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ALRUNE ROD

Psychedelic/Space Rock • Denmark


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Alrune Rod biography
Alrune Rod is probably one of the most important Danish rock bands from the psychedelic era, and along with STEPPEULVENE, generally considered the epitome of Danish psychedelic rock and the Danish counterculture movement of the1960s and 1970s in general.

Alrune Rod, colloquially referred to as 'Alrunen', were formed in 1968 by Leif Roden and are considered to be the pioneers in Danish psychedelic and artistically oriented rock music, along with acts like BURNIN' RED IVANHOE , STEPPEULVENE, CULPEPPER'S ORCHARD, BLUE SUN and ACHE. Alrune Rod debuted with the single 'Tæl Aldrig I Morgen Med' in 1968 and the full length studio album 'Alrunes Rod' in 1969, followed by the highly acclaimed 'Hej Du' in 1970 and 'Alrune Rock' in 1971, which was released in a Danish language version and an English language version. The remaining three albums 'Spredt For Vinden' from 1972, '4-vejs' from 1974, and 'Tatuba Tapes' from 1975 are generally considered sub par compared to their earlier releases. Nonetheless, 'Tatuba Tapes' is notable for being recorded live in the studio.

Their musical style is often described as a hybrid between THE GRATEFUL DEAD and early PINK FLOYD. They initially composed fairly long songs, typically of 10 to 13 minutes of length which blended the heaviness of the blues rock with the complexity of art rock, some of their compositions bordering on bein symphonic. 'Hej Du' is considered their masterpiece with compositions like hard rocking 'Du Taler Og Siger' and the almost twenty-two minutes long 'Perlesøen'. While their early efforts are characterized by a relatively dark atmosphere, their post-'Hej Du' albums contain shorter, livelier and more accessible tunes, which nonetheless retain several progressive elements. Lyrically, Alrune Rod dealt with complex topics like the human psyche as well as society and politics but were not above addressing more trivial topics like love and rock 'n' roll rebellion.

While not having released any studio album since the mid 1970s, Alrune Rod still occasionally perform live shows at typically packed and sold out venues.

Bio written by Time Signature, Denmark.



Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
Alrune Rod were among the pioneers of Danish progressive rock and were hugely influential on subesquent Danish rock and pop acts. Moreover, they are considered important to Danish language music and culture



Discography:
Tæl Aldrig Imorgen Med...
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Alrune Rod official website

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Spredt for VindenSpredt for Vinden
Import
Karma 2007
Audio CD$59.21
$58.03 (used)
4 Vejs4 Vejs
Import
2007
Audio CD$17.99
$68.25 (used)
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ALRUNE ROD discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ALRUNE ROD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.60 | 14 ratings
Alrune Rod
1969
4.05 | 19 ratings
Hej Du
1970
3.22 | 8 ratings
Alrune Rock
1971
3.12 | 6 ratings
Spredt For Vinden
1972
3.13 | 4 ratings
4-Vejs
1974

ALRUNE ROD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 3 ratings
Tatuba Tapes
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
Alrunen Live i Aalborg
2002
2.00 | 2 ratings
Ragnarock Live '74
2004
4.00 | 1 ratings
ARiAB '07
2009

ALRUNE ROD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ALRUNE ROD Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.05 | 3 ratings
Sonet Arene 69-72
2002

ALRUNE ROD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Pigen på stranden
1969

ALRUNE ROD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Hej Du by ALRUNE ROD album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.05 | 19 ratings

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Hej Du
Alrune Rod Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Sagichim
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

4 stars Hej Du is the second album by one of the most familiar danish prog bands Alrune Rod. The album was released as early as 1970 and it is basically a continuation of their first 1969 album. While their debut was a little unfocused and featured long and jammy tracks, this album continues that line only this time the material is much more consistent and coherent. Reminds me of Amon Duul II Yeti compared to Phallus Dei which also coincidentally released simultaneously as Alrune Rod's first two albums. It seems like the band have found the right balance between improvisation and more constructed material and utilized it for the best. The album consists of three tracks, one of them is a 22 minute epic which is considered as one of the band's crowning achievements, with only three tracks the band finds a lot of time to experiment and explore that unmarked prog/psych territory. I must add that not a lot of side long tracks were released up to that point, especially not in Denmark. Their sound is not versatile due to the fact that there are no prominent additional instruments used and secondly the keys are somewhat in "low profile" ,they are always there and there is much to enjoy but just don't expect anything like Emerson, Manfred Mann or other RPI keyboardists. Sound quality is good concerning the year of recording and is warm and enjoyable.

The music is psychedelic hard rock with prominent distorted guitars, my kind of sound actually, definitely resembles Hawkwind or early Floyd, though I wouldn't call this Space Rock. Keys are usually in the back serving the purpose of the song but never comes to the front to solo, they overall strengthen the psychedelic atmosphere. Vocals are in danish and if you can't understand them and I'm sure most of you can't, they are still very good and not that strange sounding. Flemming Giese Rasmussen is the star here which handles those wild guitars, which goes from hard rock to psychedelic jamming, all very good with delicious 70's sounding. Drummer Claus From is quite good but sometimes misses the beat and stumbles for a second, but it overall doesn't ruin my enjoyment.

Du Taler Og Sir' is the album's opener, and it is more hard rock than psychedelic. It starts with some feedback noises and the sound gradually picks up building some tension, and as you think you're gonna be hit with a ton of bricks it changes to a happy beatles-like riff only with distortion, it took me some time to get used to that but it all flows very good from here with good vocals and excellent 70's hard rock guitars. A good starter to get you tuned in.

Hej Du is a 15 minute track. The first 5 minutes are dominated by vocals which I find them to be quite enjoyable, guitars are in the back filling in with all kinds of licks and then breaks out beautifuly just to end the first part and leads you to the psychedelic part, this is where you feel the band really nails it. echoing reverbed guitars, haunting vocals, soft psychedelic organ, what can you possibly need more? This part also builds the tension slowly and breaks it down with a howling scream and some wild guitar a la Hendrix. It continues with some more vocals and more guitars and then ends. Very good stuff indeed!

Perles'en is the main piece here, comprised of several different parts, it goes from one part to the other easily without giving you a feel of a patch work. The band's diving to another successful good psychedelic middle part here with an additional flute to sweeten things up, only this one is darker and more haunting which resembles early Pink Floyd, it slides into my favorite part of the album, fantastic guitar playing again by Geise which totally nails that slow paced rhythm with dazzling fuzzed guitar runs.

So this is another great album from the psychedelic camp that shouldn't be overlooked no more just because of its origins. Those four danes certainly knows their job and would appeal not only to psych fans but to a wider prog audience. Very accessible stuff and definitely worth searching for. Their next album would see the band changing their attitude and experiment much less, so basically this is the one to get. solid 4 stars!

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 Hej Du by ALRUNE ROD album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.05 | 19 ratings

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Hej Du
Alrune Rod Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars For me ALRUNE ROD's second album is a definite step up from the debut. Maybe it's just that the almost 22 minute side long closing track stands above everything on the debut and above the other two songs on this album, in my opinion of course. It's an incredible piece though and keep in mind this was released in 1970 by these Danes.

"Du Taler Og Sir" opens with some good old fashion feedback before a beat with vocal expressions take over around a minute. It then kicks in with vocals. It settles just before 3 minutes with organ, reserved vocals and more. The tempo continues to shift as themes are repeated. "Hej Du" has a good beat as the organ floods in. Reserved vocals after a minute. It starts to build then settles back as contrasts continue. Passionate vocals and organ after 4 minutes then the guitar rips it up. A calm before 5 1/2 minutes as the organ, a beat and vocals lead until it kicks back in after 9 1/2 minutes. The guitar then starts to light it up. The organ is killing it before 12 minutes. The guitar is back making some noise.

"Perleseoen" features floating organ, acoustic guitar and cymbals early. It picks up with a beat, organ, strummed guitar and vocals. Great sound 3 minutes in then we get a calm. It picks up again after 4 minutes with vocals. Another calm after 6 minutes with reserved vocals. The vocals stop as it becomes somewhat haunting before 10 minutes. It continues to be dark with sparse flute. There's some whispering after 12 1/2 minutes followed by silence. A beat comes in after 13 minutes as we get some acid soaked guitar then the organ joins in. Another silent calm after 17 minutes then reserved vocals come in along with a mellow sound. It kicks back in after 19 minutes to end it. Nice.

An excellent addition to anyone's Psychedelic collection to be sure, and a solid 4 stars. And thanks to the Dane himself Guldbamsen for his passion for this record.

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 Alrune Rod by ALRUNE ROD album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.60 | 14 ratings

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Alrune Rod
Alrune Rod Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by fant0mas

3 stars I think this record could have/should have been much better than it is. I find most of the LP to be disjointed and inconsistent. Some segments of it are truly awesome, but they are heavily punctuated with slow, heavy, and dragging passages that degrade the better sections and deform their music as a whole. Yes, I am sure this approach was deliberate, and that they were going for something that I am just plain missing. Perhaps repeated listenings would enlighten me. But for now, I've got to call it as I hear it. Grades - 1 B, 3 B-'s, and a C. Great psychedelic cover! For those who don't have a gatefold, what you see in the image of the front cover above is exactly 1 half of the complete picture, with the mirror image of the front on the back. Use your imagination!

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 Alrune Rod by ALRUNE ROD album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.60 | 14 ratings

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Alrune Rod
Alrune Rod Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars ALRUNE ROD were one of the pioneers of Psychedelic music in Denmark, they even sing in their native language. I really like some of the early spacey / psychedelic albums from the late sixties but to be honest this one seemed to lack something. The one song "Natskyggevej" is the exception as we get some dynamic playing and good guitar. Not a fan of the vocals either although I don't mind them most of the time.

"Alrune Rod" has an energetic intro with organ before settling right down with vocals a minute in. Contrasts continue right into the next track "Natskyggevej". Not a fan of the vocals 5 minutes in but the guitar that follows more than makes up for it. Organ follows the guitar. Heavy 10 1/2 minutes in followed by a calm with almost spoken vocals. It's heavy again before 13 1/2 minutes and I like the tasteful guitar solo before 15 minutes. Vocals sound poor late.

"Hvor Skal Jeg Se Solen Sta Op" is a short tune with strummed guitar, percussion and reserved vocals. "Bjergsangen" is divided into 3 parts and is a good example of "not much going on". Some good contrasts and I like the floating organ sections. At one point we get a sample of birds and water sounds. "Rejsen Hjem" is mellow to start but it builds before settling again. Some passionate vocals here.

Overall a good album but I had trouble getting into it.

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 Hej Du by ALRUNE ROD album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.05 | 19 ratings

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Hej Du
Alrune Rod Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Time Signature

4 stars Challenging the hippie stereotypes, this album is definately a psychedelic piece of work, but it is much darker than what one might expect - especially if, which is the case of most Danes of my own generation - one's only point of reference is Steppeulvene's lighthearted album Hip. While dark and sombre, Hej Du is less dark than their debut, and a relatively easier listen (at least in some respects). There seems to be a little bit more (but only a little bit!) emphasis on melody vocals-wise which does not always work too well, and lyrically it's more Romantic (like in the 19th century movement within literature and art) than the predecessor, but this is primarily because of the epic track Perlesøen which with its 21+ minutes takes up a large portion of the album. In all, a dark, challenging, yet more inviting, album than the debut.

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 Alrune Rod by ALRUNE ROD album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.60 | 14 ratings

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Alrune Rod
Alrune Rod Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Time Signature

4 stars Wow! That's what I thought when I finally heard Alrune Rod. Hailing from the same country as them, and having close ties to people who were members of the rock same music community/culture as Alrune Rod (and because of their status as psych rock pioneers in Denmark), I was aware of them, but being too young perhaps, I'd never listened to their music. When I finally got a hold on their debut album, I was struck by its dark athmosphere and intensity, which makes this album an interesting, but not an easy, listen. The vocals are primarily theatrical and not extremely melodi (this doesn't mean that the singing in atonal at all), and the vocals are very intense and dark, dealing with what seems to the psychological analogies partially inspired by Romanticist poetry and literature - but, honestly, I don't know if listeners who do not understand Danish are really missing out on anything here - my guess is that this albums is probably a tad easier to get one's head around if one does not have to worry about the lyrics too. This is an interesting album - nay, a good album - but it may take time to get one's head around.

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 Ragnarock Live '74 by ALRUNE ROD album cover Live, 2004
2.00 | 2 ratings

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Ragnarock Live '74
Alrune Rod Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars Live from the legendary Ragnarock festival

This festival was an annual event in the Holmenkollen ski-jumping arena in the early 1970s. Other bands who also played was PRUDENCE and I believe THEM. The arena is perfect for rock concerts and I cannot understand why nobody has done it again.

Over to the record. The band goes on the full attack from the first note. The music is hard rock with some references to space rock and southern boogie. The music is mostly driven by solo guitars and saxophone. The result is hard & heavy. Not much breathing spaces here. I would say this music has little or nothing to do with progressive rock. I found some references to RAINBOW and BAD COMPANY. But the annoying saxophone makes references hard to make. The saxophone and some of the stuff reminds me a lot about the type of music you get at the beer-festivals in Germany. That is not a compliment, btw. I am not particular impressed by this live album. I hope their studio albums is better than this.

2 stars.

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 Spredt For Vinden by ALRUNE ROD album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.12 | 6 ratings

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Spredt For Vinden
Alrune Rod Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Spredt for Vinden ( scattered by the wind) is the fourth studio album from Danish psychadelic rock band Alrune Rod ( Mandrake Root). Alrune Rod was together with bands like Young Flowers and Steppeulvene some of the most famous Danish bands from the late sixties and early seventies. Alrune Rod is in fact one of the most psychadelic bands I have ever heard but that´s only on their two first albums. Spredt for Vinden was, in spite of what is said here on PA, recorded in March and April of 1973 and released later that year. Their previous album called Alrune Rock was released in 1971 which means that the band had had a pretty ( in those days) lenghty break from recording. The only remaining member from Alrune Rock is singer and bassist Leif Roden and it was probably because of these lineup changes that it took two years before Alrune Rod released Spredt for Vinden.

The music on Spredt for Vinden is rock with a psychadelic touch. Some songs are more psychadelic than others. Songs like Kom Nu ( come now) and Gåseøjne ( Goose eyes) are very cool psychadelic rock songs but the rest of the songs are also very good even if they are a bit more straight. The biggest change in Alrune Rod´s sound is the lack of a dominant organ. Even though there are both piano and sax and violin on this album Alrune Rod has aimed for a much more stripped down approach compared to the early psychadelic days. There´s also a folky feeling that creeps in on some of the tracks. The title track is a great example of this feature. The only song I dislike is Sammensang ( translated directly it would say Togethersong but the meaning is probably singing together). Here Alrune Rod shows their hippie genes and I cringe with embarresment. Sometimes there´s a bit too much love hippie ideals on their albums for my taste.

The musicianship is really good. In fact I think that this incarnation of Alrune Rod is a much more well playing unit than the old one ( which had their charm in other features). Like on the next album called 4-Vejs Leif Roden has much better control of his voice on Spredt for Vinden than he had in the early days when his out of tune wailing could sometimes test my patience. New drummer Karsten Høst is an excellent and tight drummer while the two guitarists compliment each other well. Great slide guitars and bluesy soloing.

The production is very good and suits the sharper musical approach that Alrune Rod had chosen at this time.

Spredt for Vinden is a good album and deserves 3 stars. I´ll say the same here though as I said in my review of 4-Vejs. If you´re curious about Alrune Rod you should start with the first two albums as they are their most exciting works. Dark and psychadelic. Spredt for Vinden and 4-Vejs are more ordinary rock albums with psychadelic tendencies.

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 4-Vejs by ALRUNE ROD album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.13 | 4 ratings

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4-Vejs
Alrune Rod Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars 4-vejs ( Four-Ways) is the fifth studio album from legendary Danish psychadelic progressive rock band Alrune Rod ( translates into Mandrake Root in English). I haven´t yet heard Alrune Rod´s 1972 effort Spredt For Vinden ( Scattered by the Wind) which was the predecessor to 4- Vejs so I´m not sure which kind of development has happened between those two albums.

My history with Alrune Rod starts about fifteen years ago in my friends basement. Under heavy influence of mildy mind altering drugs we listened to a lot of sixties and seventies Danish music and at some point one of Alrune Rod´s first two albums would always be placed on the grammophone ( Yes that lucky bastard had the original vinyls) and we would get lost in the dark psychadelic music that graces those for Danish music essential albums. Those albums (Alrune Rod and Hej Du) have always had a special place in my prog heart.

A couple of years ago I bought the CD re-issue Sonet Årene 69-72 where Alrune Rod´s first three albums and their first single with non-album tracks are present on 2 CDs. It´s a highly recommendable compilation for anyone interested in Danish psychadelic progressive rock. I never went further in discovering the rest of Alrune Rod´s discography though until now where I have gotten a hold of 4-Vejs.

The music on 4-Vejs is very different from the dark organ driven psychadelic rock style Alrune Rod are mostly known for. There are eight songs with varying lengths from 2-6 minutes which means that there are non of the 10 minute psychadelic rock songs which was one of their trademarks on the early albums. Instead we´re treated with more ordinarely structured rock songs with very few psychadelic hints. This is not your ordinary rock band though. Alrune Rod is still a bit out of the ordinary and I actually enjoy this album much more than I would have thought possible. There are still some great instrumental parts here and there with both guitar, organ and sax solos albeit a bit more straight than in the early years. I really enjoyed songs like De Vises Sten ( Stones of the Wise) and Forårsmorgen ( Spring Morning).

The musicianship is tight and Leif Roden sings more straight on 4-Vejs than his usual out of tune wailing. All musicians play with great authority but I´ll have to give Karsten Høst on drums a special mention. He is very skilled and his playing is way above the average drummer in this genre. What a great addition to Alrune Rod.

The production is very good too. Clean and pleasant. That drum sound is absolutely awsome.

This has been a good surprise for me and 4-Vejs deserves a solid 3 star rating from me. I´m in doubt if people who don´t understand Danish will like this as much as me but it´s definitely worth a try. It´s not an essential album but a good one. If you´re new to Alrune Rod I would suggest that you purchase Sonet Årene 69-72 first though as that compilation is much more representative of Alrune Rod´s sound.

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 Sonet Arene 69-72 by ALRUNE ROD album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2002
4.05 | 3 ratings

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Sonet Arene 69-72
Alrune Rod Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

4 stars This "compilation" of AR's full works under the Sonet label is their first three albums on two discs with their very first single (non- albums tracks) as an added bonus. Please see the separate album reviews I wrote to get an idea as to the album's respective contents. While it is easily understandable that the debut's artwork gets the booklet cover, I find it a little sad that the two other album's artwork where reduced to small insets on the front cover, forgetting part of them as well. Otherwise, the also features a bunch of b&w pictures of the band in concert.

I'll concentrate mainly on the two non-album single tracks featured as bonus in this release, as this 45 RPM was issued prior to their debut album. Pigen Pa Stranden is a strange track written by an outsider, but borrowing heavily on Procol's Whiter Shade Of Pale, but faziling to capture its magic. The flipside is not much more in line with the group's works, Tael Aldrig I Morgen Med is sounding like an early Vdgg track (Aerosol Grey Machine-type) with an electric fuzzed-out guitar, but somehow, it sounds more like it's their own track.

Nowadays, your best chance to hear early Alrune Rod albums is through this good compilation, and its 3 on 2 deal should make it affordable. While AR's career is only a footnote in Continental Europe's prog history, the group was an important part of its country's rock scene. Recommended, even if the essential aspects will depend on the proghead's priorities and his musical inclinations.

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