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Fren Where Do You Want Ghosts to Reside album cover
4.00 | 57 ratings | 10 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2020

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Twin Peaks (4:41)
2. Surge (9:43)
3. Goraca Linia (2:59)
4. Pleonasm (12:02)
5. Heavy Matter (6:23)
6. Time to Take Stones Away (8:41)

Total time: 44:29

Line-up / Musicians

- Michal Chalota / guitar
- Oskar Cenkier / piano, organ, synthesizer, mellotron
- Andrew Shamanov / bass, synthesizer
- Oleksii Fedoriv / drums

Releases information

CD and Digital (March 6, 2020)

Thanks to TCat for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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FREN Where Do You Want Ghosts to Reside ratings distribution

(57 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(48%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

FREN Where Do You Want Ghosts to Reside reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rivertree
4 stars Well, this is the debut of a very promising band coming from Kraków, Poland. 'Where Do You Want Ghosts To Reside' will fullfil the expectations of many prog connoisseurs, I'm sure. Maybe in the vein of fellow countrymen Riverside somehow, when they dared to appear on the scene. I predominantly mean concerning the high level of composition, the implementation and, yeah, the spirit too of course. Rather than the music style, which is quite different, and definitely unique, while more eclectic in general. As an example par excellence just let me highlight the extended Pleonasm. This elaborated piece is meandering like an atmospheric suite. Where they are including jazzy parts and classical hints with ease here. It flows relaxed and matured, fine work!

The instrumental songs were developed by all band members, and this fruitful collaboration results in rather keyboard driven songs, this due to Oskar Cenkier's piano, organ, synths ... and really wonderful mellotron input on top. Beside that sensation the other band members obviously are delivering a great job too, otherwise this would not appeal that much. I also want to emphasize the mellow Goraca Linia which again showcases some lovely piano lines. The closing Time To Take Stones Away then comes multi-varied, with a complex nature and enchanting guitar solo. But yet all the songs are worth it, you should know. Prog fans, take the chance, don't miss that!

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
4 stars Fren is an instrumental eclectic band from Poland that formed in 2017 and released its debut album in March of 2020. The band is currently made up of Oskar Cenkier (keyboards), Michal Chalota (guitar), Andrew Shamanov (bass), and Oleksii Fedoriv (drums). The music is based around a nice, free-floating space-style progressive rock sound that definitely recalls the earlier days of Pink Floyd, Caravan and King Crimson, along with a more updated style with occasional heavy guitars and cinematic crescendos.

Their debut album (called "Where Do You Want Ghosts to Reside?") is made up of 6 tracks and spans a 44 minute run- time. "Twin Peaks" starts it all off with a lovely and explorative track that will capture you right away as it sweeps you up in its lush journey with a lot of stylized and atmospheric synths, but ends with the introduction of heavier guitars towards the end. "Surge" is more exploratory, but begins much heavier with guitars at the fore all supported by waves of mellotron and synth. This 9+ minute piece carries you to several different realms as it continues on however as the music resides somewhere between space rock, heavy prog, and bits of fusion and folk infused that will easily make you think of early King Crimson styles mixed with solid guitar work. The music is not perfect, but that actually gives it the genuine feel as it moves from soft and soothing to jaunty riffs to hard guitar, all transitioning smoothly along held together by musicians that you can tell have spent a lot of time working together to achieve the sound. The heavier organ that comes along later hints at Uriah Heep style rock as the track winds itself up toward its conclusion.

"Gorąca Linia" is a lovely and shorter 3 minute piece that ventures more into a jazz/rock fusion style track where the band plays around with the theme by changing note durations and then smooths things out for short improvisational sections. "Pleonasm" is pretty much the epic, centerpiece at 12 minutes. Beginning with a simple piano line, the music slowly builds and then resolves in a tasty jazz-style improve still led by the piano, but driven by fast drumming. The tempo is in flux however, changing to slower, more peaceful moods at times and becoming more upbeat at others, but always retaining the nice jazz-ish influence. As fatter piano chords take over, the guitars start to feel their way into the whole thing, and then a sweet guitar takes over the improvising job while the piano supports. Without becoming too descriptive, suffice it to say that the music travels through meter, style and tempo changes, yet sounds grounded and cohesive all the way through this excellent track.

The bass leads off "Heavy Matter" with an engaging riff that takes the music into an area that is a bit heavier and more progressive. The flute effects from the mellotron bring in the prog-folk effect as things continue, the music tightens up and you get a feeling that the band is playing with Canterbury territory at times, but always remaining on a heavier side of prog. The last few minutes are spent in a slower, denser beat that develops into a Floydian style guitar solo, but with a thick bassline which suddenly elevates the music to an emotional and rousing finish. "Time to Take the Stones Away" finishes it all off in a solid, moderately slow beat where the guitar and piano work to build up an elevating finish, a perfect, positive ending to a great album.

This album proves that this is a band worth watching. The sound is very organic and classic sounding, but the band uses plenty of unique playing to let the listener know that while they love their influences, they can bring it all together into a sound of their own. By the time you reach the end, you feel a level of encouragement and strength, and you have a renewed sense that progressive rock is in great hands with bands like this. Even though this album is all instrumental, there is still a huge amount of emotion and dynamic to make you not even miss the vocals. The music is never stagnant, but is always exciting and dynamic. This is definitely an excellent album by a very talented quartet of musicians, and every one of them shines through on this album.

Review by Progfan97402
4 stars Fren is an amazing Polish and Ukrainian prog band that's done their homework and create some of the best prog of today. They're an all instrumental band whose music brings to mind Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Camel and other classic bands. Great use of piano, organ and Mellotron plus guitar, bass and drums. I really enjoy that every piece has tons of wonderful ideas going on and the album never bored me. I love the different moods on offer where the band may be calm and next they go to into harder Crimson territory. I love that the album is kept at a reasonable length, would make a great vinyl release (aside from download at Bandcamp, it's only available as a band released CD as a solid format). Great stuff and I really think these guys should be a hit with progheads everywhere.
Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
4 stars An amazing debut shot from Krakow, Poland. FREN are a fresh quartet born in 2017, and finally this year they've launched the debut full-length creation titled "Where Do You Want Ghosts To Reside" that is what a meaningful phrase. They say they've been influenced by lots of progressive rock precursors, and combined various essence through inspiration. The weird sleeve pic gives you clear expectation, and the 'content' would be more enthusiastic than you expected, I guess. Apparent is not only being inspired by 70s progressive rock but also digesting and reconstructing for their originality.

You are going to be knocked out via the prologue "Twin Peaks" featuring brilliant mellotron and synthesizer architectures, as if they would take you to their dreamy world. The following "Surge" turns your mind over again, with guitar-oriented dramatic heaviness. This atmosphere reminds you like Dream Theater meet King Crimson (especially Fripp - Bruford - Wetton era). Such a theatrical sound basis with repetitive strategies accelerate your interest in a deep manner, and there are colourful symphonic variations here and there simultaneously. "Gorąca Linia" is a sort of catchy, delightful short story full of lyrical keyboard playing. (Honest to say, quite acceptable, my favourite).

"Pleonasm" has another appearance. Jazzy ensembles of a piano and drums, plus guitar in the latter phase, should impress you along with difference from the first three 'heavy' steps. Kaleidoscopic soundscape perfectly and smoothly performed can be enjoyed by plenty of art rock fans, without suspicion. Interesting is the fifth "Heavy Matter", quite eclectic stuff, mixed with jazz, heavy, symph, a tad metal (Neo-symph-ish texture can be felt, at least for me). The epilogue "Time To Take Stones Away" can be called as their complete compilation of musical styles. Magnificent sight for art rock is heard all over the masterpiece. Kinda decent epilogue of a fascinating debut opus.

Their instrumental technique is superb too, for a debut album. Therefore lots of progressive rock fans could be immersed in this departure, let me say.

Review by Matti
4 stars I agree with all four collab reviews this far: this is a very solid four-star debut from Krakow, Poland. The quartet has existed since 2017 and I think they have very well found their style already. Instead of being yet another Polish neo prog act (don't get me wrong, for me Poland is among the finest neo prog countries!) or playing depressed heavy prog in the vein of Riverside, FREN make instrumental prog with lots of retro-ish elements. One may name several classic 70's bands as references in the attempt to describe the music, but the truth is that Fren have absorbed their numerous influences in a way that one cannot blame them for sounding closely like any band.

I'm fond of the organic sound which has the sincerity and warmth of the classic prog era. Probably the band has deliberately achieved that feeling by using analog equipment. The production is however pretty faultless, not stuffy of unbalanced at all. Each instrument is clearly heard. A few words on the six tracks: 'Twin Peaks' named after the legendary mystery series of the 90's hasn't much to do with Angelo Badalamenti's music, but the slow-paced piece succeeds to weave a strong and mysterious atmosphere slightly reminding of the melancholia in Scandinavian prog (Änglagård etc), largely helped by the use of Mellotron. 'Surge' has a Crimsonesque dark tone. The rather heavy guitar and flute-like Mellotron sounds dominate much of the 10- minutes; at 2:30 starts a gorgeous soft movement in which the beautiful bass line suddenly grabs the attention and is followed by a laid-back but passionate electric guitar solo comparable of Camel. I only wich the delicacy would have lasted longer instead of returning to the riff-oriented heaviness. Near the end the organ leads to Uriah Heepish territory.

On the shortest, 3-minute third track the acoustic piano makes its first notable appearance. Even though there's again some heaviness on guitars, the piano makes me think of Renaissance's Ashes Are Burning era. Piano is central on the 12-minute highlight 'Pleonasm'. Wow, here the beautiful melodies and the classical music flavour bring a lovely symphonic prog feel to the music, and the occasional jazziness is the cherry on the top. I'm sure that if you admire John Tout's pianism in Renaissance's classic albums, Oskar Cenkier's elegant touch delights you here. 'Heavy Matter' is an eclectic combination of the pianistic elegance, Crimson-like edge and some heavy and jazz nuances, and it reaches its emotional peak in a superb, David Gilmour-ish electric guitar solo. And the big chords are what I especially enjoy in the last track, as well as the moment focusing on piano.

This interestingly named album is certainly much more than just a promising debut. Here and there the music is not as melodic and emotional as I would prefer it to be (hence "only" four stars), but it does contain several passionate highlights. Thank you, Fren, I really want to be around when you release your second album!

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars FREN is a fairly new progressive rock band coming from the beautiful city of Krakow, Poland and features the lineup of Oskar Cenkier (keyboards), Michał Chalota (guitar), Andrii Shamanov (bass guitar, synthesizer) and Oleksii Fedoriv (drums). Founded in 2017 this is one of the many so-called retro prog bands that finds the most inspiration from classic 70s bigwigs like King Crimson, Pink Floyd and Yes with a sprinkling of Jethro Tull, Black Sabbath and even Dream Theater.

The band's debut album WHERE DO YOU WANT THE GHOSTS TO RESIDE follows 2019's EP "Heavy Matter" and takes on an album's worth of solid retro prog which in six track's worth adds up to almost 45 minutes of playing time. This is a purely instrumental affair with no vocals to be heard and although perhaps some lyrics sprinkled in here and there may have been a good thing, i'm so happy when excellent instrumentally oriented prog bands forsake the vocal thing altogether if they can't find a singer talented enough to pull off the vocal gymnastics required to match the prowess of the musical flow.

FREN is a very melodic band and spends a lot of time nurturing catchy hooks all teased out into bass driven grooves but is quite creative in adding complex side trips from a simple straight forward compositional approach. While "Twin Peaks" opens with an ethereal swirl of atmospheric darkness, the second track "Surge" clearly states that FREN is a rock band with heavy guitar bombast and a beefy bass led rhythm section that sustains an energetic delivery for almost ten minutes. The album continues with excellent keyboard runs, an abundance of time signature richness and excellent instrumental interplay between the four band members with none really stealing the show. This is a top notch band affair graced with a nice modern production that feels as warm and organic as some of the 70s classics.

Despite all the references to classic artists of yore, FREN succeeds in crafting a unique prog vision that offers a unique recipe of retro sounds all thrown into the cauldron together and melded together in a way that sounds like the perfect mix of old and new, rock and jazz, mellow and bombastic. "Pleonasm" for example relies on beautiful classical piano passages to alternate with jazzy guitar sections with crafty variations that direct the track to sneak past the twelve minute mark. If i had to sum up this album in just one word then it would truly be "playful" as the band excel at just making the musical procession a thoroughly enjoyable experience without relying on too many experimental touches and just keeping to a strong groove and instantly cuddly melody making experience much like the classic prog of the past.

Overall WHERE DO YOU WANT THE GHOSTS TO RESIDE may not go down as a classic of retro prog but it is an excellent slice of instrumental prog that will keep you entertained throughout its playing with an interesting diverse set of tracks that stay true to a basic formula but offer enough variation to make this a warm and fuzzy prog experience. This is only the debut so i'm quite impressed. Lots of excellent keyboard and piano action crafting beautiful melodies, uplifting atmospheres, groovy bass and guitar parts that alternate between bombastic rock heft and funk-tinged jazzy workouts. In many ways this sounds so familiar but in others exists in a world of its own. I find this one is pretty good on multiple listens unlike many newer retro prog bands out there. All i can say is - nice!

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Well if there is one thing learned by force majeure from this pandemic, it's the notion of patience and the importance of rationally accepting that all things cannot be perfect at all times, such as the postal world and it's offspring , that incomprehensible term for many : DELAY. I finally received my copy of Fren's debut album, looking forward to hearing what all the fuss was about, as a few reviewers were pleasantly surprised by the quality of this release. I must say that I am strongly biased, as Polish prog has always been a favorite of mine and also because there are no two ethnically distinct nations who have such a consistent love affair as Poland and Hungary for the past thousand years. This debut all-instrumental album has a unique approach in that it stamps its own distinctive style all over the compositions, with only hints of past glorified influences(Floyd, Crimson, Camel, etc). The attribute that leaped out at me was the rather under-produced style that gives an earthiness to the sound that is most welcome. The KISS (keep it simple stupid) factor is at play here and it makes the entire listening experience fresh, vibrant and realistic. Guitarist Michal Chalota, keyboardist Oskar Cenkier, bassist Andrew Shamanow and drummer Oleksii Fedoriv establish a classic progressive line-up and the tracks are all quirky and enthralling, each in their own way. Simple complexity or complex simplicity, it is entirely up to you to decide!

The gorgeous opener "Twin Peaks" is a gentle entrance that glides forward with lush persistence, laden with dreamy atmospherics a la Crimson King, flute mellotron phrasings and crystalline guitar flicks. It acts like a slowly numbing musical anesthetic as the power slowly builds and the rousing organ enters the fray.

The nearly 10 minute "Surge" is quite the stormy surprise, a compass vector into more experimental zones, hints of Anglagard (booming bass, buzz saw guitar, tons of 'tron and forceful drumming) and yet, very exciting, suddenly pastoral and then fren-etic (excuse the pun).Chalota really shines here, delivering a masterful solo, that sears, soars and scours the heavens (think "The Knife" on Trespass) . The fact that its not over-produced and nicely raw is most appealing to these ears and will remain a constant pleasure throughout. A tremendous slice of music.

"Goraca Linea" is a brief but pretty respite that suggests more of a jazz-rock approach, whilst still being muscular and hearty, rippling piano work from Cienker gives him the stage to shine and that he does very deftly. The piano maintains the captaincy on the epic 12 minute "Pleonasm", a captivating arrangement that seals the deal and steals the show, a phenomenal platform for these musicians to express their craft and their teamwork, as they seem already as a well-oiled machine with passion and technique working in their favour. The piano does a lot of the initial heavy lifting, with a little bass slippage and some clever drumming patterns. Then, out of the blue, a slick guitar passage that harkens back to a jazzier, breezin' style (Benson, Carlton, Metheny and co..) that serves only to add some sunshine into the proceedings. The piano returns to shift the focus once again, the fingers dancing on the ivories with grace and elegance, especially towards the 8-minute mark. Truly fascinating mastery, these are exceptionally talented instrumentalists. Chalota rips off another guitar rampage before the piano mood settles down to restful sleep. Brilliant!

As the title may imply, "Heavy Matter" is a sharp return into more conventional prog landscapes, the bass leading the way, setting down the mood, with the help of mellotron flute patches, and slowly begins the process of ratcheting up the angst. The piano certainly accentuates that Canterbury feel, (think Stewart and Sinclair), shaded by some nasty guitar shavings and a tight rhythm section shoving things along. By this time, I feel totally seduced and even slightly gaga over the quality of the menu here. A rousing axe solo sets the pleasure nodes on fire with a blistering lead that sizzles like a firefly on speed.

The finale sets the final stone, a vaguely familiar theme (Ten Years After- "You Give me Lovin" riff), a sublime rambling bass and more exhilarating piano cleverness. The melodic imagination is often an ingredient in Polish music, as there is always a strong mastery of melancholia in their spirit. I feel perfectly at home here. I would strongly pray that the band maintains this raw, realistic and fresh style and does not fall prey to overblown, candy-coated production that would sap the sheer essence of their musical attributes. A band that is worth watching and hearing more of in the future.

4.5 strangers from Krakow

Latest members reviews

5 stars FREN ...., Magic !!!!!! Since releasing their album, I haven't stopped listening to it. With each new listening, I discover new sounds, new colors, new emotions !!!! Totally incredible this album which is really brilliant !!! From Pink Floyd to King Crimson through the big ones of Caravan, here ... (read more)

Report this review (#2431580) | Posted by Moonlight | Thursday, July 23, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars [Originally published at The Progressive Aspect] Fren is a band that seems to have come from out of nowhere with their debut album, Where Do You Want Ghosts To Reside. I've seen all manner of people mentioning the album on social media in glowing terms, so when I saw it appear for review for Th ... (read more)

Report this review (#2410887) | Posted by nick_h_nz | Sunday, June 7, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars EVERY NOW AND THEN '.. Fren is a Polish four piece formation rooted in 2017. It took Oskar Cenkier (pianos, organs, synthesizers, mellotron), Michał Chalota (guitars), Andrew Shamanov (bass guitars, synthesizers) and Oleksii Fedoriv (drums) two years to deliver their debut album Where Do ... (read more)

Report this review (#2410833) | Posted by TenYearsAfter | Saturday, June 6, 2020 | Review Permanlink

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