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Pär Lindh Project - Gothic Impressions CD (album) cover

GOTHIC IMPRESSIONS

Pär Lindh Project

 

Symphonic Prog

4.05 | 111 ratings

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Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I was a bit late to discover there was a bit of a prog revival in the 1990s, not knowing about Änglagård, Landberk and Anekdoten until 1996. I did have my suspicions as early as 1993. Sure none of these groups had the giant mainstream commercial success of their 1970s counterparts, but they did help pick up where the scene left off by 1978 (the neo-prog scene kept prog alive in the '80s, but not everyone was happy about that and apparently neither were these Swedish bands). Many progheads appreciated that. Pär Lindh Project was another one of these acts, I can't call them a band as, like the Alan Parsons Project, it was Pär Lindh and a loose assortment of musicians and singers, most notably Magdalena Hagberg, who sadly passed away in 2007.

It's 2018 and the big shocker: I never owned anything by the PLP! I've known of him/them for ages. Anyways, my reviews of Gothic Impressions is regarding the original 1994 Crimsonic CD, rather than the 1997 LP on Record Heaven (which omits their cover of Mussorgsky's "A Night on Bare Mountain") or the 2004 Crimsonic CD reissue that was remixed and added on some additional vocals and choir. As I don't have that version, I can't make comparisons. So glad to have this! Here you have several Änglagård members (Mattias Olsson, Jonas Engdegård, Johan Högberg, Anna Holmgren), Roine Stolt engineering the album and playing guitar on "Green Meadow Lands", and some low-key vocals from Magdalena Hagberg (who mainly did some backing vocals on "The Iconoclast" and wordless vocals on "Gunnlev's Round"). Many people tend to dislike the Ralf Glasz's vocals, sounding rather restrained, like a conservatory trained singer more suited to singing medieval church hymns than someone like Greg Lake. His vocals don't bother me, but some are. There is no doubt that Lindh's idol is Emerson, so no surprise his Hammond organ playing is similar, but unlike Emerson, he has no trouble with the Mellotron. Also lots of pipe organ is used, making me think of the old Italian band Jacula if they were more of a standard symphonic prog band. "Green Meadow Lands" is a wonderful melodic piece reminding me of Islands-era King Crimson, Moody Blues, and Cressida. Nice Mellotron too. "Gunnlev's Round" has a more medieval flair, which is a precursor, in style, to the more folk influenced Bilbo, which Lindh recorded alongside Björn Johansson in 1996. "The Cathedral" clocks in at 19 minutes and shows that Lindh and Co. can certainly pull it off. Popular opinion is we could have lived without the cover of Mussorgsky's "A Night on Bare Mountain". Not bad, but it seems pretty straightforward, compared to what Fireballet or New Trolls Atomic System had done. Still, a nice gem of '90s prog that, after all these years, I finally get to own, and I can see why this album gets its share of praise. Well worth having.

Progfan97402 | 4/5 |

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