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BOOK OF HOURS

Heavy Prog • Sweden


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Book Of Hours biography
Hailing from Sweden, the embryo of 'Book Of Hours' was formulated back in 1994, when multi-instrumentalist Mattias Reinholdsson and Henrik Johansson (bass, vocals) met at Stockholm University, where they compiled an Iron Maiden tribute album, 'Food For Thought'. At the time of writing, the completed band line-up includes Anni Thulin (vocals) and Jonas Hansson (guitar), who compliment the two founding members. This belies the fact that in common with many young bands of such longevity, the band have suffered from a revolving door syndrome of personnel, which have included Per Broddesson (guitars), Mikael Zell (guitars) and Stephan Zell (bass, vocals) who eventually formed Wolverine together.

The consequence has been the band's output during the past decade had been restricted to only three releases. The first, 1998's Anekdoten & Landberk influenced four track demo entitled 'We Find Your Lack Of Faith Disturbing', an overt dig at the band's beliefs in how commercialism is poisoning the music industry, was quickly followed by their only full studio release, 'Art To The Blind'. The release however was not without its problems. The permanent departure of their vocalist, Stephan Zell, preceded record label difficulties regarding promotional releases, and eventually Per's departure to form Wolverine. With original cover artwork by the band however, 'Art To The Blind' certainly demonstrates technical accomplishment as they forged a heavy progressive sound with frequently changing time signatures and a distorted bass rhythms which would please King Crimson fans.

'Transmissions', 2003's eventual follow-up, was once more a 4 track, 22 minute EP, fronted by the tonally mellower female vocals of Anni Thulin. Without a record deal, the self-released EP nevertheless contains four eclectic tracks, which continue in the same vein from their previous work. Work had started on a full studio release follow up in the autumn of 2003, with the rather apt working title of 'About Time', for which three tracks had been completed, one of which 'Submergency', found its way onto the band's web site.

Frustratingly scant and fractured, Book Of Hour's discography is nevertheless a welcome addition to the Heavy Prog genre, as the album reviews will attest, and beside the above, obvious influences, their music will also be of interest for fans of heavy prog which has a slightly dark, eclectic, artistic feel.

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Art to the BlindArt to the Blind
Import
Record Heaven 2000
Audio CD$16.61
$5.57 (used)
King Crimson & VDGG According To The Book Or HoursKing Crimson & VDGG According To The Book Or Hours
Import
Phantom Sound & Vision 2008
Audio CD$15.97 (used)
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BOOK OF HOURS discography


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

BOOK OF HOURS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.63 | 18 ratings
Art To The Blind
1999

BOOK OF HOURS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

BOOK OF HOURS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

BOOK OF HOURS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

BOOK OF HOURS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Demo cassette
1997
3.95 | 2 ratings
We Find Your Lack Of Faith Disturbing
1998
5.00 | 1 ratings
King Crimson and Van Der Graaf Generator according to Book of Hours
2003
3.82 | 2 ratings
Transmissions
2003

BOOK OF HOURS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Art To The Blind by BOOK OF HOURS album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.63 | 18 ratings

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Art To The Blind
Book Of Hours Heavy Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars The story of this Swedish act dates back in mid-90's, when bassist Mattias Reinholdsson and multi-instrumentalist Henrik Johansson decided to form their own group.They brought some old bandmates to complete the original line-up: singer Stefan Zell, guitarist/keyboardist Per Broddesson and keyboardist Ulf Nygerds.After the demo "Previously unreleased", recorded in August 97', Nygerds quit and in early 98' Broddesson parted ways for a short time with the group, replaced by Stefan's brother Mikael.In late 98', with Broddesson back in the line-up, Book of Hours released a second demo, "We find your lack of faith disturbing'', the last recording of Stefan Zell with the group.Eventually the official debut ''Art to the blind'' saw the light in May 99' after a contact with Record Heaven.Stefan Zell helped the group, carrying out the vocals as a guest member.

Book of Hours played a Heavy/Psych Progressive Rock with a contemporary sound and a style close to compatriots ANEKDOTEN and LANDBERK, lacking though the instrumental depth of these legends, yet performing some powerful and energetic music all the way.70's Progers TRETTIOARIGA KRIGET might be also a good comparison.''Art to the blind'' is based on the guitar work of Broddesson and Mikael Zell in an extreme degree, offering textures full of passionate grooves, sudden gears, complex moves and heavy riffing, which recall KING CRIMSON.Still there are some nice rockin' solos to offer another different dimension by the duo.Keyboards are used sporadically and the need of a richer sound is evident in the process.When used, they create a very atmospheric mood in the style of the aforementioned Swedish masters and the sound obtains a vintage flavor as a result.The vocals are great: Passionate and expressive with a high amount of energy.Combined with the dynamic rhythm section and the crunchy, intricate guitar exercises, they produce high voltage music for lovers of the maximum of volumes.

Book of Hours' debut is an interesting album for anyone into the heavier side of Progressive Rock music.Not very Scandinavian-sounding as many of their compatriots, but definitely highly energetic and passionate music with a fair dose of complexity in the guitars' section.Recommended.

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 Art To The Blind by BOOK OF HOURS album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.63 | 18 ratings

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Art To The Blind
Book Of Hours Heavy Prog

Review by Prog-jester
Prog Reviewer

3 stars It’s a very good album in its own right, nevertheless it’s hard to avoid ANEKDOTEN comparison. Also classic KC and VDGG come to mind, though sometimes band sounds much heavier (opening riff in “Infertile Ground” reminds of one in “The Ones who helped to set the Sun” from DREAM THEATER’s debut). Nice yet typically Swedish vocals (as if floating above the quirky signatures and structures) with a slight accent (btw, the singer is also a bass-player ;) ), heavy guitars and mostly background keyboards (there are some notable exceptions though) and energetic rhythm-section. There are some forgettable tracks and the whole mood is kinda indecision-like, but it’s a good and recommended album after all. If you like Scandinavian Prog, it’ll meet your expectations for sure

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 Art To The Blind by BOOK OF HOURS album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.63 | 18 ratings

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Art To The Blind
Book Of Hours Heavy Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I was surprised to read this band didn't name themselves after the ANEKDOTEN song.They had just completed their first demo and still didn't have a name when one of the guys wrote BOOK OF HOURS on the cover of the demo, and the rest is history. I was astonished to see that Stefan Zell sings on this record, and his brother plays keyboards and guitar.The Zell brothers have been part of WOLVERINE for some time now. Stefan actually was with BOOK OF HOURS from the beginning but quit to form WOLVERINE back in 1995, he's listed as a guest vocalist here. Stefan sings so much better now than he did here or even on earlier WOLVERINE records.This album "Art To The Blind" was released in 1999 after which Mikael Zell and the lead guitarist here Per Broddesson left to join Stefan in WOLVERINE. They released their first album in 2001 called "The Window Purpose".

The first song on "Art To The Blind" is a nice heavy instrumental called "Angloksangest". Nice chunky bass lines and pounding drums.The guitar 2 1/2 minutes in is good as the heavy sound continues. "Fifth Dimension" has this releaxed intro as vocals arrive a minute in. It kicks in at 3 minutes. Mellotron follows then guitar after 4 minutes. It settles again but then kicks back in at 6 minutes. mellotron follows. Excellent track. My favourite song is "Infinite", this could be an ANEKDOTEN song. It hits the ground running with heavy drums and bass. Just an awesome sound here. It settles with angular guitar and fat bass as vocals arrive. A tasteful guitar solo 4 minutes in. "Endearment" begins with mournful vocals, which are replaced by flute, which in turn are replaced by vocals that sound processed this time, mellotron rolls in and the song builds into a great sound. It sounds like ANEKDOTEN before 3 minutes and after 4 minutes. Some interesting guitar moves at the end of this one with mellotron.

Some maniac drumming on "Infertile Ground". I like the instrumental section after 3 minutes that lasts almost 2 1/2 minutes. Grinding guitar to end it. "Tender Contempt" has a heavy SABBATH sounding intro with menacing vocals. It does lighten and calm down though then kicks back in but it's not doom-like. The contrasts continue. "Fading From Grey" opens with keys as laid back vocals join in then flute. It kicks in at 2 1/2 minutes (great sound) then settles again. "Den Trettonde Manaden" has Swedish vocals and is dark and powerful. It reminds me of ANATHEMA. A top three track for sure.

This is beautiful Swedish music that I highly recommend. WOLVERINE fans especially might be interested in checking out the Zell brothers and Per earlier in their careers.

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 Transmissions  by BOOK OF HOURS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2003
3.82 | 2 ratings

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Transmissions
Book Of Hours Heavy Prog

Review by bluesilver65

4 stars This 22 minutes EP is interesting. But, it's only a fraction of what the band can do. Even if the sound is not so professional, the music is quite enjoyable. Some people will love this stuff. Honestly, after only a few listenings, I can't stop playing it. The magic is very subtle and hard to discover/understand, so with concentration, it can start to emerge.

I'm not a specialist about King Crimson, but I can recognize some similitudes in Book Of Hours' music, specially when the flute goes on while the guitars and the bass still plays, and with a drum, slowly coming in. Some riffs, notably during the intros, remind me of Tool. But there's is few keyboards: it is really concentrated on the guitars. The female singer is talented and her voice fits very well with the rest of the music. The only thing I could complain about her, is that she's always singing in the same tonality. I would love to hear her singing in different ways, with different intensities.

All the four tracks contain interesting material, without a doubt. The first one, 'Where The Ocean Meets The Sea', is a little agressive. The second one, 'Dissonance', is rather slow and strange. The third one, 'In-between', gets a little symphonic with an oriental background. The fourth one, 'Anomy', is greatly powerful because of that musical harmony that keeps going on with more and more intensity - I love it!!!

There's another track on their website, called 'Submergency', which could have complete this EP. So, I encourage you to download it to get an idea of their style, still it's not enough to show you what they are if you do not have this EP. They have a new album coming out soon, with a new guitarist named Jonas Hansson. Let's see which turn BOOK OF HOURS will take - I'm sure it will be very interesting!

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 Art To The Blind by BOOK OF HOURS album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.63 | 18 ratings

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Art To The Blind
Book Of Hours Heavy Prog

Review by Eetu Pellonpää
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars I must admit that I didin't find this band's music very much like ANEKDOTEN's (their two first records probably due the release of this record), as BOOK OF HOURS is not as adventorous in their solutions, nor is there such overwhelmingly dark mellow atmoshphere in the music. I feel that the music is more influenced by DREAM THEATER, though their aesthetics are not as artificial as that band creates in my opinion (no mean to offend anyone with this). The songs are both in English and Swedish, and the most lenghty of them are quite decent, the last one being truly the best. If you like artistic heavy rock, this is certainly a good choice, though not my personal favorite. It would be interesting to hear the demos!

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 Art To The Blind by BOOK OF HOURS album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.63 | 18 ratings

BUY
Art To The Blind
Book Of Hours Heavy Prog

Review by Greger
Prog Reviewer

5 stars The Swedish progressive symphonic metal / hard rock band BOOK OF HOURS was formed in 1996. With two demo tapes behind them, Record Heaven contacted them in 1999 to release BOOK OF HOURS debut CD. ANEKDOTEN influences the band, and you can hear a lot of it in their music. There's also reminiscences to DREAM THEATER and LANDBERK. The distorted bass and the heavy guitars together with the strong melodies forms a high-class progressive rock. My favourite tracks are "Fifth dimension", "Infertile Ground", "Tender contempt" and the final track "Den trettonde månaden", which got lyrics in Swedish. The band did the nice cover by themselves. This is one of the best releases so far in 1999. Strongly recommended!

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 We Find Your Lack Of Faith Disturbing by BOOK OF HOURS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1998
3.95 | 2 ratings

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We Find Your Lack Of Faith Disturbing
Book Of Hours Heavy Prog

Review by Greger
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The Swedish progressive symphonic metal / hard rock band BOOK OF HOURS were put together in 1996. This is a four-track demo tape, and it's their second, showing a band on the verge to a break-through. BOOK OF HOURS influences are as diverse as BLUE ÖYSTER CULT, JUDAS PRIEST, HELLOWEEN, DREAM THEATER, PET SHOP BOYS, SPIN DOCTORS, TORI AMOS, MESHUGGAH, VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR, GENTLE GIANT, BJÖRK and RADIOHEAD. They seem to be big IRON MAIDEN fans as two of their favourite albums are Bruce DICKINSON's "Skunkworks" and IRON MAIDEN's "Piece of mind". Their music is reminiscent to ANEKTODEN, and just like ANEKDOTEN they are frequently using distorted bass. My favourite track are the final "Den trettonde månaden", which got lyrics in Swedish. I recommend this CD, especially if you're into ANEKDOTEN.

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