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SINKADUS

Symphonic Prog • Sweden


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Sinkadus biography
The name of this Gothenburg band can be interpreted in two ways. One definition is to box a person's ears, as if to say pay attention. The other comes from a Swedish variation of Backgammon. When a five and a two is rolled, the player will shout, "sink a dus." Take from it what you will.

The origin is with Fredrik Karlsson and Robert Sjöback, who began playing in a rock cover band in 1987. Over time, they added more progressive songs to the set list. After the band partially dissolved in 1990, they reformed in 1991 with drummer Rickard Biström and a new singer. With this lineup, they played only progressive covers, and started to compose originals.
Playing two instruments proved to be too taxing for Karlsson, so in 1993 they added flautist Linda Johansson. Finding the right vocalist was also a problem, so the job went to Biström and Johansson. This year saw them working with the Pschedelic Band Roots of Echo, and writing more of their own material. This was also when they changed their name to Sinkadus. Shortly afterward the bass player quit. Instead of finding a new bass player, they found drummer Bo Guting. Biström then changed positions, and took over on bass. In 1995 Cellist Lena Petterson joined, and Bo left. He was replaced by Mats Svensson (Rickard remained on bass).

In 1996 the band recorded a demo tape, solely for the purpose of landing gigs. They also decided to send it to some record labels. This led to them getting signed by Cyclops. Toward the end of the year, the songs were rerecorded. "Aurum Nostrum" was released in early 1997. This led to performing at Progfest '97. The show was recorded, and (with the original demos) released as "Live at Progfest." In essence it provides two alternate versions of "Aurum Nostrum." They again entered the studio in 1998, and recorded "Cirkus" (released in 1999).

The next few years saw the departure of Linda and Lena. A second guitarist entered, and left. In 2000, an American flautist named Van joined the group. They have been off the radar for a while now, but there has been no official news of a breakup.

The main comparison to other music is Änglagård. Although Sinkadus existed first, their first album came along after "Hybris" and "Epilog." It is highly likely that Änglagård did have an influence on their sound.

H.T. Riekels (bhikkhu)

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CirkusCirkus
Import
Cyclops Records 1999
Audio CD$79.90 (used)
Live At ProgFest 1997Live At ProgFest 1997
Cyclops Records
Audio CD$19.25
$19.25 (used)
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SINKADUS discography


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

3.87 | 78 ratings
Aurum Nostrum
1997
4.10 | 71 ratings
Cirkus
1999

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

3.62 | 7 ratings
Live At Progfest 97
1998

SINKADUS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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SINKADUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Aurum Nostrum by SINKADUS album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.87 | 78 ratings

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Aurum Nostrum
Sinkadus Symphonic Prog

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

5 stars Aurum Nostrum is Truly Our Gold

Don't know for what reason, I never bought a SINKADUS album until last week when I found Aurum Nostrum in the store, so just for curiosity (and the cheap price), got I without ever having heard a second of their music?I wish I had done it long ago because the experience was as great as listening Hybris for the first time, it was like Christmas coming in March.

The album is opened by Snålblåst, a complete box full of surprises. The first minute I almost believed it was ÄNGLAGÅRD playing under a pseudonym, especially because the peculiar style of Linda Johansson in the flute so similar to Anna Holmgren's with that sad melancholic and mysterious sound so characteristic of bands from this country. But after some time it's obvious that we're before a different band that shares the same love for well elaborate music.

Yes it's true that both bands have some extremely complex passages that remind of KING CRIMSON, and great respect for musicality, but SINKADUS is more worried about melody with a pastoral touch. It's also evident that while in ÄNGLAGÅRD members jump from frenetic to soft passages without advice or warning, SINKADUS use the flute and cello as a vehicle to soften the transition. It's also important to mention that Rickard Biström is not only a great guitar player but also has also a beautiful voice

Manuel begins with an extremely beautiful and melodic introduction where the Hammond organ and guitar really shine, is somehow hypnotic and captivating, but again the flute takes the music towards Medieval Folk territory for a couple minutes with some acoustic guitars, but this is only temporal, because after a while the massive use of Mellotron and synths take us back into Symphonic territory, somehow reminiscent of GENESIS but with a unique style. This time Rickard Biström combines his voice with Linda Johansson to create a mysterious effect. Again a perfect track.

After two excellent tracks it's time for Ågren, which is even better. After a pompous opening with a delightful excess of Hammond and Mellotron played with unusual dexterity by Fredrik Karlsson, the dramatic combination of male and female vocals create a Gothic (Late Medieval) atmosphere, blending the sacred and the pagan (Religious and Folk) in one sublime combination of beauty and musicality?From this point on, we can expect anything like lush keyboards, pastoral flute, dramatic cello and guitars, all perfectly supported by an extremely competent rhythm section. If you like Prog, you have to love Ågren , the perfect expression of what Progressive Rock means.

Aurum Nostrum is closed by the extremely eclectic Ättestupan, a song that blends pastoral music with more than evident KING CRIMSON frantic sections, as if they restrained during the melodic passages just to cut the ties and allow themselves to explode during breathtaking moments. Magnificent closer for an extraordinaire album that deserves no less than 5 solid stars.

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 Aurum Nostrum by SINKADUS album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.87 | 78 ratings

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Aurum Nostrum
Sinkadus Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I guess the best reason to listen to Sinkadus is to gain a better appreciation of Anglagard. Following in the wake of their fellow Swedes with an album constructed, like the classic Hybris, as a four-track tribute to the prog giants of the past, Sinkadus talk the talk but don't quite manage to walk the walk. The unsatisfying and unmemorable compositions here stand as proof that simply slinging together ideas your musical heroes already worked to death in a haphazard fashion and playing a lot of Mellotron isn't quite enough to create nostalgic prog which will stand on its own two feet rather than acting as a mere reminder to revisit one's Yes collection for another spin of Close to the Edge.

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 Cirkus by SINKADUS album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.10 | 71 ratings

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Cirkus
Sinkadus Symphonic Prog

Review by Kiwi1

4 stars I was working at something or other on my computer ? I forget what but it was of sufficient interest to occupy most of my mind. But as I often like to have music playing in the background while working I decided to put on 'Cirkus' by Sinkadus. After what seemed only a few minutes I realised that the music had come to an end and that I had barely noticed any of it. Well, I thought, the music was obviously not that compelling. Surely, I would have paid more attention to it had it been of any quality. Yet, later and with nothing else to do I listened once again, this time with headphones, to the album fully expecting to soon grow bored with it and put on something else. But this time I was giving the music my full attention and very quickly began to appreciate its full worth. This, I recognised, was music of considerable sophistication and subtlety, a dynamic music offering beautiful melodies and rich harmonies to support a number of developing themes. It is, moreover, a music that avoids all clichés: whenever I expected particular a passage to move in a familiar direction or to involve a well- worn chord shift the music developed into something completely fresh and surprising. Yet ? and this was confirmed by repeat listening ? these developments contributed to the music's power and beauty. I had re-learnt a lesson, one that any regular listener to Progressive Rock will surely know, that this style of music demands the listener's complete attention and that its true value will never become apparent if it only serves as background ambience. My initial impression was simply wrong: I should really have known better.

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 Aurum Nostrum by SINKADUS album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.87 | 78 ratings

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Aurum Nostrum
Sinkadus Symphonic Prog

Review by Kiwi1

3 stars Paul Stump, in his 'The Music's All That Matters' (1997) notes the sexism underlying the entire history of Progressive Rock in which the role of women is primarily restricted to ornamentation or as interpreters rather than creators of the music. This suggestion conflicts somewhat with Macan's definition of Progressive Rock as, amongst other things, a interplay of 'feminine' and 'masculine' musical qualities. Several subsequent reviews of Macan's book were critical of his terminology suggesting that it revealed a gendered essentialism. Such comments, however, betray the reviewer's own patriarchal attitudes by assuming that we should read Macan's association between 'pastoral' soundscapes and 'femininity' in negative terms. Aurum Nostrum emphasises what Macan regards as the 'feminine' side of Progressive Rock recorded by a group in which two women play prominent musical roles beyond just providing the vocals. It is a gentle, accommodative album that invites listeners to share the musical experience with the performers rather than bombarding them with insistent riffs and sonic hooks. It is not an album that invites immediate appreciation for its warm and subtle harmonies and complex structures demand close attention and repeat hearing. But by accepting the album's 'feminine' aesthetic rather than hoping for the more 'masculine' bombast, fiery virtuoso displays and driving force common in much other Progressive Rock, any listen to the album can become a rewarding experience. Not that the album is by any means perfect. The music, for example, lacks the melodic 'punch' and dynamism which a more 'masculine' balance could bring to it. A warm, sensitive and welcoming album Aurum Nostrum most certainly is but listening to it is akin to spending time with a pleasant and gentle friend whose company after a period of time becomes a little dull.

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 Aurum Nostrum by SINKADUS album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.87 | 78 ratings

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Aurum Nostrum
Sinkadus Symphonic Prog

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars Debut album from the Swedish retro-symphonic rock band Sinkadus. Just like Anglagard, the band sounds like a 90's incarnation of the vintage '71 Nursery Cryme sound, with forceful drums and bass, flutes and thick mellotron blankets. The music is slightly more melodic and folksy then Anglagard, bringing the gentle pleasures of Camel and Genesis to the fore, as opposed to Anglagard's more technical and Crimson elements.

The band has a great sincere emotionality but the vocals are often a weak link. The vocal duties are split between male and female vocals but both suffer from a limited range, an insecure tone and some unremarkable melodies. When they go for more folksy tunes they sound more confident. In my opinion, the opening Snalbast suffers most from the vocals, the melodies aren't very memorable and pale against the often excellent music. The remaining songs seem to uphold stronger melodies and tighter musicianship. The production is perfect, very dynamic, rocking and organic.

Compared to their sophomore effort Cirkus, Sinkadus still sounds a bit ill at ease with their vintage sound. While Cirkus is a sure 5 star album for me, Aurum Nostrum sits a level below that. 3.5 stars.

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 Cirkus by SINKADUS album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.10 | 71 ratings

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Cirkus
Sinkadus Symphonic Prog

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

5 stars Yes, I remember knocking off stars from Änglagard's albums for finding them too derivative. Also the vocals didn't help them really. And yes, I realize that Sinkadus is not only highly indebted to Änglagard but that they also aren't gifted with the most easy-going vocals. Following my own logic, I couldn't possibly rate this above 3 stars right? Yet I gave this album a solid 5. So, have I lost it? Am I not consistent? Should I be demoted to newbie? Or am I simply returning a favour to Sinkadotentree for introducing me to this charming low-profile band?

The reason is that, even though I tend to be critical towards things retro and everything that looks like style-exercises, this album is simply too good, overwhelming even. With every listen I have found myself being soaked deeper and deeper into this imaginative piece of music. For symphonic prog fans, it isn't a particularly difficult album to get into, yet it takes time before all its intricate power and secrets will entirely reveal themselves.

Sinkadus sound very much like Änglagard and offer a Swedish mood-mix of Camel's Mirage, Genesis' Nursery Cryme and early King Crimson, featuring lots of vintage equipment such as moogs, flutes, hammond and mellotron. The sound is very natural, organic and direct, with a very solid foundation of tasty bass and drums. Depending on your point of view, you could either call them old-fashioned and retro or authentic and timeless. However, the quality of the musicianship and song material can't be denied. Add the vigorous performance to that and my vote swings in all positive directions.

Each of the 5 pieces here has so much things going on that a full description of all themes and song developments would take up an entire page. To give an impression, Jag Anglemarks Bane has a big cinematic introduction, reminding me quite a lot of the majestic moments of the first two albums from Ange, one of my favourite symphonic rock bands. That's a nice point they score here right from the start. The vocals are a bit awkward at first but they play a minor role and have gradually grown on me. On Kakafonia for example, the vocals are slightly processed through some voice effect device and the result is just excellent. Valkyria is a highlight amongst highlights, very adventurous, soulful, warm and melancholic. The album ends with big washes of mellotron that go through a chord modulation that reminds me very much of the vocal line from Genesis' Seven Stones, the .. only grieves him, Believe him part. Not a bad quote at all.

Cirkus is an album in a recognizable classic symphonic style and it's honoring classic prog rather then cloning it. When done with so much flair, passion and inspiration, 4 or 5 stars are easily deserved. Even within the symphonic prog sub that is crammed with essential material.

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 Aurum Nostrum by SINKADUS album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.87 | 78 ratings

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Aurum Nostrum
Sinkadus Symphonic Prog

Review by groon

4 stars Very mellow, soft and quiet album with elements of folk. If it wasn't for Swedish vocal, I'd be sure this came from Italian symphonic prog scene. Resembles me bands like P.F.M, LOCANDA DELLE FATE or FINISTERRE. Some traces of ANGLAGARD also could be found though not that obvious. Lots of nice keyboards; unobtrusive guitar passages; a specific vocal may seem weak a bit, but it does not spoil much the general impression on the album. Among four tracks on this album (each is 10+ min. long) the last one is the best. Deserves 4 stars +. Those who've been tired the weirdness of ANGLAGARD will love it.

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 Cirkus by SINKADUS album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.10 | 71 ratings

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Cirkus
Sinkadus Symphonic Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This second (and halas the last one) album from Sinkadus doesn't sound more regressive than they fellow countrymen Änglagård. Their source of inspiration were the same (Crimson, Genesis both in their early, early days) and the way they reproduced the music is just excellent.

It is true that Sinkadus music sounds a bit easier to approach, which is even better to my ears.

Still, this album is more intricate than the marvellous and fully melodic debut Aurum Nostrum. While the opening song Jag, Änglamarks Bane fully reminds the grandeur of its predecessor (featuring some brilliant fluting as well as mellotron, but not enough tron to my likings) and is fully Crimsonesque, the follow-up Positivhalaren has a more eclectic feeling. The mood is darker, more oppressive. But the mellotron is there to smooth the angles.

Cirkus is not such love at first sight as their fantastic debut. You have to listen, and to listen more to discover all of its beauty. Because, there are no doubts: this is a beautiful album.

Bizzarely, Kakofonia is the most melodic track of the whole. Such a fine melody is just gorgeous. The instrumental intro is a jewel IMHHO. As I pointed out for their debut, the only minus point would be the vocals. This is the second highlight (after the opening song).

But of weak songs, there is no question here. Each track is a serious piece of music, featuring wonderful and symphonic passages. The closing of Valkyria is absolutely stunning in this respect.

The same magic takes place with the second half of Ulv I Faraklader. Do I need to mention the superb mellotron? I guess not. But each time that a band has used this great instrument (Paatos, Anekdoten, Anglagard, not to mention KC and Genesis of course), I feel the same passion.

If orgies of keys (mellotron), sweet flute, and great harmonies are of your liking, you shouldn't hesitate to listen to this album. I don't like it as much as their debut one but Circus remains a very good album. Four stars without hesitation.

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 Aurum Nostrum by SINKADUS album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.87 | 78 ratings

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Aurum Nostrum
Sinkadus Symphonic Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

5 stars If one should count how many great bands per capita a country has generated, Sweden should be on the podium.

So many fine music coming out from this big country but holding so few inhabitants. You might know that I am quite keen on the early Genesis and that the symphonic side of Crimson (ITCOTCK) are just sounds I am found of.

So. how can I resist to such a wonderful record as Aurum Nostrum?

It is all enchantment for me. No dull moment like Moonchild at all. This album only features great music. OK, it might sound as déjà vu, but frankly: when it holds so many great moments, I just could care less.

One of the very few negative points I could raise are the vocals. Not so much because they are in Swedish (although that it is not the most melodic language on earth) but the lead singer is just too short IMO. This shouldn't move you away from this very good album since most of it consists of instrumental parts.

If you are a tron lover as I am, there is no doubt that you'll be charmed by this wonderful album. Each of the four songs of this album clocking at almost sixty minutes is close to perfection. It's a wonderful balance of melody, dark passages and truly pastoral and tranquil acoustic ones. I told you: this is a fantastic mix of symphonic Crimson and my beloved early Genesis.

A track as Snålblåst is such a great shortcut for these two gigantic bands. I could listen to this FANTASTIC piece endlessly. It is a huge moment of symphonic rock/prog music. The first highlight.

What can I say about Manuel. That the fluting part is gorgeous? That the passage from pastoral to a wilder beat is superb? That the mellotron part is extraordinary? This is just a protion of the truth. One has to listen to this jewel, sit and (eventually) cry. Very few songs do convey so much emotion. It is maybe the property of the giants.

But this band has of course not the fame of those ones; but believe me, they just deserve a huge recognition for the music displayed here. Majestic, passionate, beautiful, poignant. In one word: PHENOMENAL. This is the second highlight of course.

The third song from Aurum Nostrum is harder and at times as light as the first two great songs as Snålblåst and Manuel. It has more the feeling of a much later Genesis track. Keyboards especially. It might well be somewhat behind, but it still remains a very good piece of music which is compelling as well my prog friends.

The closing number Attestupan is the weaker from the whole, if only one can speak about anything weak in here. It features some fine medieval passages combined with the most pastoral and Trespass- esque ones. Yes, I have the humility to say that I just love it a bunch. The finale and its fabulous mellotron lines is another sublime moment. Aaaaaaaaargh!

When I first prepared this review some four years ago, I rate this album with Y which means Yes in my jargon. Which means a wonderful album. A masterpiece in the PA jargon. I haven't change my views about this wonderful album. Go and run for it. Now, now, now, now, now!

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 Aurum Nostrum by SINKADUS album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.87 | 78 ratings

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Aurum Nostrum
Sinkadus Symphonic Prog

Review by Moatilliatta
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Sinkadus more or less picks up where Anglagard left off. They play a less complex, more melodic, folky and textural version of the aforementioned great of the 90's prog revival. Aurum Nostrum has me confused about my feelings for it. On one hand, it is loaded with good melodies, intricately woven among layers of instrumentation, and on the other, it's a poorly produced album with weak vocals. I can remember a handful of parts on the album, but at the same time, I don't want to go back to continue acquainting myself with the rest of the disc. Everytime I listen to this, when the musicans all come together to play a thick passage, I just wish they could have afforded a better production. That could have turned out like a melodic wall of sound, and it would have been awesome. Unfortunately, we're treated with a production that does little justice to the quality of the compositions. They are completely stripped of the atmosphere that would really bring out the textures they try to create. The band is trying to draw a colorful picture, but they only have an 8-pack of Crayola crayons (or markers) to do it. Hence, it just doesn't turn out the way it could have. And what's the deal with that unnaturally quick fade at the end of the record? Who's decision was that? Either way I'm not pleased! The vocals are also simply unappealing. The ideas are all well and good, but the vocalists just don't have any charisma. They sound dull and they lack variety. But when the band lets loose, we're treated to all of whats missing from the vocals. I could really enjoy this album, and I did for the first few listens, but when you look around you'll realize that this album just falls short of being the album it threatens to be. There's a lot to enjoy, but you'll have to come to terms with the sound. Also, it is a little too long. Good effort, so-so result.

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