Stefan Fredin- bass guitar, vocals
Dag Lundquist- drums, percussion
Olle Thörnvall- harmonica, guitar
Johan Gullberg- drums
Pocke Öhrström. lead guitar, vocals
Dag "Krok" Kronlund- piano, organ
Recorded and mixed by Dag Lundquist at Teaterverkstan, Saltsjöbaden, Sweden in the winter of 1970-71.
Photos: Jan-Åke Persson.
Cover by Ossie and Johan Gullberg.
Mastered by Claes Persson at CRP Recording, Stockholm, Sweden November 2003.
Arranged and produced by Trettioåriga Kriget.
Review from www.dprp.net:
I first discovered legendary Swedish proggers Trettioåriga Kriget (Thirty Years War) via a series of weekly, late-night English language broadcasts from Radio Sweden in the mid 1970’s. I remember being intrigued by their exotic twist on my beloved Prog rock but I was too young at that time to catch one of their British concerts, and their original albums remained beyond my grasp. Long after all hope of exploring this music further had been relinquished, the CD reissue boom of the 1990's meant that I finally managed to obtain a copy of their second CD Krissang (War Song). It proved to be a worthwhile addition to the collection, presenting a highly individual, yet typically Scandinavian Prog rock in a complex, guitar driven vein.
Though the group soldiered on for many years, they never broke free from cult status, but they ultimately proved to be highly influential with the new breed of Scandinavian progressive groups of the 1990's. Both Landberk and Anglagard (to name but two) were clearly, and openly, influenced by them.
The group reformed in the 1990's to promote a CD War Memories featuring unreleased live material but even that did not prepare me for these two highly welcome releases.
Glorious War is a completely unreleased album recorded in 1970-1971, by an earlier, pre-debut line-up. Unlike many archival releases, this is not scraps and outtakes, it definitely was recorded with an album release in mind, and though the sound is necessarily primitive by today’s standards, the tapes have been cleaned up nicely, making this very listenable.
Of the eight tracks, four are brief free-form guitar solos (with some studio tinkering), intended to bookend the two sides of the proposed vinyl album. As such they are a little superfluous on this CD release. They are worth hearing once and can always be programmed out on subsequent listens. The real meat of the album is found in the remaining four tracks.
Amassilations is a harmonica-driven, blues wailing, proto-prog cross between the doomy sound of early Black Sabbath and the spacey drones of Pink Floyd circa Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun. The real highlight is Konserten, an 18-minute piano concerto, featuring the precocious talents of 16-year-old Dag Kronlund. Unlike many of their contempories, who tried with varying degrees of success, to marry the rock group sound with an orchestra, Trettioåriga Kriget opt for the more unusual option of transplanting the concert piano into an otherwise entirely rock group setting. This track has a timeless quality to it, which makes it a satisfying listen even after all these years. I would recommend buying the CD just for this track alone.
The remaining tracks, Thirty Years War and From Your Streets, whilst essentially pretty good tracks, and both having their moments of brilliance, are slightly let down by (as with many recordings from that era) a tendency to ramble, bordering on the self-indulgent. This of course was par for the course back in those days, but may not be so easily tolerated today. As with their other albums, excellent guitar playing is a strong feature throughout, though the overall feel is quite different to that encountered on their other albums.. T K was never a group to rest on its laurels.
This pre-debut album release was originally recorded on stereo tape recorded, but don't let that fact scare you away: TK's basic raw sound can suffer such a treatment, even if you are a little touchy on that principle (but then you probably don't like TK much, right?). If you are familiar with the group, you know that the rough and raw sound is more like a principle of its own as well as the heavyness and the rather instrumental jam lengthy passages. Fans, please notice that their Austrian singer, Zima, is not present on this record, but let that not bother you either, because you will instantly recognize the group's typical sound, even if the group was a septet sometimes playing with two drummers at the same time.
While the music is always never far from blues, it does have an indisputable prog link via classical excursions with borrowings (the 18-min+ Konserten) that these teenagers were mixing with any complex. How surprising to hear harmonica on a prog record, even more on semi-classical track, but these youngster apparently feared nothing.
The other monster track (the three parts From Your Streets) is pure psychedelic improvised, raw jam with stunning experiments, not unlike early Floyd (Saucerful and Ummagumma) with early Purple (there is a guitar passage stolen from their April track) and Hendrix-esque guitars. Not the most original, but in some ways, this is highly jubilating.