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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Lars Fredrik Frøislie

Fire Fortellinger

Review by Gary Hill

Lars Fredrik Frøislie is the keyboardist for Wobbler, who I have reviewed in the past. This solo album consists of just four songs, but two of those are over 15-minutes long. The music here is very much rooted in the prog of the 1970s. As you might guess, it's keyboard heavy. The lyrics are all in Norwegian, but I'll attest to the fact that you don't need to understand the words to enjoy this music. I would heartily recommend this to fans of 70s melodic and symphonic prog. It has some pretty amazing music on it.     

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Track by Track Review
Rytter av dommedag
At almost 17-minutes of music, this is the epic of the disc. It comes in with a symphonic prog section that really feels a lot like vintage Moody Blues to me. The track begins to evolve and grow from there. After a time it suddenly bursts into a powerhouse fast jam that has hints of ELP and Yes in the mix. It eventually drops to piano. Vocals come in over the top of that arrangement. A new, synth dominated arrangement is created after that vocal portion. The track builds outward from there to a slightly more powered up prog treatment for the next vocals. This continues to grow and change beyond that next vocal section. Again, Yes and ELP are valid references. A more rocking groove emerges for the next vocals. Keyboards take command after that next vocal section. We're taken into more classic prog jamming in a new arrangement. That works through for a time, and then drops to a piano section. It eventually grows out from there with other keyboards taking over before a full band treatment emerges. It keeps growing and changing as it continues. Vocals eventually return as this drives with more prog goodness. Again, it drops to a mellow, keyboard based section further down the road. We're eventually taken back into something that feels more like the opening movement of the piece. That gives way to a more powered up symphonic prog section. It keeps building to eventually get into a melodic prog section with non-lyrical vocals. That shifts to another movement that calls to mind The Moody Blues to some degree. That section works out to a crescendo that leaves behind organ to take it to a short ambient outro.
Et sted under himmelhvelvet
This is the second shortest piece here at almost seven-minutes long. It comes with a harpsichord and flute based arrangement that brings classical, folk and prog things to bear. Vocals join along with some synthesizer, as the cut remains mellower and ballad-like. It powers up into some killer melodic prog jamming from there after the vocals end. That doesn't stay around long, though. Instead, this drops back to the earlier portion for more singing. The contrasting melodic prog rock movement again comes in after that. There is a driving prog jam that come out of that with some killer bass work. This gets so powerful as the keyboards really soar over the top. That works through, and then we're left with a keyboard-only section from there. Flute joins over the top as this continues to grow and evolve. It remains mellow as it does so. We're brought back into the earlier vocal movements with perhaps a little more intensity from there. It explodes out to more expansive melodic progressive rock after that, and the keyboards really shine. That section takes the track out.
At just under six-and-a-half-minutes of music, this is the shortest track here. It comes in with a powerhouse jam that definitely makes me think of ELP. The vocals come in over the top of this arrangement. They work this through a number of changes, but keep it rocking and proggy until around the minute-and-a-half mark where a slower section takes over. Then it drops back to a harpsichord based movement that brings some classical sound to it. Vocals lace themselves over that. Eventually we're taken into a new melodic prog movement that gets positively soaring after a time. It eventually slows down and drops in volume to end.
Naturens katedral
This is another epic that runs over 16-and-a-half minutes long. It comes in with a driving, but mid-tempo prog jam that's packed with power and style. The cut shifts and changes, turning mellower and slower after a time. This gets into some killer melodic prog jamming further down the road. There is a keyboard dominated section that comes in and really soars around the four-minute mark. That gets some chorale styled vocals added to the mix as it continues to run through. After the vocals drop away this gets into some incredibly powerful and inspired jamming. That eventually gives way to a keyboard solo section that's a major drop down. This gets dramatic and powerful. Then it drops way down to a mellow intricate movement after a crescendo. That gets some powered up prog strangeness that enters over the top. Then it explodes out into fast paced jamming that has some Relayer-era Yes melded with ELP. The next vocals come in over the top of that arrangement. It's frantic and crazed. It eventually slows down and works into the next section, and vocals continue over the top of that. This continues to modulate and work through different movements. A trippy sort of keyboard excursion takes it toward space rock after another crescendo. That abruptly gives way to more melodic prog jamming that seems to have hints of The Doors as it grows. It continues to shift and change from there as it continues sans vocals. That movement eventually ends the piece and the album.


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