Exposé Online banner

Pär Lindh Project — Gothic Impressions
(Crimsonic CLSCD101, 1994, CD)

by Mike Borella, 1995-03-01:

Gothic Impressions Cover art Pär Lindh is known for organizing a Swedish progressive rock fan club, as well as helping out on keyboards during Änglagård live shows. This, his first album, features Lindh on an arsenal of analog keyboards, as well as bass and drums. To help round out his sound, he has employed the help of a large number of guest musicians, including four members of Änglagård, and Roine Stolt of Kaipa. Originally written in the 70s, this is the first recording of these tracks. As would be expected, the album is keyboard oriented, drenched in organ, Mellotron and vintage synths. Comprised of six pieces, ranging in length from two to almost twenty minutes, the album's mood and feel fit the title well. In general, the keyboards are played well, but other instruments are assigned a minimal role. Two of the tracks, "The Iconoclast" and "Green Meadow Lands," are song-oriented pieces with English vocals. The former features Mattias Olsson of Änglagård on drums, but relegates him to what essentially is a time-keeping role. The composition on this track is very straightforward, the vocals are strained, and the lyrics contain stereotypical fantasy clichés. "Green Meadow Lands," on the other hand, features a stronger vocalist, and more solid composition. The keyboard writing and playing is stronger, and the vocal lines contain enough hooks to warrant interest, but are not overdone. The two short pieces, "Dresden Lamentation" and "Gunnlev's Round," appeal to me the most. The somber melancholy of the first, and lilting folkiness of the second are expressed in compact, precise form. The longest track, "The Cathedral," also features Mattias Olsson. While he stretches a little further in places, but it is hard to believe that the drums are being played by the same individual that beat the skins on Änglagård's Hybris. The writing on this track is particularly drawn-out; essentially ten minutes of ideas in a piece twice as long. As on "The Iconoclast," weak vocals detract. The other long piece, clocking in at almost 14 minutes, is a cover of Mussorgsky’s "Night on Bald Mountain," combined with an original Lindh composition. A reasonably good, yet dry, interpretation, it's most impressive moments are Lindh's additions in the middle. Overall, I recommend this album to analog keyboard lovers, and those of you who cannot get enough classically-influenced rock. While more folky and Scandinavian-sounding than ELP, Fireballet, Refugee, or Le Orme, Gothic Impressions breaks very little new ground, and it does not offer the listener a significant challenge. Although two-thirds of Änglagård appear on this release, their contributions are minimal, and I would not recommend buying this album just because they are on it.

by Rob Walker, 1995-03-01:

For the few outside of Sweden who recognize his name, he is the one who sat in on the house pipe organ during Änglagård's performance of "Jordrok" at last year's Progfest. But Pär Lindh has actually been around Sweden's prog music scene for a long time, and those who attended Monday's convention at this year's Progfest found the friendly keyboard wizard eagerly selling his new CD, based primarily on music he wrote during the 70s. Gothic Impressions features dramatic, keyboard heavy music that is reminiscent of some of Wakeman's or Emerson's finest work. With a number of guest musicians, Lindh winds his way through six varied tracks, showing off his chops on a host of analog keyboards as well as pipe organ. The vocal sections, prevalent on the first few songs, tend to be weaker, perhaps almost neo-proggish in places. But with sounds recalling ELP, Wakeman's early solo work, and even Crimson's Mellotron and flute laden songs, the instrumental sections could easily fool one into thinking they are from some long lost 70s progressive classic. The longest and best track on the album, "The Cathedral," begins appropriately with Baroque pipe organ and Mellotron choir, and after a short vocal section aggressively explores some great instrumental territory, including a very Tarkus-like theme, before recapitulating the vocal section and the opening pipe organ theme. A spirited adaptation of Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain" caps off the CD in the finest tradition of ELP. There isn't much overt complexity to this music, but instead some nice arranging with Pär Lindh's versatile keyboard work in the spotlight. Though this release doesn't break any new ground, it is sure to please anyone who is nostalgic for that 70's keyboard dominated sound.

Filed under: New releases , Issue 6 , 1994 releases

Related artist(s): Roine Stolt, Pär Lindh

More info

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Michael Mantler / Edward Gorey - The Hapless Child and Other Inscrutable Stories – It's a rare project that extracts elements of the written word and transfers them eloquently to an audio performance. Composer/trumpet player Michael Mantler's first major success with this...  (2000) » Read more

Venegoni & Co. - Rumore Rosso – Arti e Mestieri's original guitarist, Gigi Venegoni put his own band together and released two albums in '77 and '79, both on the Cramps Label. The first of these was Rumore Rosso, a more...  (1995) » Read more

Deus Ex Machina - De Republica – An old book, dating from as far as 1800 BC, was found recently in good condition by an archeological search. A treatise superficially presented as ways to acquire power and glory over people. Some...  (1995) » Read more

Pendragon - Past and Presence – It’s funny that Pendragon, who represented the “new wave” of prog rock not that long ago, have now been around long enough to be having commemorative reunion and anniversary shows,...  (2008) » Read more

Blezqi Zatsaz - Rise and Fall of Passionate Sanity – Perhaps Progressive Rock Worldwide's first really strong release was this, the debut by keyboard-progsters Blezqi Zatsaz. Though consisting of the classic guitar / bass / keyboards / drums...  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues