Hailing from Iceland, Svanfridur were a four-piece who in the summer of 1972 recorded a single album, titled "What's Hidden There?". The album, recorded in London, can be considered one of the most interesting examples of heavy progressive rock mixed with influences from local folk music. Svanfridur's compositions feature complex vocal harmonies and an original, inventive use of violin and Moog synthesizers, courtesy of guest musician and arranger Sigurdur Johnsson.
Highly recommended to any Prog lover and worth 4,5 stars for its uniqueness!
This one and only album by Icelandic band SVANFRIDUR is really a very rare gem in early progressive rock. I was very lucky to find a copy of a re-release by a Brazilian!! label. The liner notes are saying: "What's Hidden There?" is one of the most original and innovative of the albums released in 1971 and 1972. And I have absolutely to agree to that opinion.
The opener "The Woman Of Our Day" is mainly guitar-based Art Rock, neither symphonic nor harsh, certainly the least progressive one on here, but nevertheless a good one. All the other compositions are definitely progressive. "The Mug" is a rather quiet song with guitar, bass, piano and some synthesizer sounds, very well-done and a rewarding listen. "Please Bend" is more in a hardrock vein but with an awesome electric violin added on, again they're using here some synthetic keyboard effects and finish the song with some weird vocal tunes, quite original and absolutely another highlight. The title song is an acoustic one with guitar, flute and violin, very pleasant one as well! "What Now You People Standing By", longest track of the album is a bit harsher and more up-tempo song containing a short but excellent percussion solo and great guitar / bass play. "Give Me Some Gas", again an up-tempo one exhibits a brilliant virtuosity of all musicians on their instruments, especially the bass play is very intense. "My Dummy" is basically a hard rock song with the add-up of some synths keyboards and here like as well in the last track once again Gunnar Hermannsson shines with his bass play. (By Review by hdfisch
Studio Album, released in 1972
Songs / Tracks Listing
1. The Woman of Our Day (3:12)
2. The Mug (4:50)
3. Please Bend (4:47)
4. What's Hidden There? (4:06)
5. Did You Find It? (2:08)
6. What Now You People Standing By (7:58)
7. Give Me Some Gas (5:12)
8. My Dummy (4:15)
9. Finido (3:44)
Total Time: 40:12
Line-up / Musicians
- Birgit Hrafnsson / electric & acoustic guitars, back vocals (2 & 4)
- Gunnar Hermannsson / bass guitar, back vocals (2)
- Sigurdur Karlsson / drums & percussion
- Petur Kristjansson / lead vocals
- Sigurdur Johnsson / piano & Moog, violin, flute, vocals (2 & 6)