Exposé Online banner

Landberk — One Man Tell's Another
(Megarock MRRCD 007, 1994, CD)

by Mike Borella, 1994-08-01:

One Man Tell's Another Cover art My first reaction to hearing this, the latest release from yet another of Sweden's newer bands, was, "What?" The opening chords sound all too similar to half a dozen or so U2 songs. However, this moment is soon over, and while Landberk has taken a slightly different approach here than on their debut, they haven't sold out or commercialized. Landberk has never been a band to impress one with complexity, rather they take a more atmospheric approach. The use of analog instruments and soft, yet ominous, interludes, reminds me of the slower moments of early Black Sabbath, with a touch of Crimson thrown in. While the guitarist has a style that mixes heavy riffing and discordant melodies, the rest of the band does little more than follow along. Throughout most of the album the drummer plods along, though he does lay down some interesting beats on a few of the tracks. The bass and keyboards add to the atmosphere, but contribute little else. Vocals are entirely in English this time, and the vocalist's style is very hit or miss. While some may like his strained singing, I find it rather distracting. Landberk's emphasis seems to be on vocally-oriented music, with predictable rhythms and structures. This isn't a bad release, though I find that little of it moves me. Outside of the guitarist's interesting textures and the brooding intensity, this album leaves me wanting. Recommended to those who enjoyed Landberk's debut.

by Dan Casey, 1994-08-01:

Landberk are one-third of the new wave of prog-rock from Sweden, along with countrymen Änglagård and Anekdoten. As with the other two bands, the sound here is based mostly upon organic, 70s-style instruments (like Hammond organs, Mellotrons, Rickenbacker bass, etc.) but with a 90s edge in the writing and production. One Man Tell's Another is Landberk's second offering and those who enjoyed their first one (Lonely Land) are sure to enjoy this one as well. The band is a five-piece, with a dedicated lead vocalist. But for a frontman who doesn't carry any other weight in the band, Patric Helje's voice is pretty thin and lacking confidence and strength. Furthermore, the lyrics (in English) suffer from the same overblown gothic imagery that Anekdoten's did (ex. "I am lonely/Wonder how you feel/Sit in darkness/Naked in my room"). While Landberk sound very much like Anekdoten overall, they approach the music with significantly less enthusiasm and energy, the result being like a subdued boil rather than the explosiveness the writing begs for. Since they also take a much simpler approach in songwriting, perhaps this suggests Landberk are already pushing their limits as an ensemble. There certainly are some fine moments on this album, but not enough to seriously compete with Änglagård or Anekdoten in this arena.

by Rob Walker, 1994-08-01:

From the opening moments of this CD, it is obvious that this Swedish band has greatly matured. The follow-up to 1992's well received but unspectacular debut Lonely Land, One Man Tell's Another features solid musicianship, diverse writing, strong production, and most of all an original sound which doesn't reflect the usual progressive influences. The five band members spread the writing duties around, and while the (English) lyrics, full of personal melancholy and angst, are rather thematically similar throughout, the music benefits greatly, covering a variety of styles over the seven songs. There is no outstanding musical virtuosity or complexity, but with some novel sounds and fresh chord progressions, the album moves beyond the more typical symphonic prog of their first album into areas that are more difficult to define. It is hard to point to any specific group or album that seems to be a predecessor to One Man Tell's Another; perhaps the latest Sylvian/Fripp album or even Talk Talk may exhibit similarities in mood and style, but that does not adequately describe this music. For much of the CD, the rhythm section is used to set up a strong foundation — I hesitate to use the word "groove" — that is developed and accented by the excellent use of dynamics and instrumentation, as well as the wonderful production. Some of the most tasteful use of the Mellotron in recent years can be found here. The modern sound of the album is an odd context for this well-traveled instrument, but it works extremely well and helps to create a unique atmosphere. Of all the band members, guitarist Reine Fiske is featured most prominently, but this remains very much a group effort. The lyrics, music and other elements are all brought together in each song into a strong, cohesive whole that is very engaging. One Man Tell's Another at times seems to fall into the nebulous area between prog and progressive pop; the sort of album that might perhaps bridge the gap to a larger audience for progressive music in general. Even if not, it still stands as a solid and original contribution to the 90s prog scene. I am not usually one to fall for this type of music, but I found Landberk's latest release to be impressive and thoroughly enjoyable.

Filed under: New releases , Issue 4 , 1994 releases

Related artist(s): Landberk, Reine Fiske

More info

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Quarkspace - Spacefolds 3 – Space-rockers from Columbus, Ohio, Quarkspace are back with volume three in their Spacefolds series. This four track EP, while rooted in traditional space rock a-la Hawkwind nevertheless manages to...  (1998) » Read more

It - Order through Chaos – It isn't really a new American group, as they've been around since the mid 80s, yet this is their first album. The band is basically a duo of Todd Freeman and Scott Munson, and they've brought...  (1995) » Read more

Robert Dick - Third Stone from the Sun – Robert Dick is probably the world's leading proponent of avant-garde flute techniques. His recordings and teachings, including the well-known The Other Flute have opened up literally a whole new...  (1995) » Read more

Epica, Arpia & Hyaena - Confini, Liberazione & Scene – Pick Up Records is a relatively new Italian label, their first release (Midian's Soulinside) came at the end of 1994, and they have since released a number of releases by relatively new bands,...  (1996) » Read more

National Health - Missing Pieces – Finally! Most of the missing links between the last Hatfield and the North (1975) and the first National Health (1977) albums make their way into the light of day. Several copies of these sessions...  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues