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Landberk Lonely Land album cover
3.51 | 94 ratings | 13 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1992

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Waltz of the Dark Riddle (4:31)
2. The Tree (8:40)
3. Pray for Me Now (7:55)
4. Song from Kallsedet (6:08)
5. No More White Horses (6:58)
6. You and I (6:05)
7. Lonely Land (10:27)

Total Time 50:44

Line-up / Musicians

- Patric Helje / vocals, rhythm guitar
- Reine Fiske / lead & acoustic guitars
- Simon Nordberg / Mellotron, Hammond, piano, accordion
- Stefan Dimle / bass
- Andreas Dahlbäck / drums

- Simon Steensland / drums (7)

Releases information

English lyrics version of "Riktigt Äkta"

Artwork: "Cerebus" painting by Daniel Stauffer

CD The Laser's Edge ‎- LE-1014 (1992, US)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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LANDBERK Lonely Land ratings distribution

(94 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (34%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

LANDBERK Lonely Land reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Well I'm not sure how Laser's edge managed to convince Landberk to re-record and rearrange their debut album to suit their passage to the English language, but it sure was a coup that Ken Golden can be proud of. Indeed, at the very start of the Swedish prog boom, Lonely Land provided enough international spotlights on what was happening around the artic circle to aggregate plenty of isolated progheads around the planet and gradually build up today's solid underground prog foundations. So, if Landberk might be the forgotten third of the famous Swedish trilogy, Lonely Land is a founding stone of the edifice, more or less built loosely upon their Riktigt Akta debut album, recorded late 91 and mixed early 92. The quintet is the same, but keyboardist adds some accordion, not present before. The D&D-type of artwork may appeal to some, but I don't find it an improvement over the orange original clumsy drawing.

Well a good deal f the tracks are fairly similar to their original Swedish versions, but personally I find that the melancholy is less present on the present, and that Hedje's English vocals are not always perfect, but it's not a major hindrance to the album's enjoyment. The album has a generally tougher and more aggressive sound in the guitar dept (most likely a Golden production effect), but to be honest the accordion parts in The Tree and the sitar solo in the closing 10-mins+ title track are rather ill-advised additions. You'll still find Dimle's sizzling bass and Fiske's unique guitar tone and style that made the Landberk trademark. Among the other highlights, you'll find the catchy upbeat Pray For Me Now with its hummable chorus, but it contrast heavily with the overly quiet Kallsedet tune that follows it. The major Golden bonus and genius is the cover of the generally then-forgotten T2 guitar-led trio of the early 70's and their excellent No More White Horses, which is Lonely Land's main highlight, with its slow raw guitar ostinato slowly leading the group in a hypnotizing crescendo, where Fiske rips open the guts of the white beast with his sizzling guitar solo, before cooling things off with Nordberg's piano, then mellotrons and Helje's finally good vocals. Stunning.

The closing title track might have been another highlight, if it wasn't for the afore-mentioned sitar, which sticks out even worse than the accordion elsewhere on the album and a rather slow middle section, but outside these flaws, it does have quite a bit of charm, with its trons of mello. Well, yours truly definitely prefers the original Swedish version of the album, despite the T2 cover, but many will find sufficient reasons to own both. All the more power to them and to the daring Laser's Edge label.

Review by erik neuteboom
5 stars In the early Nineties it seemed that deep in the Skaninavian woods the elusive trolls made lots of Mellotrons for many KING CRIMSON-inspired progrock bands that suddenly emerged in that era (ANGLAGARD, ANEKDOTEN, WHITE WILLOW). One of the first was LANDBERK, their debut-album "Loneley Land" from 1992 is still of my most beloved Mellotron-soaken albums. Don't expect virtuosic guitar play, dazzling keyboard runs or stunning interplay. On this album each of the seven atmospheric compositions has its own climate, from rock and folk to sympho and psychedelia with many waves of the Mellotron, moving guitar work (sensitive, fragile or heavy) and strong vocals (Laser's Edge has a English version and Mellotronen a Swedish version). Listen to "No More White Horses" with its raw and expressive sound and then to the very moving "You and I" with warm acoustic guitar and emotional Mellotron splashes and you capture the spirit of LANDBERK: painting with sound like Vincent van Gogh did on canvas, a very intense and unique emotional experience!
Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I found it bit puzzling that the band reworked their first album with English lyrics. Even the material of it isn't exceptionally great, I'm afraid. "The Tree" and "Pray for Me Now" are OK songs, and "Song from Kallsedet" is a nice little medieval tune, but otherwise I found this as a very uninspired album. The following records by this band are then another issue!
Review by Neu!mann
2 stars I jumped at the chance to buy LANDBERK's debut album (actually an English language re-mix of a reportedly superior Swedish original) after falling under the spell of their 1995 swan song "Indian Summer". But high expectations always have to be paid for, and here the anticipated lightning failed to strike a second time, except for one or two occasional sparks of the (typically understated) brilliance that would illuminate the band's last album four years later with the same ethereal glow of an aurora borealis.

Instead, their fledgling effort plays almost like a roughly cut demo package, with a few promising but unpolished gems half-hidden within its scant 45+ minute running time. The gentle, (mostly) acoustic instrumental "Song From Kallsedet" is quite pretty, in a textbook Scandinavian way. And the ballad "You and I" (no relation to the similarly titled YES epic) has an attractive melody worth returning to.

But the title track is the notable standout here, with that familiar sub-arctic chill (a LANDBERK hallmark) unable to mask the many passages of real emotional warmth. The sitar solo is an unexpected, almost jarring surprise, but in a weird multi-cultural way it actually fits, offering a taste of Sweden by way of Pakistan, with a quasi-Krautrock bass beat worthy of Holger Czukay.

Too bad the rest of the album just sort of plods along, pleasantly enough to be sure, but hindered by an inconsistent mix that doesn't do the music (or the musicians) any favors. Never mind. You can forgive its shortcomings as the growing pains of a young band still coming to grips with its ambitions, still finding its compositional legs, and still with a few knots to untie in the line-up. Drummer Andreas Dahlbäck is the obvious weak link, a glorified timekeeper with none of the style of his eventual replacement, Jonas Lindholm.

And he's even allowed a solo, of sorts, although it sounds more like the engineer might have simply nodded off at his console, lulled to sleep by the heavy air of romantic melancholy and accidentally fading down the other instrument tracks.

This first effort shouldn't be anyone's first choice for an introduction to an otherwise excellent and under-appreciated band. Rumor says the original Swedish language recording is an improvement, but the version available Stateside (on The Laser's Edge label) might be easier to find, although it needs a forgiving ear and a little mental arithmetic to hear the music as it no doubt was intended.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. I remember my initial reaction to this record was, "What's all the fuss about". I would later eat my words, and join in with those praising this record. No, it is not heavy like ANEKDOTEN, or as complex as ANGLAGARD, but what we have here is fragile, melancholic and wondrous. It doesn't immediately appeal to the senses, it may seem light and bland, but the more you delve into this record the more beauty you will find. So let's do some exploring !

"Waltz Of The Dark Riddle" has all the ingredients, mellotron, flute, piano and gentle vocals leading the way. A very melancholic track. While "The Tree" gets going after a minute when drums and mellotron join the bass and guitar. Vocals follow and we get a fuller sound before 3 minutes which is fantastic. Accordion 3 1/2 minutes in is joined by organ. Check out the mellotron flood 4 1/2 minutes in ! A calm with vocals follows. Organ floats in as the guitar plays lazily. The drums are getting louder. "Pray For Me Now" is great, starting off with a riff from Mr.Fiske followed by some clear, crisp drumming, then a solo from Reine on guitar again, then it's like were into a different song with a real "In the Court Of The Crimson King" feel to it. Very slow paced. Themes are repeated. "Song From Kallsedet" is like a Swedish folk song (instrumental). It opens with acoustic guitar with flute a minute in. The electric guitar 3 minutes in sounds great. Bass 4 1/2 minutes.

"No More White Horses" is a cover of a T2 song. And yes LANDBERK can rock ! Drums pounding, guitar scorching, then the soundscape gets mellow, as drums soften, piano steps in, mellotron and vocals too. Then we're back to intense, pounding drums and ripping guitar to end the song. I really like "You And I", a ballad-like song. The mellotron 2 1/2 minutes in is gorgeous, and so is the soundscape after 4 1/2 minutes. "Lonely Land", the title track, introduces us to some sitar playing after 3 1/2 minutes with bass, drums and mellotron. This is very trippy and it goes on until almost the 6 minute mark. A calm follows until the drums and mellotron build beautifully 8 1/2 minutes in. Amazing sound a minute later. Unbelieveable !

I have so much respect for these Swedes, and of course the other Swedes ANEKDOTEN and ANGLAGARD for giving us such inspirational music in the early 90's, after the drought of the 80's. These guys are my heroes.

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars I don't belong to those who believe that an English version of an album originally recorded in a band's own language is per se inferior to its counterpart. On the contrary: it was often the sole possibility to get these albums in their time (I am referring to some Italian bands here).

So, the commercial tactics developed by the bands aren't a subject to controversy IMO. They did so to broaden their markets: who can blame them for this?

Although this Landberk album is considered as the English version of their debut album, I have to say that it is more than this. It is true that five songs are almost a carbon copy of the original album sung in Swedish and only offers very little variations.

The featured song that is mostly different is the title track of this English version: Lonely Land is almost two minutes longer than its counterpart Undrar Om Ni Ser but the band just added anothe couple of not so interesting music to it.

One song from the original album has been cut off, but there is no harm done since it was the short Tillbika which was by far the least interesting of Riktigt Äkta. What we'll get in the place is a cover from an obscure but cult band from the late sixties: No More White Horses by T2.

This hypnotic number fits perfectly in the Lanberk repertoire. Original vocals were more emotional though. In all, this song is a much better counterpart than Tillbika. Still, it was very daring for a young band to tackle this great song and cover it. This version is shorter than the original (brass are absent, which is not a bad thing to be honest) and even if I prefer the original song, they have added a special angle to it and at least it brought back this very little known band on the forefront again.

I rated their debut with four stars and there are basically no reason to give a lower rating to this English version. An excellent album by all means.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Lonely Land" is the English language version of Swedish progressive rock act Landberk´s debut full-length studio album "Riktigt Äkta". Both the Swedish and the English language versions were released in 1992. The Swedish version through the Norwegian Colours label and the English language version through The Laser's Edge. It´s not only the language which has been changed though, as "Lonely Land" is actually a complete re-recording of "Riktigt Äkta", which changed bits here and there, although it predominantly stays relatively true to the Swedish original.

Stylistically the material on "Lonely Land" is a combination of Scandinavian folk and progressive rock. Album opener "Waltz of the Dark Riddle" (originally "I Nattens Timma") is an example of the folk influences being dominant, and I was actually sure that this was a Swedish traditional, that Landberk had opted to cover, but as it turns out the song is penned by Landberk. It´s an early highlight of the album and an incredibly beautiful and sombre folk influenced track featuring omnipresent use of the mellotron and some effectful and well written lyrics.

"Waltz of the Dark Riddle" is a clever, mellow, and intriguing track, but it´s also a fairly minimalistic song in terms of instrumentation and vocals. The same can be said about the remaining mateial, although Landberk do perform more busy sections (featuring heavy bass and drums) and occasionally rock a little harder. The music features a lot of acoustic guitars and mellow vocals by lead vocalist/guitarist Patric Helje, who has a pleasant but not particularly distinct sounding voice. The vocals aren´t the most dominant part of the album though, as much of the music is instrumental.

The music includes mellotron and organ in addition to bass, guitars, drums, and vocals, and it´s definitely 70s influenced retro sounding progressive rock, and if you´re familar with some of the Swedish artists from the 70s like Kaipa, Trettioåriga Kriget, and Sinkadus, the sound of Landberk won´come as a huge surprise, although they have their own dark forest/folky spin on the genre. "Lonely Land" is a strong early 90s progressive rock revival release by Landberk, but I´d recommend getting the Swedish language version of the album. The melancholy of the music runs deeper and there is just a greater sense of authenticity to that version. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Lonely Land is the first musical child of a then still premature Landberk. Just like Anekdoten, the music is very similar to King Crimson, VDGG, and Genesis. In case of Landberk, I also find a large influence from Kraut rock. Compared to Anekdoten's debut, this is just a tad lighter and more playful. Flawed as it is at times, this is nevertheless one of the most enjoyable 90's retro-prog albums I have heard.

Their retro approach would change drastically with their next releases where they would evolve as a true prog rock band, taking in influences from 80's bands like Talk Talk, and stretching the boundaries of their music and prog rock in general.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I am so elated, I finally get to crow about having a disc my dear friend sinkadotentree does not possess. I have a big one but so does he! (Not what you think ladies! We are talking collections). He loves that dark, tenebrous Viking sound, owning somber traits that somehow feel positive perhaps due to the heavy Scandinavian folk tradition, a genre still vibrant today (Sigur Ros is its proggiest "fer de lance"). "Waltz of the Dark Riddle" has a title that says it all. A glorious flute mellotron introduces a shadowy dirge on which vocalist Patric Helje complains about the bitterness of misunderstanding, a mournful "danse macabre" in a desolated ballroom, where the imagined unsmiling couple share their despair. A despondent piano ushers this into the starless night. Wow! "The Tree" is an extended piece that starts of jaunty mid-period King Crimson style, drummer Andreas Dahlbäck pounding fiercely, the mellotron humming once again, letting the Stefan Dimle bass pave the way. Within the ever-growing guitar din, the contrasting mellotron waves await a brief accordion passage and some odd high-pitched vocals, further saluting the KC influences. The gentler contrasts are exemplary, a slow, moody groove that is hard to describe, very vaporous and yet powerful. Guitarist extraordinaire Reine Fiske shows why he remains a prog legend (though often sadly unknown), a raunchy picker that oozes emotion and wails with passion. "Pray for me Now" gets a tad more raucous, grumbling guitar rampages with rolling bass and relentless beats. An echoing axe solo burns up the grooves, crashing suddenly into an acoustic pondering that is typical of this band, waving the listener into some incredible melodies and passionate vocals. "My body is ready for leaving" sounds pretty depressing (Sweden long held the dubious record for most suicides), the rest of the lyrics just as desperate , a parallel to a proggy Joy Division is very much called for. It's a "lonely land" after all! The placid "Song from Kallsedet" is woven from folkier threads, fleeting yet icy acoustic musings that recall the starkness of this fabled country, highly ambient at first with soporific psychedelic sensations strewn throughout. "No More White Horses" is a highlight track here, a palpitating psych-prog groove fest with hysteric guitar bites that will leave you astounded, this is where they earned their "Heavy Prog" moniker, a killer bass bopping between piano accolades brooming away the dark leaves from the path of Helje's hovering anguish with a hefty chorus. Absolutely tremendous track that has all the hallmarks of greatness, Fiske's brooding solo will undoubtedly make your hair stand. The delicate piano adds the melancholy touch to the majestic beauty displayed here. "You & I" is more Norse balladry, mellow yellow with more glorious (and endless) mellotron cascades, a glowing vocal and more desperate lyrics and even a hint of veiled bitterness. This is prog, baby! The masterful and epic 10 minute+ title track shuts the doors on this exhilarating ride, a massive melody that aches, pants and pleads, a series of sublime mellotron rushes and some , hold it?hold it? SITAR! Incredible, really. By far the wildest track on this cleverly moody recording , Landberk simply shine on like a crazy diamond. Together with Anekdoten and Anglagard, this sadly short-lived outfit certainly set the standards for Progressive rock from Scandinavia. They therefore deserve our respect and occasional adulation. 4.5 friendless territories
Review by Warthur
4 stars The other major Swedish prog revival group of the early 1990s, Landberk always seemed to be a bit overshadowed by Anekdoten, Anglagard and The Flower Kings, which is a shame because this debut album of theirs is an intriguing beast to say the least. I particularly like Stefan Dimle's work on bass here; the band seem particularly adept at setting up long sections in which the rhythm section set up this groove which harks back to the motorik rhythms of the classic-era Krautrock groups, providing an interesting foundation for the other performers to build on with their solos. Simon Nordberg's use of Mellotron also deserves props because it helps give the album its uniquely spooky atmosphere, and sets a precedent for the excellent Morte Macabre side project.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Progressive rock is often nailed for being too clinical, too self indulgent and too ambitious. Well, here is a band that sounds the opposite by focussing on simple structures, evoking emotion and delicate interplay. The first time I listened to Landberk its debut album (I got it as a promo to re ... (read more)

Report this review (#2166125) | Posted by TenYearsAfter | Friday, March 15, 2019 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It's nice to have this english version of their debut, even if Patric Halje's english isn't very convincing... As for Kcrimson-orientated progrock music here is rather simple, but part of it's charm and strenght lies in this simplicity (Waltz of dark riddle,A song from...). Work of guitar and ... (read more)

Report this review (#76027) | Posted by kajetan | Sunday, April 23, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I think this album is a contemporary review of some great prog bands of the 70's. In fact, every song sounds like a mixed of different influences of the "golden era". But it's a good album, with great guitar arrangements and a few songs to remember like "Waltz of the Dark Riddle", "Pray for Me ... (read more)

Report this review (#39818) | Posted by progadicto | Tuesday, July 19, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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