Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Gösta Berlings Saga

Eclectic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Gösta Berlings Saga Detta Har Hänt album cover
4.18 | 201 ratings | 7 reviews | 37% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Kontrast (3:57)
2. Sorterargatan 3 (9:48)
3. Svenska Hjärtan (3:01)
4. Fem Trappor (6:32)
5. Nattkift (5:00)
6. Berslagen (10:29)
7. Innilegur? (2:51)
8. Västarbron 05:30 (11:33)

Total Time 53:11

Line-up / Musicians

- Einar Baldursson / acoustic & electric guitars
- David Lundberg / Fender Rhodes
- Gabriel Hermansson / bass
- Alexander Skepp / drums & percussion

- Mattias Olsson / loops & Fx
- Daniel Fagerström / Buchla 200 synth (4)

Mellotron, Mini Moog, glockenspiel, Orchestron, celeste, Persephone, Chilton Talentmaker, Optigan, Gem PK 4900, acoustic piano & pump organ.

Releases information

Artwork: Daniel Fagerström

CD Transubstans Records ‎- TRANS047 (2009, Sweden)

Thanks to Rivertree for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy GÖSTA BERLINGS SAGA Detta Har Hänt Music

More places to buy GÖSTA BERLINGS SAGA music online

GÖSTA BERLINGS SAGA Detta Har Hänt ratings distribution

(201 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(37%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (13%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

GÖSTA BERLINGS SAGA Detta Har Hänt reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by avestin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I was tired that day, annoyed at everything that didn't work. A long period of frustration this has been and few things have managed to comfort me. Staying late at work, I put on my headphones and started to scroll through my music player to see what can I possibly listen to. I then stopped at Gosta Berlings Saga. I had just gotten their new album a week before and have only listened to it once and did not remember it well enough. So I decided to play it again, thinking to myself that it might help me engage my brain for the tasks ahead.

I was wrong.

Not wrong about engaging my mind, but wrong about being productive.

Wrong, because for some reason, the moment I put the music on, I was hooked.

Wrong because I did not devote another minute of my time that night for work anymore and only concentrated on the music.

I have since listened to it many times, and it is still as captivating and magical as it was the first time, only now with the advantage of knowing the pieces. So it was not just my special mood that night that has permitted my impressionable mind to be that affected by this album. This is genuine love of this album.

What is it that has such a spell on me in their music? Is it the richness of sound? Is it the wonderful musicianship? Is it the beautiful melodies? Is it the wonderful way they develop their themes? Is it their way to make instrumental music that seem to not require words? Could it be their mingling of elements and styles into a sound of their own? Their crafting of a varied, dynamic and flowing album that sounds subdued and mellow one minute and then fiery and fierce the next?

Before answering these,

Listen to the bass lines such as those that hook you like a fish on a hook in Sorterargatan 3; to the magnificent drum work in each song that hit you at times softly and at others hammer you to your place; to the wonderful keyboards work (and there are plenty of keyboards used here, it's a real heaven) that like a magic wand, adds marvelous majestic streaks of beauty and bliss; to the guitar work that shift between a raunchy sound to a delicate sweep of fingers. This album, aside from the music on it, is a delight to listen to in this aspect. But then, without gripping music, it would end just there. And here I find myself at odds to describe it: there are elements of fusion as well as occasional use of electronic effects; there are pieces which have repetitive instrumental patterns, developed with added layers of instrumentation and additional musical lines, epic in nature. The pieces differ in quite a lot in rhythm and style even, yet there is a binding spirit to them all, a unifying character. It is hard for me to translate the music and its magic to words here, but I can say this is progressive rock that runs through several emotional fields and manages to use its influences as a stepping board and not as a leaning board. Go listen to them on their website and myspace, at least give it a try. A truly wonderful album! A gem that I personally cherish and highly recommend.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Brilliant sophomore effort by this Swedish act.

If vintage-inspired, quirky instrumental progressive rock with a few contempary musical spices is a flavour of music you like, this album should be pretty high on a list of purchases to be made.

Drums and bass are perhaps the main driving force of this outfit, providing laid-back jazz-tinged foundations with ease, but truly excelling when in more energetic mode, the latter the dominant mode of expression. Those familiar with Christian Vander of Magma should feel right at home with the stickwork here.

Guitars and keys have more of a Gentle Giant spirit to them, delivering quirky and evolving textures with a great deal of variation. But there's also some Crimsonian tendencies added to the mix, with occasional visitis to disharmonic and dissonant territories with more of a Frippian touch to them.

All in all a great production for most anyone with an interest in challenging, instrumental progressive rock. Highly recommended.

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars Well I cannot agree more with both Avestin (Assaf) and Windhawk (Olav) about this latest offering from GOSTA BERLINGS SAGA. In my opinion this is a huge improvement over the debut. There are two significant changes on this album when compared to their debut. First we get a new guitarist who's not only more prominant but more accomplished, and second and probably more importantly Mattias Olsson (ANGLAGARD) is involved doing the overdubs, tape loops, various ideas and additional effects. This sounds amazing !

"Kontrast" opens with guitar and keys as drums and bass join in. It gets intense before settling down around 1 1/2 minutes. It's building again. The guitar is incredible here. This is fantastic ! "Sorterargatan 3" is dark to start as guitar and bass slowly start to play. Piano joins in. A fuller sound after 2 minutes. Drums follow. Great sound 3 minutes in followed by some angular guitar. Not worthy ! Mellotron rolls in a minute later. How good is this? The drumming sounds so good. More mellotron follows then synths come in. What a song ! "Svenska Hjartan" is a somewhat haunting track with lots of keys. Listen to the sound effects here. I love the way it ends. "Fem Trappor" is experimental as sounds build. Drums before 1 1/2 minutes as guitar and keys join in. This sounds so good. I know i'm a broken record here but...

"Nattskift" opens with keys. Drums and guitar before 1 1/2 minutes. Why is this so moving and emotional ? It kicks in before 3 1/2 minutes for the big finish. "Bergslagen" opens with guitar as a full sound joins in quickly. I like how dark and heavy this is. A change after 3 minutes to a more uptempo sound. It settles 4 minutes in. Great sound here. It settles again after 6 minutes. Kicks back in at 8 minutes reminding me of ANGLAGARD. Amazing tune. "Innileghur?" is a short acoustic track that builds. Very cool. "Vasterbron 05:30" opens with some feedback as a beat comes in. Piano joins in too. I like the guitar before 4 1/2 minutes as he starts to light it up for a couple of minues. Nice. Piano then takes the lead but the guitar can still be heard. Mellotron 8 1/2 minutes in. It turns experimental before 10 minutes and the wind is blowing.

I hope i'm not too late but this is a top five for me for 2009. A must !

Review by TheGazzardian
4 stars Given how long this album has been out, it has received remarkably little attention here, especially considering the glowing reviews that have already been written for it! I add my voice to this group in the hopes that it will cause others to stand up and take notice of this excellent band hailing from Sweden, a country that is, admittedly, better known for it's symphonic/retro prog bands and metal, and less for it's more experimental instrumental music.

With their second album, Detta Har Hant (which translates to "This Has Happened"), Gosta Berlings Saga have created something great, and one of the better albums to come out it's year of release.

The music of this band is built using the typical rock lineup of guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, but the band couldn't sound further from typical rock. What we are treated to hear are greatly textured soundscapes, built with textured layered guitars, lively bass, and marching drumbeats.

Some of the songs take a different turn; for example, Svenska Hjartan is a more chilled out piece that relies more on the keys than the layered guitar attack that much of the rest of the album uses.

The music on this album is incredibly strong, and I'd be hard pressed to name a single track that I didn't like. It does take several listens to penetrate all the details of the album, but once you do, these songs will stick with you and demand that you return to them many times. The songs weave through intricate sound patterns effortlessly, leaving you constantly guessing what will come next, yet never feeling like it is forced.

I must admit that most of my favorite moments on this album are the more upbeat tracks, such as the opener Kontrast (Contrast), Fem Trappor (Five Stairs), etc., but I have a soft spot for the build up in some of their more laid back tracks, such as Nattskift (Night Shift), which builds from a soft keyboard part before the guitar comes in. These tracks also show a different side to the drummer, who tends strays further from the marching-like drumming he does on the more upbeat tracks.

Overall, Detta Har Hant is an excellent release that deserves a lot of attention, especially from those who enjoy adventurous instrumental music.

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars After an extremely promising debut Gösta Berlings Saga released some three years later this much-awaited for Detta Har Händt. First small deception: the much less charming artwork of this sophomore album, based onto construction shots, which quite a departure to the particularly charming debut digipak package. The group also saw a change of guitarist, Baldur's son stepping in for Daniel's son (too easy, but too hard to resist ;o))). The first impression, once the disc popped inside you deck, is that you'll have no problems to recognize the instrumental world GBS had installed with their debut. Lundberg's keyboard array hasgrown impressively, even if they're considered additional instrument and lmainly quoted on the Rhodes.

I can't help but thinking of the early Anekdoten (Vemod + Nucleus) upon a few occasions on this album, mainly the guitar and mellotron layers, but also at Crimson ('the opening succession of chords on Bergslagen. Sometimes the electronic noises are intriguing almost ambient, like at the start and throughout Svenska Hjärtan; whereas they're announcing a deeply involved frenzy in Tem Trappar. The little flaw detected on the debut, overstaying inside the same groove without foraying around it, is actually increased as we find long moments (such as the closing Vasterbron) where the heroic wails and dramatic weeps from the guitar flatters shamelessly your eardrums with much talent, but might be more concise in its propos. Nevertheless, even an old dog such as me will allow himself to fall into a well-dressed up trap, such as this one.

A bit less brilliant than its predecessor, DHH is maybe more adventurous, but in the greater scheme of prog things, they're both fairly sonically similar, even if I'd advise to start with the debut and move to this one after. In either case, while certainly not groundbreaking (what is still so, in this end of the 00's decade?), GBS offers some orgasmic moments, even though it might have a little too much déjà-vu feel and may sound a tad formulaic, in regards to the Scandic retro-prog plethora.

Review by BrufordFreak
4 stars A good album of interesting, creative, and subtlely complex songs. A lot of variety here, too. What lacks is melody and sometimes 'meaningful development'--meaning that the songs don't always unfold in pleasing or 'sensible' ways.

1. Kontrast (7/10) is a slow developing, very symphonically constructed--but almost in a Minimalist way--song. I love the 'live in the studio' feeling of the recording. The song is a bit too repetitive for my tastes--despite the BUCK DHARMA (BÖC) guitar solo toward the end.

2. Sorterargatan 3 (9/10) is my favorite song on the album. It opens with a 'computer/keyboard' with bowed bass carring over from the previous song. Eventually a bluesy picked electric guitar takes over and, a little later, a tandem piano. At 2:00 there is a shift in instrumentation and feel. This shift is fully transitioned by 2:55 with driving bass and drums and very melodic harmonized guitar and keyboard arpeggios. At 3:40 guitar and then electric piano go briefly Fripp "Discipline" on us. Return to previous section of gtr & key arpeggios and then some classic rock syncopated guitar strumming. At 5:32 there is a haunting, whirling synth chord held in the background for over a minute as the song develops and morphs over the tp. At 6:45 some spacey effects accompany the plucking of a distorted guitar. Drums show off a bit within a military pattern. At 8:20 the guitars and keyboards simplify and repeat as mellotron and bass--and then 'recorder'-sounding synth-- melody takes lead to bare-bones end.

3. Svenska Hjärtan (8/10) begins with rather stereotypic Russian-sounding chord progressin played on an old upright 'Old West' player piano before a distored eledtiric guitar joins. Symphonic percussion effects also join in. An eery 'alien'-sounding synth takes over to the end.

4. Fem Trappor (7/10) begins with spacey-industrial synth play over cymbol work until 1:15 when bass joins in and together with the drums establish the beat. Guitars join in. At 2:57 enters main theme from the guitars. By 3:25 there is a melody shift with a "toy keyboard" playing. At 4:03 the main theme returns in a 'scratchier' form. 4:27 shifts to whole new rhythm and feel--old Pink Floyd/Syd Barrett era comes to mind.

5. Nattkift (8/10) starts with an electric piano intro (sounds very late-70s AMBROSIA-like). At 1:08 bass chords and slow electric piano arpeggios are quickly joined by fast arpeggios from a distorted electric guitar. Then shifts to some very bluesy guitar work--very dissonant-- almost like Allan HOLDSWORTH playing ROY BUCHANAN's guitar. At 3:19 a shift into an uptempo very standard blues-rock chord progression which is soon joined by guitar and ulilean pipes mirroring the solo. At 4:22 the song backs down to a bare bones electric piano arpeggios (They never left! Were just beneath all the other sound!) and then fade.

6. Berslagen (8/10) begins with another dissonant blues guitar start (FRIPP Red Era). At 0:38 the main theme is introduced playing through three different key changes. At 1:58 the picked acoutic guitar holds the melody. At 2:48 a bizarre guitar solo begins--very KING CRIMSON-like though Crimson never played quite like this. At 3:50 all instruments exit except electric keyboard playing before a quick shift to "toy" piano arpeggios. At 4:55 it is joined by bass clef electric piano chords. 5:25 seees FRIPP-ish sustained guitar solo beginning over the top of the keyboard work. At 6:05 begins the true toy piano solo/arpeggia--both hands over tremolo picked e-string note of the guitar. Enter a harmonium or accordion. At 7:55 drums reintroduce the dissonant "discipline" and now BELEW solo. At 8:48 there is a return to the harmonized melodic groove. Part STEVE HILLAGE, part MIE OLDFIELD. Interesting song. 7. Innilegur? (7/10) has Middle Eastern sounding acoustic "guitar" intro. (Perhaps a very old, dilapidated guitar?) At 1:35 it develops into more Western melodic picking. At 2:03 a synth and other guitar (bowed?) join in. A brief song. 8. Västarbron 05:30 (9/10) is my second favorite song from this album. It begins with a DOORS-y intro, bluesy bass/chord progression. At 1:20 the main melody is established on electric piano. At 2:25 a secondary melody enters, now accompanied by strummed acoustic guitar chord progression. Very NEIL YOUNG/CSN&Y-like. Guitar solo. At 4:20 the guitar and song sound more ALVIN LEE like with aggressive blues rock. Perhaps even BUDDY GUY. guitar fades to background as organ and electric piano foundation return to forefront. Strings join in, but listen to that guitar shredding away far in the back left! A bit of a "Strawberry Fields Forever" feel to the swirling chaos and eeriness of the end--and that toy piano!

Still, highly recommended for the prog lover.

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nº 242

Gosta Berlings Saga is a Swedish progressive rock band from Stockholm. The foundations for this Swedish band were established back in 2000, as a studio venture for keyboardist David Lundberg and drummer Alexander Skepp. In 2004 they decided to expand their scope and added two more members to become a full fledged band, the guitarist Matthias Danielsson and the bassist Gabriel Hermansson. They issued their debut effort, 'Tid Ar Ljud', in 2006. Three years after their first heralded release, the sophomore production 'Detta Har Hant', was issued. However, between both releases a change occurred in their line up. Guitarist Matthias Danielsson has left the band and was replaced by Einar Baldursson.

Gosta Berlings Saga was named after a Swedish silent film of the same name from 1924, directed by Mauritz Stiller starring Greta Garbo. The film was based on the debut novel written by the Swedish writer Selma Lagerlof. The main character on the novel 'Gosta Berlings Saga' is a former pastor, whose further career is told in the novel. She was the first women that received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1909. Since 1991 her picture is on the 20 Swedish Crown bank note. Originally, the band was formed in 2004 with the name Pelikaan but changed their name to Gosta Berlings Saga.

Gosta Berlings Saga makes a unique mix of instrumental progressive rock with some Avant Garde influences. Their music is heavy, dark, hypnotic, melodic and beautiful, all at the same time. Their debut album 'Tid Ar Ljud' is an instrumental conceptual album that deals with the multi interrelations between the city and the nature, and with the 'creatures' that could emerge from them. The hint of the bizarre suggestion in this idea seems to be an 'intentional intention'. The band calls itself as 'that band your unmarried, childless uncle with that beard and the weird smell likes'.

So, 'Detta Har Hant' is the second studio album of Gosta Berlings Saga and was released in 2009. The line up on the album is Einar Baldursson (acoustic and electric guitars), David Lundberg (Fender Rhodes piano), Gabriel Hermansson (bass) and Alexander Skepp (drums and percussion). The album had also the participation of Mattias Olsson (loops and Fx) and Daniel Fagerstrom (Buchla 200 synthesizer). But, there were also many other musical instruments that were added afterwards during the mixing and the production of the album, such as Mellotron, Mini Moog, glockenspiel, Orchestron, celeste, Persephone, Chilton Talentmarker, Optigan, Gem PK 4900, acoustic piano and pump organ.

'Detta Har Hant' is an entirely instrumental album. Whereas their former album had moments that seemed a little more pastoral and symphonic, this latest release seems have a slightly harsher sounding, more angular, more streamlined, and more muscular. Here, the band plays instrumental prog rock in a rather challenging, quirky and innovative variety. The rhythm section provides drive and energy throughout. There are slower passages with a more laid-back approach from time to time. The album sounds vibrant, self assured, urgent and adventurous. Challenging and quirky in nature, ever shifting and evolving themes and passages are served readily and steadily. There is a distinct 70's feeling present here, but the band combines this with an attitude that is firmly rooted in the here and now, not unlike other new bands which their music it's more rooted in the past. It also sounds as if the band recorded the album live. So, sounding if it was recorded 'live in the studio' with some overdubs added afterwards (most of the keyboard instruments), 'Detta Har Hant' delivers eight tracks that range from full blown epic soundscapes via dissonant darkness to minimalistic powerful grooves without compromising when it comes to the strong melodies the band is known for. Indeed, right from the opening 'Kontrast' to the stellar closer 'Vasterbron 05:30', incendiary guitar passages and playful RIO inspired melodies, by way of zeuhl inspired repetitiveness, collide. Although not as symphonic or 'keyboard heavy' as their previous album, 'Detta Har Hant' still has its moments of pomp, albeit less prevalent than in the past. This album seems more the vehicle for Baldursson's. His superb guitar leads permeate this recording, most notably during the middle section of the album's closer, where his fuzzed out guitar leads scorch their way into the listener's own brain.

Conclusion: 'Detta Har Hant' is a modern prog rock album with varied influences that goes from dark symphonic rock to jazz, from RIO fragments to space rock harmonies. They can be challenging, but they usually layer simple and repetitive structures that build the way the post rock does. It also comes to my mind the traditional Scandinavian music that reminds me a bit of Anglagard. Perhaps it wasn't a coincidence, the appearance on the album of Mattias Olsson of Anglagard. The album has a raw sounding and is centered on a dissonant guitar and melodious keyboards. No vocals required, the music speaks for itself. This is a well balanced album with some intricate sound and very adventurous. So, as a final result we are in presence of a very good album of interesting, creative, and subtlely complex songs. This is an excellent release that deserves a lot of attention, especially from those who enjoy of adventurous instrumental music.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

No review or rating for the moment | Submit a review

Post a review of GÖSTA BERLINGS SAGA "Detta Har Hänt"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.