Lars Fredrik Frøislie - Fire Fortellinger - 2023
“... welcome to progheaven ...”
Dear ProgVisions readers, pay attention now; if you are a fan of 70s Prog and are fond of analogue keyboards like Mellotron, MiniMoog, Yamaha CP70 and Hammond organ, this album is a compulsory purchase for you. I am talking about the first solo album of Wobbler's keyboardist LARS FREDRIK FRØISLIE. An album made during the pandemic and in between two Wobbler albums. Had it not been for the pandemic, these compositions would probably have ended up on the new Wobbler album. But then it would have gone through the Wobbler blender first and got English texts. So we now get the chance to hear the pure compositions (and improvisations) in their original and unpolished form. And that produced a pure album that will be devoured by the aforementioned Prog fans. The album will be released on the Karisma label and will appear in CD, special vinyl editions and digital forms.
LARS FREDRIK FRØISLIE - all keyboards and synths
The album consists of four compositions with their own story. The first song is called "Rytter Av Dommedag" (16;57) and has Ragnarok as its theme. When King Rakne awakens in his great burial mound outside Romerike and together with the old gods, creates real mischief. The listener is instantly transported to Prog Heaven with fat Mellotron sounds and Hammond organ solos. The lyrics are in the Norwegian language, which is a big plus for me as I think this better preserves the Scandinavian atmosphere. The delicious Hammond organ and MiniMoog solos fly around your ears. The Hammond organ plays a starring role in this fine opener. Have the feeling that this alone should make Keith Emmerson fans listen to this album too. As a Wobbler fan, I would buy the album for this song alone. The song works towards a wonderful climax. A delightful opener to the album.
The second song "Et sted under himmelhvelvet" (6:54) is a dreamy song with a likely setting in a Renaissance garden near Florence or Arcadia. Besides the lovely Mellotron strings and Hammond organ, you hear a fat bass guitar part and lovely MiniMoog solos. In the later part, you discover a nice church organ and Mellotron flute section.
The third song "Jaertegn" (6:28) opens in a stir, with a horse and carriage speeding through the forest. The carriage overturns at the same time as a solar eclipse occurs, and the riders become eternal wanderers in the dark forest, only occasionally visible to us through the Northern Lights. The Hammond organ again plays a leading role in the uptempo opening. It is a powerful and uptempo song with beautiful (vocal) melodies in the quiet passages. The melodic synth solo is also worth mentioning. Delightful song.
The final song "Naturens Katedral" (16:38) is a depiction of the Norwegian mountains in winter where it is bitterly cold during blizzards and avalanches. It is also a quest for bygone times when life was more basic in the wilderness. Apart from the long opener, this is the second song with a duration of more than 15 minutes. The strength of these long songs is that the music remains varied and engaging. It has a quiet build-up and slowly the music works towards a climax in intensity. Again, the most beautiful melodies pass by. The song has a somewhat mysterious atmosphere at times. In the final section, the tempo picks up again and the music again works towards a climax. A powerful and varied song.
As I revealed in my intro, this album is an obligatory purchase for fans of analogue-keyboard-soaked prog. All fans of Wobbler also already know what to do. This album is simply not to be missed. Despite the long duration of two of the songs, the music remains varied and engaging. And the choice of Norwegian language I can only applaud. This preserves the unique Scandinavian atmosphere and often gives the music a cinematic character. This album gets the highest rating from me and is thus warmly recommended by progVisions.