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Symphonic Prog • Sweden

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Anders Helmerson picture
Anders Helmerson biography
Born in Stockholm, Sweden in February 1959

Born in Sweden, ANDERS HELMERSON started out studying classical music in Demark and Sweden. He became interested in Progressive music, and dabbled in some recording while in Stockholm. After school he spent three years on his debut. The result was 1981's "The End of Illusion." It failed to take off, so he did. Canada was his next stop, but success was still elusive. Disheartened, in 1987 he returned to Sweden and entered medical school. During this time, there was new interest in "The End of Illusion." It was on its way to cult status, so Helmerson cut a re-release deal with Musea in 1995. Still, he did not return to music. While serving as a ship's doctor, he discovered Rio de Janeiro. This is where he finally found a home. It also inspired renewed interest in music. He signed with Brazilian prog label Som Interior, and released "Fields of Inertia" in 2002.

There are guest musicians, but keyboard is King with this artist. The classic influences are there, but he also blends a bit of techno. Imagine Wakeman meets Kraftwerk.

H.T. Riekels

Why this artist must be listed in : Anders Helmerson is a prog keyboard man in every way possible. We would not be fulfilling our mission properly if he was not included.

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ANDERS HELMERSON top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.68 | 9 ratings
End Of Illusion
3.00 | 1 ratings
Fields Of Inertia
3.00 | 9 ratings
Triple Ripple
3.00 | 2 ratings
Quantum House Project
3.00 | 3 ratings
Opus i

ANDERS HELMERSON Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 End Of Illusion by HELMERSON, ANDERS album cover Studio Album, 1982
2.68 | 9 ratings

End Of Illusion
Anders Helmerson Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Swedish multi-instrumentalist from Lund,born in 1959.He studied both Classical and Jazz music at his early life stage and learned handling a variety of instruments.By early-70's he showed interest in Classic Progressive Rock and became a member of Kung Tung, playing both sax and piano.By late-70's Helmerson settled himself in Stockholm, focusing on writing material for a solo release.Financial problems led to a two-years time recordings between autumn 79' and summer 81'.Finally his personal effort ''End of illusion'' came out in 1981 with help from various Swedish musicians, among them Mats Glenngard from Kebnekaise on electric violin, Mersmak's drummer Per Berglund, Kornet's bassist Sten Forsman and Ulf Adaker from Egba on sequencers.

Despite the presence of no less than 10 musicians, it is much a Helmerson egocentric effort presented in ''End of illusion''.The album is much centered around his work on keys, mainly moog and ARP synthesizers, Hammond organ and electric piano with they style offered being much in a keyboard-driven Prog/Fusion realm with Symphonic touches, not unlike U.K. or Japanese bands like WAPPA GAPPA and MONGOL.All tracks are short with the exception of the 8-min. ''Electronical Story'', complicated prog delivery characterized by Helmerson's alternating work on keys with over-filled synth solos and electronic sequencers and loops, sometimes battling with the rest of the band.His playing is really virtuosic and technical, no doubt about it, there is also a fair amount of sudden breaks to be heard, but he focuses too much on keyboard fanfares and changing keyboard solos than composing.The album really lacks a simple melody, everything here is mainly about how to dominate your keyboards and create a bombastic sound with all these instruments.Yes, there are some decent moments throughout, the combination of fiery Fusion interrupted by some Classical-influenced grand piano parts is the best to be remembered, but the majority of this offering is really nervous keyboard delivery without a sense of melody.

This young Swedish guy was really skilled, but his ideas were leaning too much on the virtuosic side of music than on the composing one.Still the album deserves a bit of a recommendation to keyboard freaks, who cant get enough of the sound.The rest should try some samples first before moving on to buy the album, which has been re-issued by Musea Records...2.5 stars.

 Triple Ripple by HELMERSON, ANDERS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.00 | 9 ratings

Triple Ripple
Anders Helmerson Symphonic Prog

Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

3 stars With a little help from my friends

When it comes to releases, Ander Helmerson could hardly be accused of swamping the market. Having released his début album "End of illusion" in 1981, just one other set ("Fields of inertia" from 2002) comes between that album and this 2010 release.

Although nominally an album of 5 tracks, Helmerson insists that this is in fact a single piece running to 53 minutes. He took several years creating the album, initially in the composition phase, then in putting a band together that he felt included the best musicians available to him. By this time, the nomadic Helmerson was based in London, UK so this album was mixed in the Abbey Road studios. Interestingly, there are no guitars at all on the album;, keyboards, bass and drums completing the line up. I am not sure why this site shows a vocal credit to Adrian Thurston, there are no obvious vocals here.

For convenience, we should consider the album via the five tracks, while bearing in mind that they each form 20 per cent of the whole. The opening "Touchdown" sets the album off with considerable vitality, complex time signatures supporting a diverse range of keyboards sounds. As with "End of illusion", I would compare Anders' keyboards style with that of Patrick Moraz, both being strongly influenced by jazz/fusion while remaining committed to rock tenets.

According to Anders, the title track/section is three songs merged into one. There is an ELP flavour to this track, the frantic drumming being in the Carl Palmer style and the horn like synths being of the type favoured by Emerson. "Yoda's dance" maintains the enthusiastic tempo, with chorale synths adding a further dimension to the sound. The brief "Helix of Eternity" forms a link section into the closing "The Search of F", a 14˝ minute piece.

While "Triple ripple" is clearly composed to symphonic standards, it will probably appeal mostly to those with a leaning towards fusion. The music maintains a relentless pace throughout, the changing time signatures simply marking new passages, not tempos. To this end, the album is for me rather lacking in moods. The dexterity and talent of Helmerson and his fellow musicians is undeniable though, and the album is highly enjoyable.

 End Of Illusion by HELMERSON, ANDERS album cover Studio Album, 1982
2.68 | 9 ratings

End Of Illusion
Anders Helmerson Symphonic Prog

Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

3 stars The most expensive Swedish record production after Abba

Although currently listed on this site as Brazilian, Anders Helmerson was in fact born and raised in Sweden, where he recorded this his first album. While he dedicated some three years of his life to the album, it did not find commercial success leading to him heading west, initially to Canada, and subsequently to Brasil (and eventually to London where he now resides). When interviewed for this site in 2010 (, Helmerson recalled of this album that "in the business I was known as the guy who did the most expensive Swedish record production after Abba"!

Although "End of illusion" is credited to Helmerson, who is the main composer of the work, it is actually performed by a band which includes guitars, bass and drums to supplement the main keyboards sounds.

Helmerson is listed on this site under the Symphonic prog banner, but he himself describes his music as Prog Fusion. The reality is probably somewhere in-between. There is no denying that Helmerson's compositions can be less rigid than the demands of a symphonic badge might require, but his music does have a quasi-orchestral style to it. Helmerson is a keyboards player, his preferred sound being comparable with that of Patrick Moraz, especially the latter's earlier solo works. Most of the time, it is synth which dominates proceedings, although other keyboards are also featured, the Emerson ("Tarkus") style piano on "Rising Mind" being a notable example.

The album is nominally divided into 14 tracks, but these are simply sections of the whole. There is no gap between the tracks, and indeed often no instant change of theme at the dividing point. It is necessary therefore to consider the album as a complete piece. On that basis, this is an impressive work. I do confess that at times I find myself wandering off when listening to the album, if I have a criticism it can seem a bit one dimensional at times. Still well worth a listen though.

For many years, this would be Anders Helmerson's sole album. He even left the music industry for several years, but returned to recording in 2002 and become positively prolific when releasing a third album in 2010.

 End Of Illusion by HELMERSON, ANDERS album cover Studio Album, 1982
2.68 | 9 ratings

End Of Illusion
Anders Helmerson Symphonic Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars First review of this album, and also my first review of the year!

Well, it`s a new year and now I have some free hours today that will use to re-listen to old albums and maybe write 2 or 3 reviews, believe it or not, i have a bunch of records to review but sometimes i simply don`t have time or can`t find inspiration, anyway i may bore you with my ridicolous histories, but the majority of the albums i review had a history of how did i know it, or what happened the first time i listened to it, etc.

Some years ago when i was 18 or so, i used to visit a man who had some interesting CD`s, not only prog but rock and 70`s in general, one day he asked me have you heard that album in which the cover is a cube?, i was a newbie in prog so of course i didn`t know what was he talking about, my answer was of course NO, so he took that CD and i read the name, Anders Helmerson it said, but who the hell was he, then he shared that album to me and i can say that this record named End of Illusion was one of the first prog albums i knew, my knowledge was very limited (is still limited) but then i only knew the big names such as KC, PF, Yes etc, so i pleased took this album and started to listen to it not one, but 5 or 6 times until i loved it, since then, of course the number of my collection and CDs i know has increased quite a lot, that`s why sometimes i listen to an album once or twice a year.

I`m glad to see this artist here, and want to thank the Symphonic Team for his inclusion, i have suggested for inclusion less than 10 artists since i joined here, and Anders Helmerson was one of them 2 years ago, so im glad to see him here, but at the same time it`s a pity to see that there are no topics about him, nor any review of his albums.

At first it was a surprise to see that he was under Brazil because i knew he was from Sweden, but then after reading H.T. bio i understood everything, Anders helmerson of course was born in Sweden but he lives in Brazil and after several years he found inspiration to create music again few years ago.

Well, i finished with my personal view and now will focus on the music, which is the thing why we are here. End of Illusion is a really enjoyable album which features 14 tracks and a total lenght of 42 minutes, but actually when you listen to the album you will hardly notice that one song finished, i mean you may think that you are still listening to the first song but then you realize that the fourth song is playing, of course i experienced that. but after some listens you will get used and maybe know when is another song, that is a thing i like, it`s like a one-piece full album divided in 14 short passages. The majority of the tracks are around 2 to 4 minutes lenght, there is only one long song which is track 7 Electronical Story which lasts almost 8 minutes.

I know i know, but what kind of music is Memo? First of all, let me tell you that this is an instrumental album, then let me tell you that Anders Helmerson is a keyboard player, so what`s on your mind?, Electronic Music maybe, or what about Symphonic? Well this is a mixture of both, in one hand we have the electronic side with the use of synthesizers making some spacial sounds ala Schulze or Tangerine Dream, but in the other hand (and the stronger one in my opinion) we have the bunch of bombastic notes making a true symphonic sound a la Wakeman or Emerson, now you can imagine why i like this album, when i discovered it i found his playing very enjoyable and reminded me to keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman, though helmerson has it`s own style and makes this album with his own. This is not a one instrument album, no, it features all the common instruments (drums, bass, guitars) that are played by guest musicians, but of course what takes your attention are the keyboards.

There are no outstanding nor weak moments in this album, i like it so much and i would recommend it to all of you, however i believe some of you may get bored with the repetitiveness of some tunes.

My personal rating would be 4, but for PA i believe 3 stars is more accurate, good (very good) but non-essential. Enjoy it!

Thanks to bhikkhu for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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