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ALTER ECHO

Symphonic Prog • Sweden


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Alter Echo biography

The roots of the band are in two military buddies, Hans Hagström and Ingemar Hill. During their service they began to explore the music of their heroes The Beatles, Jethro Tull, Yes, and Genesis. Soon they began writing their own music, and decided to form a band in 1975.

Bass player Heinrik Nordgren would be one of the first to join, and also came up with the band's name. Several personnel changes would take place over the next few years, including the departure of founder Ingemar Hill.

In 1978 the final lineup was in place with Lars Guldbrand on keyboards, Pele Alsing on percussion, and Micke Wedberg on vocals. Their self-titled debut would be their only album. It was given a second life in1997 when it was re-released by Musea.

They have been described as having a neo sound (sometimes poppy) with a heavy Gentle Giant influence.

But it doesn't end there. Some of the songs resemble elements of Genesis, Yes, Happy the Man, and even Spock's Beard. Micke Wedberg has been described as the Swedish version of Graham Nash. Quite a mixed bag, indeed, despite this, their essense is mainly Symphonic

H.T. Riekels (bhikkhu)

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CD Baby 2004
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ALTER ECHO discography


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2.98 | 6 ratings
Alter Echo
1979

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ALTER ECHO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Alter Echo by ALTER ECHO album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.98 | 6 ratings

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Alter Echo
Alter Echo Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Alter Echo by ALTER ECHO album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.98 | 6 ratings

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Alter Echo
Alter Echo Symphonic Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Alter Echo by ALTER ECHO album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.98 | 6 ratings

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Alter Echo
Alter Echo Symphonic Prog

Review by hdfisch
Prog Reviewer

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!

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