Gosta Berlings Saga - Tid Är Ljud. 2006 Sweden

Gösta Berlings Saga could be considered the perfect modern Swedish progressive rock band. They look inward towards their own country for melodic inspiration, rather than the UK/US style of groups like The Flower Kings. Second album Kebnekaise is about where they land on the Swedish scale, but Gösta Berlings Saga are far more symphonic than that may imply. They use plenty of vintage instrumentation (as expected, primarily in the keyboard department with mellotron, Rhodes and various Moogs), yet the production and overall sound has a modern sensibility. Gösta Berlings Saga are one of the few groups of our era that do not belong to a current sub-genre, such as post rock, prog metal, neo, avant, retro / proto, jazz/fusion etc... They are, in fact, a straight ahead progressive rock group. They have respect for the 1970s, but aren't stuck in it. This might all seem like we're smack dab in the middle of our interest area, and thus might be a little boring or uninspired. And yet it's not at all that way, proving that the old recipes are generally better than the new concoctions. A pretty new room in an old house.

It's near impossible to pick highlights. All of the tracks are remarkably consistent, though by no means samey sounding. I will also allow that there's no drop dead killer tracks either. 'Helgamarktz' & 'Syrenernas Sång' lay the foundation of what Tid Är Ljud is about and if you like these two, it's highly likely you'll love the rest. 'Aniarasviten' has a stunning melody as its centerpiece, to an overall excellent moody composition. 'Ljud Från Stan' is more of a psychedelic jam rock piece, with fine guitar and Rhodes soloing. Gösta Berlings Saga shines in this setting and are able to maintain the intensity necessary. 'Tog du Med dig Naturen?' & 'Knölsvanen' seem to blow by, without having much impact. They're both fine tracks, and perhaps it's their placement that keeps them from standing out, even on multiple successive listens. 'Svarta Hål och Elljusspår' adds flute to great effect, providing the right soft focus lead instrument Gösta Berlings Saga definitely needs to get to the next level. All in all, a highly recommended album.

Personal collection
CD: 2006 Transubstans

Last listen: June 24, 2011

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