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Alter Echo

Symphonic Prog

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Alter Echo Alter Echo album cover
3.15 | 21 ratings | 5 reviews | 10% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1997

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Gulnat Vatten (5:59)
2. Stämman (4:15)
3. Eremiten (4:47)
4. Innan Strax Före (4:28)
5. Axel I Stan (3:24)
6. Daffodils (2:59)
7. Tänk Om (4:38)
8. Oleg (5:29)
9. Hem, Prelude (2:32)
10. Hem (6:09)
11. Jordbon (4:09)
12. Falska Banor (7:01)

Total Time 55:50

Line-up / Musicians

- Michael Wedberg / vocals
- Hans Hagström / electric & acoustic guitars, bongos
- Lars Guldbrand / keyboards
- Henrik Nordgren / bass
- Pelle Alsing / drums & percussion

Releases information

Compositions from the 1970's, finally recorded for release in 1997

Artwork: Elyse Petiet

CD Musea Records - FG 1201.AR (1997, France)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ALTER ECHO Alter Echo ratings distribution

(21 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

ALTER ECHO Alter Echo reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by hdfisch
2 stars Sole album from that Swedish band with a strange name first released by MUSEA in 1997 is absolutely nothing to be missed if you never heard of it and a quite typical "end-of-seventies-prog-goes-pop" one. One might compare this record with the worst ones by KAIPA ("Händer","Nattdjurstid"). I mean not really bad music at all, maybe okay to be played in the back, but rather dull overall. In some tracks there are nice approaches of slightly intricate instrumental prog like in "Innan Strax Före" or "Oleg" for example but those are immediately canceled by going on with the usual pop-ish procedure. Most of the songs are sung in Swedish language which is not a problem at all for me even if I don't understand the lyrics. Only "Daffodils", a fully acoustic one is sung in English with a terrible accent. Sorry for the artists who were certainly not bad musicians at all but I've got to say that this one isn't worth to take an effort to find it.Really not worth more than 2 stars!
Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars This obscure Swedish band was quite a precursor in his own land. Of course, there were already Kaipa, but let's be honest: their fame is highly due now to the presence of R. Stolt and will be only effective in the late nineties while TFK will be on the forefront of the prog resurrection.

The music played by Alter Echo is a fine combination of symphonic (even eclectic) and pop rhythms. The opening song (probably the best and more complex) has a definite Gentle Giant feel (without being irritating). But even when a song sounds more straight forward (Stämman), it remains enjoyable.

Of course, there are times during which the shadow of Genesis is passing by (Eremiten). But it's the Genesis from And Then There Were Three. The mood is tranquil and mainly keyboards oriented. A gentle piece of symphonic music in the prog acceptance of the word.

There are some flaws as well on this album. Innan Strax Före for instance. Funky-jazz-prog? I don't know but it does sound very pleasant to say the least. The album enters into a more pop orientation with Axel I Stan and Tänk Om. It is true to say that it is basic prog music, but the vocal harmonies are more than acceptable and the musicianship pretty good.

The band brings us into better territories with Oleg which is again more complex. The jazz feeling is evident and the interplay guitar / keyboards is fine to listen to. This piece is instrumental and highlights the skills of the rhythmic section. Oleg provides a joyful atmosphere and is one of my fave from this work (together with the opening number).

Another technically good GG emulation is Jordbon. It only lacks the high pitched vocals but musically, it is pretty close. Actually, the definition of Alter Echo's music is a mix of a late seventies Genesis combined with an accessible GG.

I have enjoyed this album as a whole (except two/three tracks of which the closing number). This is not a grandiose album of course, but it conveys some tranquillity. One might need this from time to time. Three stars.

Review by b_olariu
4 stars Excellent addition to my prog music collection

Alter Echo is a forgotten swedish band from the late '70's. They released so far a single album in summer of 1979. Musea Records trace this album and re- released it in 1997, now is out of print for some yers. The music Alter Echo playes something between Genesis (trick of the tail era) - Gentle Giant and some elements from their country fellows Kaipa and Atlas. So a mixed bag but the main ingredient is symphonic prog. Now , first time I've listen to this obscure and forgotten treasure I was blown away, realy good album with excelent interplays between musicians. The album is very fluent, the pieces flows one to another in a great manner, without being a concept album or something alike. There are two or thrree instrumental pieces of the highest calibre here, that shows one again that even some obscure bands are capable to creat somthing solid and valuable. Lars Guldbrand the keyboard player is truly amazing. The vocals are in swedish, but fits very well with the up lifting atmosphere and positiv attitude. Only one is sung in english and is similar with Jethro Tull (thick as brick) at least only the biggining of the piece is one on one with JT, only with a diffrent voice. So all in all a great album, very underrated but for sure this band needs to be is the same pantheon with Atlas, Kaipa, and why not to some of the well known bands from the late '70's. Extremly well crafted album with inteligent passages and musicianship of the highest calibre. 4 stars without discussion, one of the best I've heared from Sweden and from entire world from the late'70's.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Hans Hagstrom and Ingemar Hill met each other during their military service around 1974 in Sweden and decided to collaborate together, writing their first few songs on guitar and keyboards.By late-75' a band to fully develop these instrumental pieces was necessary with Heinrik Nordgren joining on bass and Jalle on drums.Nordgren gave the band the name Alter Ego and Charlie Lidstrom joined them on drums, just prior to the first live, followed by a singer named Goran.All tracks were sung in Swedish, abandoning the early Tolkien-inspired texts, but in 1977 Hill and Goran quit and they were replaced by Lars and Micke Wedberg respectively with Lars Guldbrand entering as a regular keyboardist, while Lidstrom also left his place to Pete Alsing.A cassette was recorded and released in February 79', but the fading time of Progressive Rock condemned the band to total failure.In 1997, motivated by an interest of Musea, Hagstrom, Nordgren, Guldbrand, Alsing and Micke Wedberg re-recorded old tracks of the band under the name of Alter Echo and a CD was released in 1997.

Almost 20 years after the original recordings, these songs sound so much deeped into the 70's you will hardly think these were recorded in late-90's.Analog keyboards, old-school Scandinavian melodies and Swedish lyrics were not quite common in 1997.Musically Alter Echo combined some tricky plays with Jazz and Classical touches with acoustic soundscapes and symphonic arrangements, while a fair dash of poppy vocal deliveries are also in the menu.As a result a mix of GENESIS, KAIPA, YES and GENTLE GIANT seems like a fair description.Featuring one of the most balanced guitar/keyboard offerings of Swedish Prog, they tended to create dreamy and melodic songs with lovely keyboard instrumentals, sensitive singing parts and beautiful work on acoustic crescendos, electric textures and piano lines for what appears to be a symphonic-oriented release, full of nice synth, clavinet and organ moments.Speaking of clavinet and adding some of the quirky bass lines in the discussion, Alter Echo were definitely the most GENTLE GIANT-oriented Swedish band of the 70's.Just listen to the happy grooves combined with the complex time signatures and the symphonic/folky injections to make yourself sure.The album lacks long tracks, on the other hand Alter Echo did not need one to display themselves as a full-blown Prog band with all these impressive twists, breaks and melodies presented in their only document.

Great album for all old KAIPA, GENESIS or DICE fans.Melodic Symphonic Rock with a charming sound and a good amount of adventurous ideas.Rather unoriginal but warmly recommended.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Second Wave Swedes Finally Record Their Symphonic Masterwork? The general assessment for this, Alter Echo's sole album, is... mixed, to say the least. The little that I had heard of the album was awesome and I couldn't wait to jump in. And thanks is due to VinylProgRock on Instagram (who has ... (read more)

Report this review (#2691054) | Posted by DangHeck | Wednesday, February 9, 2022 | Review Permanlink

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