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Crossover Prog • Sweden

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Avgrunden biography
Swedish band AVGRUNDEN was a short-lived entity consisting of Janos Szakacs (guitar), Lars-Olof Nyström (bass), Raimo Juntunen (violin, maracas, mandolin, harmonica, vocals), Sven-Olof Lorentzen (clarinet), Thomas Åkermark (drums) and Torbjörn Engström (piano, vocals). Their sole release was "Nu Närmar Vi Oss." from 1975.

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3.29 | 7 ratings
Nu Närmar Vi Oss.

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Nu Närmar Vi Oss. by AVGRUNDEN album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.29 | 7 ratings

Nu Närmar Vi Oss.
Avgrunden Crossover Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

4 stars I continue my 1974 journey with an internationaly unknown Swedish "progg" record "Nu närmar vi oss avgrunden" by the band "Avgrunden". It was recorded in november 1974 and released 1975. The Swedish progg movemevent was principally political and included folk music, prog rock, pop rock, hard rock, avant garde and visor(close to ballad). Avgrunden only made one record and exhibits a music full of different instruments, some time changes and a happy melodic feeling you can find in some jazz rock or light symphonic rock bands. The lyrics are very political in a socialistic spirit. In many ways the movement was very naive and made silly conclusions but the presence of belief makes the lyrics important. The rich fauna of instruments is also a general ingredient of this type of music.

Avgrunden consisted of Torbjörn(Tobe) Engström who played electric piano, nail piano, grand piano, vocals and saxophone, Raimo Juntonen who played electric guitar, violin, vocals, kettle-drum, flute, cow-bell, harmonica, saw, acoustic guitar, mandolin and maraccas, Sven Olof (Figge) Lorentzen who played clarinet, vocals, electric guitar and acoustic guitar, Lars-Olof(Lasse) Nyström who played bas, contrabas and vocals, Janos Szakacs who played electric guitar, vocals, mandolin, talk and grand piano and finally Thomas Åkermark wo played drums and tambourin.

I have the old vinyl from MNW which also contains a nice booklet with the lyrics. I guess it's hard to find this record but that's also part of the allure. The short instrumental intro and outro "Signaturen" is pleasant and vital but if we talk about instrumentals,"Mexico" is better, a very enjoyable thing in different velocities. The lyrical and fine played "En annorlunda sommarvisa" is a highlight as well as "Skräckäventyr". Many of the songs are very political and discusses problems in the seventies that of course could be related to this modern age too such as "Gamsången", "Avgrundslagen" and "Aldrig i livet". Constantly the songs are well played, has interesting lyrics and the music is progressive too, a mixture of styles, a bit jazz and a bit rock. My song to song rating ends at 3.8 stars which becomes a four star rating and a record I really recommend. The best songs are: "Avgrundlagen" and "Mexico".

 Nu Närmar Vi Oss. by AVGRUNDEN album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.29 | 7 ratings

Nu Närmar Vi Oss.
Avgrunden Crossover Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

3 stars In Sweden much of the progressive music scene was highly political, ranging from socialist views to outright communist. The political message seemed, at times, more important than the music. I, for one, love this music. It is both charming in a sometimes naive way and very much of it's time. Some bands are extremely good (Trettioåriga kriget, Samla Mammas Manna etc.) and some were really bad, though not always uninteresting.

Avgrunden (The Abyss, in swedish) was a band from the south of Sweden that released one album of folky, jazz-tinged progressive music with political lyrics. Just take a look at the cover. The swedish flag has this red star in it's center, proclaiming the band's (and the swedish progressive music scene's) vision of the future. Struggle and strife will result in the downfall of capitalism. A new world in the morning, as it were.

The album starts and ends with "Signaturen" (The theme). It then kicks off with allt the signature trademarks of Avgrunden. Jazzy, folky and really competent. There are lyrics about the computers taking over (Datamaskin) and the swedish country-side and what's happening there. All politizised and kicking against the establishment with it's capitalist minds.

Though not one of the best albums of the era, Avgrunden made a really pleasant album. Now I don't mind left wing policies myself but if you do, you ought to focus on the music. It is really a quite original blend as far as Sweden is concerned. Well written and very well executed. I think that the mix of genres (folk, jazz, rock) is really something. The electric piano is very present, making the jazzy side of things really stand out.

When I got this album on vinyl back in the early 90's it spent quite some time in my Walkman. I have fond memories of this album and I do listen to it every now and then. I wish it would be released on CD in the future but I doubt it.

All in all a very pleasant, quite original and well constructed album.

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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