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VALINOR'S TREE

Heavy Prog • Sweden


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Valinor's Tree biography

Formed during the mid 90's, this Swedish, heavy progressive quartet comprises Anders Lindgren (Bass), John Lönnmyr (Keyboards), Mattias Jarlhed (Drums; 'Simon Says') & Ola Sivefäldt (Guitars), with all four assisting with vocals.
The band's sound is difficult to categorise. The prominent, expressive rhythm section gives the band a 'Tool-esque' alt-metal feel, while simultaneously showing clear influence from both ANEKDOTEN (primarily owing to their use of mellotrons), and 'Red' era KING CRIMSON. This sound-scape underpins their often bleak, depressing, angst filled lyrical subject matter, especially on their debut album, 1998's 'Kingdom of Sadness', which revolve around death and hatred; a general tone which continued onto their follow-up; 2000's more song based '.And Then There Was Silence.'

According to drummer Mattias Jarlhed, material had been written for a third studio album, which would arguably take the band into a more commercial direction (whilst maintaining the important 'Ängladoten' influence), however the wait has now lasted nine years.

Whilst comparisons with both ANEKDOTEN and ÄNGLAGÅRD are going to be inevitable for any Swedish outfit professing to play 'Heavy Prog', VALINOR'S TREE's style of heavy prog is ultimately a little more melodic. Consequently, they could also appeal to fans of the Alt-Metal scene, as well as those of the heavier neo scene, such as ARENA and PALLAS.

Jared Butcher (2009)

Valinor's Tree official website

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Buy VALINOR'S TREE Music


And Then There Is SilenceAnd Then There Is Silence
Record Heaven
Audio CD$14.90 (used)
Kingdom Of SadnessKingdom Of Sadness
Import
Phantom Sound & Vision 2008
Audio CD$10.00
$15.99 (used)

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VALINOR'S TREE discography


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VALINOR'S TREE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.65 | 13 ratings
Kingdom of Sadness
1998
3.12 | 17 ratings
And Then There is Silence
2000

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VALINOR'S TREE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Kingdom of Sadness by VALINOR'S TREE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.65 | 13 ratings

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Kingdom of Sadness
Valinor's Tree Heavy Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Another band from Sweden, which contributed in its own way to the Scandinvian revival of Prog during the 90's.It is unclear when the band was formed, possibly sometime around mid-90's, featuring Simon Says' drummer Mattias Jarlhed along with guitarist Ola Sivefäldt, bassist/guitarist Anders Lindgren and keyboardist John Lönnmyr.They recorded their debut in February/March 1998 at the Kappelet Studio in Falköping and the album was released the same year on Record Heaven under the title ''Kingdom of Sadness''.

The eponymous track is the absolute highlight of the album.Based on a furious groove and the fast piano paces of Lönnmyr, it goes through many changing tempos with impressive guitar parts and great work on Mellotron, containing also superb breaks along the way, much in the vein of LANDBERK and ANEKDOTEN, maybe a bit more modern.''Cold'' is another good piece of modern Prog opening with warm vocals and a melancholic piano theme and growing into a powerful chorus with sharp synthesizers and a grandiose atmosphere.The middle part though closes to spacey soundscapes with some hypnotic bass lines and acoustic guitars.''Memories'' follows the same form, more or less.Smooth introduction, powerful and intense chorus and an energetic ending, which grows from slighly experimental atmospheres to dynamic Heavy Prog.The longest track of the album, entitled ''Deep'', sounds a bit incosistent, still contains some really cool moments.It reminds me strongly of the diverse music of PAIN OF SALVATION with unrelated styles stuck together in a inspirational way and scanning the music of acts such as RUSH, KING CRIMSON and even A.C.T., trying to blend the hard face of Prog music with more melodic textures.Again the keyboard and piano work of Lönnmyr is at moments phenomenal.

Great debut by a band that desrved more fame.The first track is a killer one, the rest are also nice examples of Progressive Rock music heading to the millenium.Fresh and adventurous material, definitely strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 And Then There is Silence by VALINOR'S TREE album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.12 | 17 ratings

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And Then There is Silence
Valinor's Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars VALINOR'S TREE are a Swedish band much in the vein of ANGLAGARD and ANEKDOTEN although less so on this album when compared to their debut.The vocalist is the biggest turn off as he sounds out of tune at times. And considering the music is really good (especially their debut) this becomes a frustrating listen for me. What could have been.

"Fields Of Sorrow" has an excellent intro before it settles when the vocals arrive. It kicks back in and the vocals are brutal here. Contrasts continue. "Like A Whisper" is mellow as reserved vocals and piano join in. It kicks in with power 2 minutes in as contrasts continue. "Tell Me A Story" is my favourite track on here. It's heavy with reserved vocals and piano. Very Swedish. Chunky bass comes in as it gets more intense. Contrasts continue. Great section 5 minutes in. It's powerful but then it calms right down. Piano, bass and guitar are outstanding before 7 minutes.

"Come Home" features picked guitar and vocals. Clarinet joins in. It turns more passionate and I don't like the vocals as usual when he tries to sing harder. "Reaching For Angels" has this beat with vocals and some atmosphere. "Silence Within" opens with bass. It's building. It's built ! Guitar before 2 minutes,vocals a minute later. A calm with piano 6 1/2 minutes in then it kicks back in. "She Will Dance No More" comes from left field as they give us this Jazzy track with sax, bass, drums and piano. The vocals are poor. "Autumn Rain" opens with the sound of children in the background. It's pastoral as sax comes in.

The vocals aren't quite as bad as on the debut but then the music isn't as good either.

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 Kingdom of Sadness by VALINOR'S TREE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.65 | 13 ratings

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Kingdom of Sadness
Valinor's Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is just a joy to listen to instrumentally. Very Swedish sounding, in that it is fairly dark and melancholic. They use sampled mellotron on this album while on the follow up "And Then There Is Silence" they borrowed a real one. The vocals really kill this one for me. They are really over the top at times (straining), and out of tune once and a while. If they could re-record this with another vocalist i'd be overjoyed because the music is so good.

The first song and title track "Kingdom Of Sadness" does not disappoint though, and it's worth the price of admission. There is a couple of cringe moments with the vocals but the song is fantastic ! "Cold" is a fairly mellow, sad and restrained tune. "Memories" follows the same path as the previous song, but the vocals are worse. "Deep" is laid back until it kicks in around a minute. I like the heaviness.This contrast continues.

This really is frustrating because they obviously have a lot of talent and I really like their style, but for the love of all that is good and right get a new vocalist !

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 And Then There is Silence by VALINOR'S TREE album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.12 | 17 ratings

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And Then There is Silence
Valinor's Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Prog-jester
Prog Reviewer

4 stars ...just wonder,where they are now...

OK,the second one is not that genius.It has kinda "modern" track ("Reaching for Angels") and two LANBERK-like tracks ("Like a Whisper" and "Autumn Rain").I must admit these ones are probably the weakest songs on the whole album.But the opening "Fields of Sorrow" (as well as the epic "Tell me a Story") shows the band's undying potential to create an interesting New Symphonic Prog.Scandinavia rules!!!Recommended to all GENESIS/CAMEL/LANDBERK/ANEKDOTEN/SINKADUS/KING CRIMSON/ANGLAGARD fans,and especially for those ones who have the first CD of VALINOR'S TREE

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 Kingdom of Sadness by VALINOR'S TREE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.65 | 13 ratings

BUY
Kingdom of Sadness
Valinor's Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Prog-jester
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Another favourite of mine from the recent times.Why not to give a CD the whole 5 stars if the CD worth it?Pure brilliance,only this voice with accent is a bit weak.Musically it is a great mixture of GENESIS and ANEKDOTEN,well-played and composed,with awesome melodies (just to mention astonishing "Kingdom of Sadness").Swedish Prog becomes a synonym of flawless New Symphonic Prog for me!!!Highly recommended to all proggers!!! Try not to miss it!

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 And Then There is Silence by VALINOR'S TREE album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.12 | 17 ratings

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And Then There is Silence
Valinor's Tree Heavy Prog

Review by dmwilkie

4 stars This is a fine prog album, although it is not one to listen to in order to blow the cobwebs away as most of the tracks are meditative in mood, although there are occasional heavier moments. There are many beautiful, melodic sections, especially piano, and the songs tend to be quite sad.

The star track for me is the opener, 'Fields of sorrow' which has a catchy riff, and a breathtaking moment when the heavy-sounding, mellotron-backed chorus suddenly morphs into ethereal piano tinkling.'Come Home' is enhanced by a string quartet and Mattias Jarlhed's clarinet, an unusual instument in prog, but very effective here. 'Reaching for Angels' has a pleasant sunthesiser backdrop to the emotional vocals. The two final tracks, She Will Dance No More' and the gentle, beautiful 'Autumn Rain are given a light jazzy feel by the very effective use of trumpet. The weak point in the album is the longest track 'Tell Me A Story' which is pleasant enough, but does not have enough ideas to justify its length.

All in all, a pleasant hour's listening for those 'in vacant or in pensive mood'.

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 Kingdom of Sadness by VALINOR'S TREE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.65 | 13 ratings

BUY
Kingdom of Sadness
Valinor's Tree Heavy Prog

Review by dmwilkie

4 stars An excellent cd with longish tracks which have clever tempo changes, and include heavy-ish guitar with a fair amount of mellotron backing. The vocals are heartfelt and the lyrics present a fairly typical Swedish prog melancholia. The production is poor at times and the backing vocals can be a bit ropey. All in all,though, a consistently enjoyable listening experience.

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 And Then There is Silence by VALINOR'S TREE album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.12 | 17 ratings

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And Then There is Silence
Valinor's Tree Heavy Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Powerfully agressive in the Landberk/Anglagard/Anekdoten mode, these swedish musicians really stretch the envelope , combining the distinctive Scandinavian influences with their own very special take on modern prog. The at times strident and passionate vocals (pained one moment and seductive the next) are a notch above the rest, combined with the devastating bass guitar play, courtesy of Anders Lindgren really steal the show. Solid keyboards constantly flavour the flow with acoustic guitars crearing little islands of musical ponderance before Ola Sivefeldt suddenly unleashes a Frippian tinged lead blast when needed and some crunchy rythm work to boot. On "tell me a Story" and "Come Here" , the lads display a keen sense of drama, igniting the fuse leading to a real gem (a tad more commercial perhaps) , the mesmerizing "reaching for Angels" . This fragile and plaintive lament seduces immediatly, grooved by a dizzying bass rumble, caressed with some delicate piano tinkling and culminating in a chorus to die for! There is a very electro feel as well with gurgling synths and synthetic orchestrations that give this a very contemporary mood. . The next track, "Silence Within" is another monster , alternating soft pastelled arrangements with some judicious use of bombast, in order to stretch the emotional contrasts even further. Replete with hypnotic twists and turns, this fiery blast of melomania sears itself deep into the soul, exciting all the pleasure centers. Then, out of the blue, they have the daring to suggest a quasi-Brazilian bossa nova mode that blossoms into another sublime chorus led by Ola , kicking this tune into very high gear, blazing guitars and massed voices pounding away with no pity and , on a dime, reverting to a little "Rio" trumpet riff , very caribbean jazz, before blowing the roof off in a dizzying climax Whoa! This roller coaster ends on a mellow autumnal note, "Autumn Rain' with storm effects punctuating the melancholic mood, hypnotically serene like a walk in nature. Great record and deserving of unmitigated praise. 4 meatballs

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 And Then There is Silence by VALINOR'S TREE album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.12 | 17 ratings

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And Then There is Silence
Valinor's Tree Heavy Prog

Review by hdfisch
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I stumbled over the band's name, because the drummer of VALINOR'S TREE Mattias Jarlhed is playing on SIMON SAYS' CD "Paradise Square", a very excellent record that should apply to all fans of Gabriel-era GENESIS which I bought recently. Listening through the album presented here, I have to say it's something completely different from that. And it's true, I can't find much simlarity with bands like WHITE WILLOW, ANEKDOTEN, SINKADUS or LANDBERK apart of the track "Tell Me a Story" which is quite good and could be as well one of ANEKDOTEN or LIQUID SCARLET. It has very Crimson-like guitar/bass playing, a nice mellotronic sound and great drum work as well. But in fact if one would buy the album after listening only to this song before, one would definitely be disappointed. Because for the rest of the album the title fits perfectly. Not really bad at all, but quite below average for a prog album. It varies from mellow alternative or smooth-jazz type songs, nice but not very exciting, to more or less pure alternative rock, just played with a prog rock equipment. I find the music as well not so much comparable with the newer releases of ANATHEMA (which I like) or RADIOHEAD (which I don't like). If there would be a thing called "Alternative Prog", I think this album could be described like that. Maybe it could be interesting for any alternative or mainstream rock listener as a starting point to come more into prog rock music. I don't know their debut, but reading the reviews it was obviously much better and more in a progrock vein. Prog listeners and fans of the above mentioned Scandinavian bands I'd like to advice to keep hands off this album. Normally I would rate it not more than 1 star, but I give one star extra just for track #3.

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 And Then There is Silence by VALINOR'S TREE album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.12 | 17 ratings

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And Then There is Silence
Valinor's Tree Heavy Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

2 stars This second album is definitely a more diverse affair than its debut. This will be forever linked to Twin Age's third album that I brought home the same day and I threw myself on those two albums like a madman. After having listened to both albums , I was a MADMAN looking for the first thing to murder that got in my way (gladfully , it was a mosquito or else I would be writing this review from the Jail library) as I was horrified by both. I went back to my dear retailer friend who sold them to me , shoved them down his throat and destroyed the rest of his store. Before I did this, he gave me the money back , and solemnly swore he would never sell such stuff again and begged for his life to be saved. I , of course , did him the favor of buying two other CDs (I went for safety and got Coltrane at the Vanguard Village - Max , when do we get to review Coltrane and why are we not able to give six stars?) .

The music on this album, you ask? Well don't look too much at the prog group Marcello speaks about for I found nothing of the sort and this is different than the previous one . I found this album sort of a cross between Noisy Rock and prog much alike to Hamadryad . This is strictly from memory, though.

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