Gösta Berlings Saga - Tid Ar Ljud


Year of Release: 2006
Label: Transubstans Records
Catalog Number: Trans 022
Format: CD
Total Time: 55:38:00

What a great find! This all-instrumental Swedish four-piece hailing from Stockholm was completely unknown to me but their album hasn't left my CD-player for weeks now. Incredible melodic and highly skilled authentic progressive with elements of Happy the Man, early King Crimson, Kebnekajse, Änglagärd and Anekdoten (with all the mellotron parts having been recorded in Anekdoten's rehearsal room), with a great emphasis on keyboards. Especially the Fender Rhodes is omni-present, sometimes nicely blending with the electric guitar as during "Syrenernas Sang," which also introduces some wailing slide guitar. With "Aniarasviten" it's like stepping back into a time capsule and heading to the very beginning of Camel, featuring some tasty guitar. Although the band's music on this debut album is mainly based around strong melodies the members do mention bands like Magma, Univers Zero and Neu!, too, influences that might probably pop up more during live gigs when these guys will most definitely improvise more! Talking of improvisation "Ljud Från Stan" does rub shoulders with the psychedelic era as a bluesy mist hangs over the lengthy composition and delivers some Grateful Dead madness as time evolves.

Violin is added to the repetitive "Tog Du Med Dig Naturen?," introducing a fair slice of melancholy. During "Knölsvanen," guitar and keyboards blend together to create an interesting sound. This in turn moves towards the kind of synth sound one would associate with the late Alan Gowen (National Health). The final track "Svarta Hål Och Elljusspåre" does tend to find itself in the same domain as UK, with the sound of the snare even being close to Bill Bruford's approaches. Flute introduces a more relaxed and calm section harking back to the heydays of Krautrock. In fact the first half of the album and the second part do tend to shed a different light on the band. The first part is more melodic, maybe lighter in a sense whereas the second part is darker, more repetitive at times. Yet both parts are most distinctively Gösta Berlings Saga illustrating the versatility of the band.

Although Gösta Berlings Saga's music might be catalogued under the heading "serious music," these four gifted guys do have a healthy sense of humour as they describe their band as "that band your unmarried, childless uncle with that beard and the weird smell likes"! No doubt this humour would continue should they decide to add lyrics to their music. However, I'm more than happy with their all-instrumental approach so don't throw in a lousy singer and continue what you're doing!

The name of the band is derived from an old novel by Selma Lagerlöf issued in 1891 and made into a silent-movie in 1924 starring the legendary Greta Garbo. The album is concept based and deals with the interaction between city and nature. We let the band describe the songs in short so you'll have a better idea of what it's about:

"Helgamarktz" - an introduction to the small world of Gösta Berlings Saga. A panorama of the big city and an adjacent forest and all creatures that reside therein.

"Syrenernas Sang" - a song about distanced and hopeless love.

"Aniarasviten" - a three-part story about nocturnal space travel inspired by the novel Aniara written in 1948 by the Swedish author Harry Martinsson.

"Ljud Från Stan" - a song about the swarming metropolis as seen through the eyes of the forest and its beings.

"Tog Du Med Dig Naturen?" - This song is about the big de-population of the Swedish countryside and all the feelings of uncertainty and anxiety involved in this. The interpretation of the different stages in this process is up to the listener to grasp, but I think it's quite obvious when listening to the song.

"Knölsvanen" - this one is about a gracious swan that rules her pond in the heart of the forest.

"Svarta Hål Och Elljusspår" - this is probably the most spaced-out track on the album and it tells a story about an orienteer running around like orienteers normally do. Suddenly he senses the presence of the previously mentioned forest being and ends up in ancient Egypt (!). The last part is about his strenuous journey back to present time, but as soon as he gets back home things are not what he expected. Like a prog rock interpretation of Army Of Darkness or something.


Tracklisting:
Helgamarktz (5:08) / Syrenernas Sang (8:08) / Aniarasviten (8:20) / Ljud Från Stan (7:51) / Tog Du Med Dig Naturen (9:53) / KnöLsvanen (7:1) / Svarta Hål Och Elljusspår (8:15)

Musicians:
David Lundberg - Fender Rhodes, synthesizer, Mellotron
Alexander Skepp - drums, percussion, Mellotron, Solina
Matthias Danielsson - acoustic & electric guitars, finger cymbals
Gabriel Hermansson - bass

Discography:
Tid Ar Ljud (2006)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin SE

Added: October 30th 2006
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg
Score:
Artist website: www.gostaberlingssaga.se
Hits: 2091
Language: english

  

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