December 13, 2021

King Of Sweden is a relatively new progressive rock band from Finland which began life in 2019 and this ambitious album is the debut release.

The group is a three-piece comprising Sampsa Nelimarkka on vocals and guitar, Janne Savela on drum and Erkka Heinilä on bass. The band has an improvisational approach to music and the album shows that the musicians love a jam and to experiment with a sound and style similar to outfits like Tides From Nebula, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Focus with Nelimarkka having a real sound of Jan Akkerman with his extensive, mazy guitar runs. The music is so obviously prog but it also has that particular laid back jazz sounding vibe which, again, hints at the former focus maestro. These are also some musical similarities with the American prog band Astra from San Diego and their two albums, The Weirding and The Black Chord, are definitely worth checking out.

The album is mostly instrumental but there are a couple of tracks with vocals with Nelimarkka having and earnest and endearing voice with a slight fragility that suits the psychedelic and avant-garde sound that the band is looking to create. There is also a little saxophone that is simply awesome when it breaks in and it sends a shiver up your spine with its emotional intensity. The songs are fresh and inventive with three musicians working so hard to bring you a truly wonderful debut album of intense pleasure and some truly out of this world guitar playing.

You get the impression that these guys could play just about anything that you asked of them and would probably go all night too. The Training is an enthralling and enterprising debut from a band that is going to win many admirers.

The Training

  1. Dreaming About The Emerald (3:49)
  2. Two Thieves (13:01)
  3. In The House Of The Witch (2:32)
  4. The Imprisonment (5:20)
  5. Help Arrive A) God Uses A Hammer B) Help Arrives C) Butterfly Hatches (8:31)
  6. And The Last Enemy To Be Destroyed Is Mathematics (9:41)