Heavy Prog • Sweden

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Siena Root picture
Siena Root biography
Siena Root is a group and an experimental project with its roots in analogue old school rock music. The foundation is a trio from Stockholm that's been around since the late '90s. The sound is classic but yet original, founded on heavy organ, strat leads, bass riffing and big drums. It is also often enriched with bluesy soulful vocals, indian classical instruments and psychedelic vibes.

In the sense that blues is blue, hard rock is black, and reggae is pan African coloured, this music has the colour of siena. It is a warm, earthy colour, originally from the muddy roots of Toscana. Because this sound has roots that go deep, it was also natural to let root be a part of the bands name.

Four full lenght albums and one 7" single have been released so far, each one marking the development and refinement of the bands diverse style. Through touring the music has developed in such a way, that jamming and improvising has become an essential element, always keeping you on the edge of your seat. A Siena Root concert is dramatic and exciting, visually, as well as emotionally. It's a dynamic rootrock experience.

Through the years, all these fine musicians have performed with the band, on stage or in the studio:
Anna Myrsten - Vocals
Anna Sandberg - Wind instruments
Anurag Choudhari - Bansuri
Cecilia Ringkvist - Vocals
Erik "Erkan" Lundin - Flute & Guitar
Janet Jones Simmonds - Vocals
Jonas Myrenberg -Mandolin
Jonas "Joe Nash" Åhlen - Vocals
Krister "Lappen" Karlsson - Harmonica
Martin Budiskovschi - Monocord
Martin Linder - Guitar
Martin Stensson -Violin
Maxi Dread - Guitar & Vocals
Mikaela Samuelsson - Vocals
Oskar Lundström - Vocals & Organ
Sanya - Vocals
Sartez Faraj - Vocals & Guitar
Stian Grimstad - Sitar
Tia Marklund - Vocals & Guitar
Tängman - Hurdy Gurdy

Bio from the Band's website.

Siena Root official website

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A New Day DawningA New Day Dawning
Rockadrome 2009
Audio CD$12.01
$8.81 (used)
Far From The SunFar From The Sun
recheaven 2012
Audio CD$14.42
$12.69 (used)
Different RealitiesDifferent Realities
Sound Pollution 2014
Audio CD$12.05
$17.99 (used)
Root JamRoot Jam
recheaven 2011
Audio CD$169.15 (used)
Vinyl$94.00 (used)
Cleopatra 2014
Audio CD$13.98
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SIENA ROOT discography

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

4.86 | 7 ratings
A New Day Dawning
4.11 | 9 ratings
4.30 | 10 ratings
Far From the Sun
3.69 | 16 ratings
Different Realities

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

4.18 | 14 ratings
Root Jam

SIENA ROOT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Root Jam by SIENA ROOT album cover Live, 2011
4.18 | 14 ratings

Root Jam
Siena Root Heavy Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Swedish band SIENA ROOT has been around in one form or another since the late 1990's, with a few dozen past members and half a dozen or so current ones, but based around a core trio of musicians from my understanding. They released their debut album back in 2004, and since then three more full length studio creations have been released to a, to my understanding, steadily increasing fan base. "Root Jam" is their first live album, and was issued by Swedish label Transubstans Records in the fall of 2011.

Back in February 2012 I had the good fortune of seeing Siena Root performing live in Gothenburg. A splendid live band, preparing their live performance with care and attention to detail so that they can really flaunt their skills on stage later. One can say a lot about studio albums, but a well honed and well prepared band that create music suited to live performances will more often than not be better to experience in such circumstances rather to be investigated through a more polished studio creation documented on shiny plastic. Or good old fashioned vinyl, a format this band has a deep affection for it would seem, as all their productions are available also as LPs. Including this live recording.

Anyhow, this double disc set documents Siena Root's skills as a live band in a very nice manner. From my own experience with them I'd guess that there's little if any amount of doctoring added to this recording, as the vitality of their live performance have been captured quite nicely thank you.

As a band we're dealing with an entity firmly rooted in the 1970's. Black Sabbath tinged stoner rock sit side by side with harmonic inserts many Wishbone Ash fans will find pleasing, gentle organ passages that makes me think about Bo Hansson have their place here, so does more majestic parts closer to the likes of Deep Purple or Atomic Rooster, and there's even a fair few sequences that to my ears sounds like Black Sabbath organ style. Spirited hard rock sequences closer to Led Zeppelin is another rather common feature. An amalgam of the greatest from the 1970's book of sophisticated hard rock assembled into one tight package if you like, but with an overall sound very much their own despite the numerous references. Oh, and let's not forget about the improvisational nature of many songs, where the instrumental parts may veer of into shorter or more elongated instrument runs of the kind that you just don't record on studio albums.

Another aspect of this band's repertoire is the inclusion of elements from the psychedelic realms of course. What appears to be a violin but might as well be a hurdy gurdy makes the occasional appearance, for final track "Reverberations" I suspect it has to be the latter for sure in a raunchy, energetic duel alongside the organ towards the end. And adding even more psychedelic details to the proceedings the rather more widespread use of sitar, most prevalent in the songs whose titles doesn't appear to give much meaning for an English speaking crowd. Smells like India and sounds like Raga, to put it that way. And in a good manner too I might add, the brief "Bhairavi Thumri" one of the distinct highlights of this performance, despite the subdued and acoustic nature of this little gem. Speaking of which, the most sparkling gem of all to my ears is the one track on this performance that is vastly different from all the others, namely "Words". Another acoustic oriented performance, this one taking a deep excursion into jazz territories in a manner that makes me think of good, old Django and the countless artists he inspired.

All in all a high quality live album by Siena Root, well worth purchasing if you enjoy a band that takes pleasure in exploring the refined parts of 70's hard rock, liberally flavouring their music with more or less subtle psychedelic inspired details, and occasionally making detours right into the middle of that particular stylistic universe.


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 Different Realities by SIENA ROOT album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.69 | 16 ratings

Different Realities
Siena Root Heavy Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Swedish band SIENA ROOT was formed sometime in the late '90s, with a central core trio as the foundation of the band, while a minor army of musicians has participated on records and concerts in the following years. "Different Realities" is their fourth full-length venture and was issued by the Swedish label Transubstans Records in August 2009.

Eastern-tinged psychedelic hard rock with a sonic expression firmly placed in the early '70s is the name of the game on "Different Realities". And while the opening composition concentrates on the psychedelic hard rock part of the description, the second one has its focus set pretty deeply in raga territories. Those who find this sounding like an intriguing musical package to explore will most likely find this production to be a delightful experience ? as long as they don't expect anything of a highly sophisticated or overly progressive nature.


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 Different Realities by SIENA ROOT album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.69 | 16 ratings

Different Realities
Siena Root Heavy Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars 3.5 stars really!!

Yet another one of these Scandinavian retro-prog bands: I'm not using the term in a derogatory manner, but it's really the best way to describe their music, an excellent mainly instrumental psych-prog rock that is obviously very inspired of the 70's, all the way down to the recording process, entirely and proudly presented as 100% analogue, its general length (2 x 25') and its vinyl issue proudly announced on the mini-Lp's inner sleeve. Difficult to say whether the group is a trio or a sextet, because from the line-up listing, there are three musicians who don't appear very busy: the female vocalist, the flauter and the ac-&-el hurdy-gurdy player. The lion share of the music is handled by the guitarist-keyboardist KB West, but he's well-helped by bassist Riffer and percussionist Fursberg.

Music-wise, there are only two "sidelong" suites, each clocking a normal vinyl side (roughly 25') and composed of four and six movements respectively. When I spoke of retro-prog above, it's clear that SR's main influence are more in the early 70's heavy rock ala Zeppelin, Purple, Heep and Sabbath than in the ELP or Crimson realm, but their mix and songwriting makes their soundscapes definitely proggier than their influences. The A- sidelong track is called We and is the only one featuring (often effect-laden) vocals and lyrics (most of it in the first movement) and a tiny bit at its close, and there are some Mid- Eastern and Indian overtones spread throughout the "epic", namely some Arabian ambiances in the Desert movement. The music is moody, sometimes a bit hazy, slightly more "prog" than "psych" and never boring.

The "flipside" track starts out more Sabbath-y (as in slightly doomy) and if you listen well, you'll hear imbedded in the loud guitar grunts, some hurdy-gurdy, before the sitar, darbuka, tzouras and qaraqab and step in to evoke the Agartha/Raagmala realm. This "epic", while still complex is definitely more psych and jam-like than its companion piece. Fairly likely to please to 70's loving progheads that are not too-demanding accepting intellectually the "retro-prog" philosophy , SR's first album is an interesting (and even impressive, but not really essential) slice of today's prog scene, but I won't cross the line to call it "modern" prog either.


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Thanks to sean trane for the artist addition.

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