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Pär Lindh Project

Symphonic Prog

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Pär Lindh Project Gothic Impressions album cover
4.03 | 131 ratings | 22 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1994

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Dresden Lamentation (2:06)
2. The Iconoclast (7:04)
3. Green Meadow Lands (7:24)
4. The Cathedral (19:33)
5. Gunnlev's Round (2:50)
6. Night on Bare Mountain (13:50) *

* Absent on 1997 LP edition

Total Time: 52:54

Line-up / Musicians

- Magdalena Hagberg / vocals
- Pär Lindh / keyboards, bass, drums, percussion, producer
- Jocke Ramsell / electric guitar

- Ralf Glasz / vocals
- Mathias Jonsson / vocals
- Camerata Vocalis / chorus vocals
- Björn Johansson / Classical guitar, bassoon, tinwhistle
- Roine Stolt / acoustic guitar
- Jonas Endgegård / electric guitar
- Lovisa Stenberg / harp
- Anna Holmgren / flute
- Johan Högberg / bass
- Mattias Olsson / drums, percussion

Note: The actual instrumentation could not be fully confirmed at this moment

Releases information

CD Crimsonic ‎- CLSCD 101 (1994, Sweden)
CD Crimsonic ‎- CLSCD 201 (2004, Sweden) 24-bits remastered and new mix (Partly new vocals, drums and choir)

LP Record Heaven ‎- RHPD 10 (1997, Sweden) Misses a track from CD edition

Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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PÄR LINDH PROJECT Gothic Impressions ratings distribution

(131 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(48%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

PÄR LINDH PROJECT Gothic Impressions reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marcelo
5 stars In my opinion, Pär Lindh is one of the most brilliant keyboardists and any album signed by him is a jewel. This is another fantastic demonstration of his talent.

"The Cathedral" (almost 20 minutes' suite) is the heavy organ highlight here, but all compositions shows a cohesive clasically-baroque oriented music, adding the fabulous voice from Magdalena Hagberg (IMHO, the best female prog voice ever) and tons of energetic surprises.

If you want to know a refined and musically "ancient" parent from ELP, Pär Lindh will never disappoint you!

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!

All of the ingredients were present to make one superb album but it somehow does never reach a climax anywhere but it does come close. This could've been along with Landberk, Anglagard and Anekdoten 's fabulous debuts and it does approach but not reach those . Half of Anglagard play on this album.

Clearly in the line of early 90's Swedish prog (and therefore also in the line of early 70's UKprog), the music goes from sombre to grandiose; from calm to demented, from black to white, with keyboards wizzard Pär Lindh clearly the star of the show.

As said above, this album lacks a bit of je-ne-sais-quoi to step over the fence and become a great album >> something Pär's next album will easily manage

Review by loserboy
5 stars Keyboard and song writing wizard PAR LINDH's "Gothic Impressions" is an excellent album with a distinct personality. LINDH who is known around the prog circles as a real originator has created some amazing landscapes here supported by some amazing co-musicians (incl. Roine Stolt on 1 track). Essentially "Gothic Impressions" is "Renaissance musical impressionism" at its finest. LINDH's cathedral like keyboard playing and analog synths will transport you back to the turn of the previous century where men lived and died by the sword. Imagery is high here and the music is rich and very pure sounding with solid speaker seperation. One of the things that impressed me here is the deep and pure analog bass sounds he extracts from the instruments which fills your speakers. I have always loved the rich church organ sounds in prog music (aka WAKEMAN) which at times sounds just so damn perfect... another real solid progressive rock album.
Review by lor68
4 stars Well do you remember such a renewal of one piece of art concerning 20th century's classic music, performed by Fireballet?!I'm referring to "Night on a Bold Mountain" by Mussorgsky: if the answer is "yes", try to check it out and listen to this kind of classic music stuff from Sweden as well,which is the most important reference for Par Lindh (here the title is "Night on a Bare Mountain"). In fact this first project by Lindh seems similar to Fireballet's "Night on a Bold Mountain", but in comparison to the old jewel from USA, is less referred to bands like Yes or Genesis, rather trying to emulate the same spirit of Anglagard (his former great band!!),inside an apparatus of classic music!! That is certainly you won't be disappointed or upset from this "Gothic" apparatus, built on the keyboards (above all the Hammond organs and the Cathedral organ too, played by this interesting composer),nor you will find any Romantic stuff in the vein of 70's classic prog music (unlike Fireballet), because is an instrumental album entirely composed by Lindh according to the classic model of a Music Academy...nevertheless it lacks of something, but it is not important in the whole contest!! This issue stands alone as his best effort: afterwards He was not able to repeat his performance at this level,especially with the same creativity, and cause of this "defect", the following albums were a bit disappointing and too much repetitive!! Of course a "3 stars and an half" rating is righter, but it never minds, as you could also buy it without thinking of its quality too much!!
Review by richardh
4 stars I came across this album at an ELP convention in 1995.On the table where it was being sold there was a sign 'Is This A Brain Salad Surgery For The Nineties?''. Well I purchased it (mainly for the wonderfull artwork not the sign) and when I got home gave it a whirl.Very impressed. It's clear that this guy wears his influences on his sleeve (Keith Emerson,ELP,King Crimson(early years)) but importantly he knows what he is doing,As the sleevenotes say he uses traditional techniques and instruments that give this recording an 'old' feel (which I like).And look at the array of talent that plays on this.It's almost a who's who of Swedish prog rock! Best track on the album is the (nearly) 20 minuter 'The Cathedral' allowing Par Lindh to display his ability on various pipe and electronic organs.There's also an excellent version of that old prog fave 'Night On Bare Mountain' with a new section added.Very Emersonesque. Overall this an album that will definetly appeal most to ELP and King Crimson fans although certainly won't alienate fans of other prog bands.
Review by The Prognaut
5 stars Most of the nowadays prog scene bands are quite satisfied with themselves just by imitating the great maestros of yesterday, repeating over and over again the same formula that's made them famous, waiting to pass unperceived, trying to reach the top of fame sacrificing their own identity, creativity and originality. Not being this position the one related to PÄR LINDH PROJECT (PLP), in 1994 the multi-instrument player and songwriter Pär LINDH, Swedish by origins, creates PLP. This group counts in between its lines with top class musicians, which mix influences from classical periods such as the renaissance music, baroque, post-romantic and impressionist; the music of BACH, VIVALDI and MOUSSORGSKY; and the symphonic music of the seventies rock bands with the avante garde. As result of this mixture of styles and periods, PLP, presents us this kind of unique, brilliant, fresh and original music.

Although when PLP focuses on virtuous keyboardist Pär LINDH as main sound of its pieces, the cohesion and maturity existing among the musicians is the true key to the bands success. The operatic voice of Magdalena HAGBERG, the sudden guitar solos by Jocke RAMSELL, the outrageous drum and bass strikes by Nisse BIELFED and Marcus JADERHOLM respectively, make this group of gifted musicians assure its position among the greatest due their indisputable originality.

Tons of critics rush into comparing the band to ELP and Rick WAKEMAN due the magnificent work performed by Pär on keyboards, nevertheless this comparisons are quite far from reality. PLP has a more pure classical influence than ELP and it's way too much rockier than WAKEMAN and virtuosity upon PLP's work is as good as many of the performances presented by the phenomenal keyboardist early mentioned. Most of the "Gothic Impressions", PLP's debut album, was recorded during the 70's. Nonetheless, due the lack of support provided by the labels of that time and the financial situation of the band, it wasn't until 1994 when the CD comes out finally to the light. Through the six pieces of this CD, PLP allows us to travel into eternity and takes us five centuries back in time and introduces us to the paths of classical music, not without transporting us throughout the explosive progressive rock of the seventies before.

In this recording you can perceive all the masterful skills of Pär on keyboards. and well, when I mean keyboards I specifically refer to the church organ, the harpsichord, the Grand piano and several electric keyboards, but if you just don't consider this the ultimate challenge for this multi-instrument player and talented musician, he also played bass, drums and percussion in this album. This CD is a clear example of creativeness and originality, in which two opuses stand out from the rest of the pieces due their structure and incomparable execution: "The Cathedral" and MOUSSORGSKY's adaptation to "Night on Bare Mountain".

In this work, several Scandinavian prog rock icons we've all learned to love and respect participated, such as: Roine STOLT ("THE FLOWER KINGS" guitarist), Anna HOLMGREN - Flute, Johan HOGBERG - Bass, Jonas ENGDEGARD - Lead guitar, Mattias OLSSON - Drums and percussions (these all four excellent guests musicians from ÄNGLAGÅRD). The importance of Pär LINDH is not only found within his band. This character founded in 1991 "The Swedish Art Rock Society", which helped Swedish prog rock reemerge. During the Fall of 1991, he organized the first association festival in which the most important representative bands of Sweden participated (ANEKDOTEN, ÄNGLAGÅRD and LANDBERK).

Review by Jim Garten
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Retired Admin & Razor Guru
3 stars This is an album which grows on you - had I submitted a review when I first purchased the CD, I would probably have given it 1 or maybe 2 stars at the most.

There is no doubting Lindh's technical proficiency, or that of the rest of the 'project', the problem on first listening comes in 2 areas:

1 - The vocals: The three vocalists on this album sing perfectly, and never out of key, but also without any real feeling; it is as if they are just reading the score, and singing it for the first time verbatim.

2 - This is a very 'cold' album; the impression comes across strongly this is Par Lindh's album/project, and woe betide anyone who plays anything other than that which is on the page in front of them.

Notwithstanding the above, however, and bearing in mind that much of the music was written over a decade prior to it being recorded, you will find yourself reaching for this CD more & more; the overall sound is somewhere between a Wakeman solo album ('6 Wives...' springs to mind), and some of Alan Parsons's more gothic work (e.g. 'Tales Of Mystery...'), with a touch of ELP thrown in to spice the mix, and similarities to Caravan's Pye Hastings in some of the vocals, giving the more minstrel-like lyrical touches an almost pastoral feel.

As I said in the beginning, this is an album which grows on you - who knows I may find myself coming back at a later date, and upgrading from 3 stars, to, well - who knows?

Review by Dan Bobrowski
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I can't help but be thrown back into the Theater on Geery in San Francisco watching the Phantom of the Opera whenever I listen to this recording. Something in the match up of church organ and modern drumming that scream, "Andrew Lloyd Weber" to me. Of course the corny faux opera vocals help to heighten that sensation. Personally, I don't buy it.

Three stars is being generous, that is strictly for the high level of musicianship displayed. Two stars for originality and creativity. Par Lindh tears up the keys on these tunes, sure, but I can't help but feel as though he simple rehashing the pretentiousness of Keith Emerson, rather than making a statement of his own.

Green Meadow Lands does come across like a long lost King Crimson ITCOTCK track. It's not unpleasant, just reeking of fake sincerity. "Night on Bare Mountain" just shrieks ELP, right down to the ultra-hyper Carl Palmer styled snare abuse. I do find Desden Lamentation to be beautiful, if not too short. The same with the flute driven Gunnley's Round with sweet female vocal accompaniment. Lovely. The Cathedral has some moments that I foudn myself drifting into daydream, but the vocal parts give me a queasy feeling in the pit of my stomache.

I wouldn't recommend this to anyone I know. Anyone wanna trade?

Review by Menswear
4 stars When Anglagard died in 1994, we knew a powerful band was dismantled and the musicians shipwrecked in a sea of commercial ingratitude. Hopefully the open arms of Par Lindh were wide open and gave work to those talented people.

And credit should be given to Lindh because the guy knows how to surround himself: simply the best north european crew possible. Olson, Homlgren, Johansson, Hogbert and Stolt; everything was there to create THE album of the 90's 'new school-style'. This is indeed a new school of progressive rock and easily some of the best you could find in the 90's. This album is a lot more mature and diversified than Mundus Incompertus....way, way, way more diversified and mature. I didn't knew before how talented and creative Lindh is. I mean, I knew him with Mundus Incompertus, but this is way deeper stuff!

Simply put, this is THE non-metal classical keyboard oriented album of the last 10 years. No need to search elsewhere, no need to research, I did the check for you and nowhere you should get something as compact and tight sounding.

If this is sooo neat, why am I snatching one star off the rating? The vocals done by the singer are simply out of place to me. The guy tries really hard, let's give him a chance. But he has the voice of Jay Jay Johansson crossed with the breath capacity of an asmatic hamster. Crooning voice and no range = missed opportunity. Why choosing him?!? I was available at that time!!!

A super-compressed discharge of classical material new school.

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars It's very rare to find a super group that actually works because normally they present a collection of huge egos trying to prove each one is absolutely superior to the rest, and the result is chaotic in most of the cases.

I believe Pär Lindh found the perfect formula in "Gothic Impressions", he kept his name for the band and joined the most competent Swedish musicians from ÅNGLÃGARD, FLOWER KINGS, PÄR LINDH & BJORN JOHANSSON plus the PÄR LINDH PROJECT members and the CAMERATA VOCALIS. But there was no doubt, the leader and mastermind of this album is Pär Lindh and all the rest are almost guests, so the fight for power was avoided.

There's an urban legend that this album was recorded during the 70's and due to lack of support it wasn't released until 1994, but this is not very likely, because musicians as Mattias Olson and Anna Holmgren were born in 1975 and 1969 (respectively) plus the fact that Pär Lind joined his first Hard Rock band (Anthena Baroque) in 1977 and only in 1978 joined an Art Rock trio called Vincebus Eruptun who played several gigs, but he almost immediately left the rock world and returned to his classical career as Pianist Harpsichordist and in 1980 joined The Royal Swedish Chamber Orchestra.

It's only until 1989 when he decides to dedicate his live to Progressive Rock and joins a local band called Manticore during that period he built his own studio where he recorded "Gothic Impressions" with the best Swedish musicians available in te moment including Roine Stolt, so believe it or not, Gothic Impressions is a product of the 90's with the clear sound style and quality of the 70's.

In the beginnings of the 90's Sweden was a fertile ground for Progressive Rock's rebirth with a lot of classically rained musicians and a great love for early Prog', many bands started before PÄR LINDH PROJECT but all this second air has it's base in "The Swedish Art Rock Society" formed in 1991 by Pär Lindh.

Now, how to describe "Gothic Impressions", is it a Symphonic Prog Rock album with huge classical (as a broad term that goes from late Medieval or Gothic to Modern Classical) and special emphasis in late Gothic and Baroque or a Classical Orchestra with Rock touches?

Sincerely I don't know or care, because the music is spectacular and that's all that matters, Pär's skills as keyboardist are highly underrated, I believe he's in the same level as such monsters as Wakeman, or Emerson, but with a most solid formation.

His compositional skills are very well developed due to a very complete formal musical education in several instruments and a live devoted to music. But of course one of the reasons of his success is that he chooses the best musicians available, so the result is simply outstanding.

The album opens with Dresden Lamentations", a gothic piece of music, dark and haunting with clear Canonic/Religious sound that proves what a great Organ player Pär is, a great intro that blends perfectly with "The Iconoclast", a more Baroque piece of music with a hard Rock edge, where Lindh proves he's as good with Hammond as with Church organ.

The vocals seem to be out of key somet8imes, but in my opinion it's done with the clear intention to create a desired Gothic sound almost as monks praying, outstanding work by Mattias Olson with the drums, especially if you notice that the guy was 19 years old by that point. When the song reaches to organ climax and seems to ends, starts a short instrumental section clearly influenced by he Anglagard members that lead to s softer and a bit cacophonic end. Brilliant.

"Green Meadow Land" starts softer and somehow Flemish oriented but again the powerful chorals by Camerata Vocalis bring us back to the late Gothic era mixed with Rock fugues, the vocals (believe by Joke Ramsell) seem out of tune but fit perfectly with the desired atmosphere, appears simpler and less ambitious than the previous tracks until around the middle where Anna Holmgren and her wonderful flute make the change, the music flows gently in crescendo leading to an explosive Organ section and an early Crimsonian vocal Pärt somehow reminiscent of In the Court of the Crimson King album. Not my favorite track, but still very good.

Now is the turn for "The Cathedral" a 19:33 minutes epic that starts with a religious church organ section that is soon blends a dramatic chorus and Baroque Organ. The vocals are amazing in this case, the Medieval obscurantist atmosphere is perfectly achieved until suddenly everything explodes, the Hammond blends with guitars and drums to create a very symphonic Rock section during which Pär Lind has the chance to play with all kind of keyboards and create very complex musical sections.

After a while gets softer with Björn Johansson playing his classical guitar mixed with Anna's flute and the vocals to create a spiritual atmosphere that is empathized by the harp, but again out of nowhere a very heavy section a la ELP starts to make a new change and a very psychedelic guitar by Jonas Endgegård completes the fusion of sounds. The track ends with another spectacular Church organ solo, 19:33 minutes of the best Progressive Rock you can get.

"Gunnlev's Run" is an early Medieval track with harpsichord where the incredible voice of Magdalena Hagsberg fuses completely with an outstanding chorus, you can feel the spirit of traveling troubadours, with some Baroque fugues,. Completely different to he previous, but one of my favorites, the only thing I lament is that it's so short.

"Night on the Bald Mountain" this Mussorgsky classic that has been partially recreated by several Prog musicians and bands, but IMO this is by far the best arrangement and performance I ever heard, the whole strength and drama is captured, the whole essence is present without being just a copy, it's much more, another highlight of the album, is a completely new but at the same time respectful version of this masterpiece, excellent is a poor word to describe it.

The rating is not a problem, less than 5 stars would be unfair, a terribly forgotten gem that should be in the top ten list of every site, it's not casual that "Gothic Impressions" was elected as one of the ten best Progressive albums of all time by the Argentinean Progressive Rock Society 1997, but they are not from UK and that's a sin hardly forgiven by some fans.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Par Lindh's story with progressive rock goes back in the late 70's.Being trained on piano,organ and drums Par was a member of a couple of prog rock groups,but after the huge fall of the progressive rock movement he decided to purchase a career as a musician of classical music.Studying piano and hapsichord and based in France,he performed all over Europe as a classical composer.But his love for prog rock didn't fade away.By late 80's he was back in Sweden and in 1991 he founded the Swedish Art Rock Society.With the rebirth of prog rock and the presence of excellent groups such as ANGLAGARD and LANDBERK,things were a lot more easier for Par to focus on working on a progressive rock group...

In 1994 Par released his first album under the name of PAR LINDH'S PROJECT with the tithle ''Gothic impressions''.And the result is exactly what you expect from such an experienced musician,a prog rock little gem.His work is very much influenced by RICK WAKEMAN and KEITH EMERSON,but Par also adds his personal touch with all these baroque,medieval,middle age influences,combining all these elements in a perfect way.Keyboard freaks will have the time of their life with this album .Synthesizers ,piano ,mellotron ,hammond but mainly tons of excellent church organ work give Par the title of the ''Keyboards' modern hero''.''Iconoclast'' is a fantastic starter with operatic vocals and grandiose keyboards and organ,while ''Green meadow lands'' is an absolute stunner,a lost GENESIS gem,with Collins-like gentle vocals and beautiful Mellotron.It's time for the epic of the album,what to say,a masterful arrangement.Starting with the thrilling organ,the vocals are added so gently,followed by Par's complex keyboard soli.Melodic guitar solos,ethereal vocals and a great organ theme will end this track up in a dramatic way.A medieval track such as ''Gunnlev's round'' follows as an intro to what I call ''Par Lindh's personal time'' and that is ''Night on bare mountain''.This is maybe the weak point of the album.Of course the musicianship is absolutely masterful,almost every organ that Par has studied is in here,it's almost like a soundtrack of a horror movie with Par playing in a dramatic,complex,almost scary way,but I find this track a little bit excessive in duration and self-confidence.I would prefer again a more symphonic,melodic yet dramatic way by Par Lindh on showing his undenieable skills.

Not much to add.This is for sure an essential album full of great arrangements motivated by classical music,baroque,the middle age and of course 70's prog.I will rate this with 4.5 stars downgraded to 4.Sympho-maniacs have no reason not to add this to their collection.Prog rock fans in general must check this effort out so they will understand why classical music and rock music are so much related....

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars I have the 10th anniversary Re-Edition which includes some great information about this album. Par says he had composed the bulk of this work back in the seventies, but by the time he wanted to release it the Prog movement had grown out of favour with the record labels, so it was temporarily put aside. Later Par joined The Classic Rock Society as their chairman and they presented the first festival with ANEKDOTEN, LANDBERK and ANGLAGARD (the holy trinity of Swedish Prog). Progressive music soon started to have a re-surgence in his native Sweden and he was able to not only get signed to a label but to have some amazing guests come in and help him record this beast. Four members of ANGLAGARD help him out here on drums, flute, lead guitar and bass, plus Roine Stolt adds acoustic guitar to one track. Many more guests help out as well. Cool to see that picture of Roine looking so young as well as all the pictures of the other guests. The music is Gothic and with the church organ, choirs and mellotron it does have a religious feel. Very orchestral and Classical sounding at times as well. I love how much this sounds like ANGLGARD at times too.This was critically acclaimed when it was released and I think anyone who's into Progressive music would agree that this is beyond brilliant. By the way Par is a multi-instrumentalist who is very gifted on the keyboards which soon became obvious to me after listening to this all last week.

"Dresden Lamentation" opens with church bells then a powerful orchestral-like section floods the soundscape. "Iconoclast' has this dramatic intro as drums pound. The vocal melodies sound incredible. Male vocals arrive before a minute. It settles after 2 minutes and the organ starts to lead before kicking back in with drums and a full sound. Killer ! Very powerful 5 minutes in as well. Angelic vocal melodies follow as it calms right down. Mellotron before 6 1/2 minutes. "Green Meadow Lands" is so tranquil and beautiful with flute and majestic sounds. Emotion. Vocals after a minute. The tempo picks up and Roine comes in on acoustic guitar around 2 minutes. It becomes so moving, I mean i'm broken around 2 1/2 minutes. It settles back as themes are repeated. My favourite track.

"The Cathedral" is epic at almost 20 minutes in length. Pipe organ to start which lasts for 2 minutes then a laid back soundscape with vocals takes over. It kicks in heavily and is very ANGLAGARD-like before 4 1/2 minutes. Huge bass here and fantastic drumming from the ANGLAGARD duo. Not worthy ! It settles after 8 minutes and mellotron follows.Themes are repeated and it ends much like it began. Amazing tune ! "Gunnlev's Round" opens with flute, lute and other intricate sounds as female vocal melodies join in.There's a Celtic vibe to this one. "Night On Bare Mountain" is a song that Par says " one of the most extraordinary works originating from Eastern Europe. I have since my childhood days had the idea of doing a version of this piece using modern instruments." It's atmospheric early before it kicks in quickly with a strong orchestral presence. Incredible ! The song changes tempo and mood often as we get an impressive instrumental disply to end this record.

A classic from Sweden.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A Prog album worth collecting ...

Looking at Parlindh bio at wikipedia, it's quite clear that he is a talented musician with various musical background starting as church organist, a touring classical pianist, a solo harpsichordist, a drummer, a Hammond organist, a jazz & ragtime entertainer etc. Even though he is a keyboardist, I think he is very talented in composing a music. I knew his project for the first time in 2000 when some of my prog mates introduced me the album. I did not have a chance to write a review as I never paid attention the album in particular detail. Only yesterday I decided to have a look in more detail attention. Well, actually it was not intended that way because I just wanted to have some changes in the kind of music or the names of prog band that I wanted to spin and it came out with this 'Gothic Impressions' album.

WOW! I was surprised with the kind of music I was hearing yesterday while I took a bath because I heard so many sounds of church organ being played. Well yeah, actually that kind of sound that I heard when my friend introduced me Parlindh sometime in 2000. I then listened to the music in more serious way and observing how the music moves from one segment to another, from one track to another ....I felt an enjoyment with the music and this is my view:

Cohesive. First off, the music is cohesive as a symphonic prog album as the whole theme of the music in the album can be seen as one unity - that's why I call it cohesive. I am not sure if this was intended as a concept album or not but to me yes it is. The whole music sparks a strong storyline from segment to segment, from track one until track 6. All of them are crafted beautifully so that you can feel there are many different moods offered by the music throughout the album. There are segments with vocal and there are those without vocal - but all them unite beautifully into ONE sort of storyline. I don't really care what kind of story this album tries to offer but I feel really good enjoying the whole album. In fact, it's hard for me to tell you which as favorite tracks.

Rich in Styles. Well, if you ask me what kind of style - I would say that this album is predominantly a church organ enriched with some other instruments that sound like a flavor of an ice cream. I fully understand this as he was basically a church organist. But it's OK - you must build your music from where you have a strong point which is for sure church organ. Why do I say it 'rich in style' if it's more on church organ? Hold on mates .... He crafted his music starting from the point where he has his strengths and as I said, it's OK. But he has done it brilliantly as when the music moves he augment the music with some other instruments that enrich the main point of church organ. Brilliant! So... when I listen to the album sometime I feel like listening to Rick Wakeman's 'Six Wives' and I suddenly feel like I am listening to Dixie Dregs music. Wow! What an experience! You can feel it when you pay attention to the last track 'Night on Bare Mountain' (13:50). He intentionally put the jazz / ragtime style into his music.

Nice melody. I never go to church as I am a moslem. But, I am sure that the tagline melody of the overall music offered by this album is really excellent. I am not talking about song by song but overall. You can feel the arrangement of notes Par Lindh has put in his music to build a melody of the album is really good. It fits with my philosophy that "music is about emotion". This melody can move your emotion without you need to know what the lyrics is talking about.

Overall, I consider this album as an excellent addition to any prog music collection. If you are the fan of symphonic prog music, go and GET the music. It's really worth it. If you happen to ask why I do not give this album a masterpiece star? Simple - it lacks energy. Well, if you don't need it, you may score this album as a masterpiece. It's your call. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Sinusoid
3 stars Never have I heard so much classical bombast in a rock album in my life, and I've heard a few ELP albums. If there's any part of the prog music that Par Lindh nailed perfectly other than drowning the album in keyboards is go for the jugular and create one of the most unapologetically bombastic albums known to mankind.

I swear that not even the Vatican uses those particular organ sounds as often as this album does. Those church organs like the one you heard on ''Awaken'' are practically flaunted throughout the album even if we get a touch of Emersonian keys on the occasion. You could get away calling this power metal with almost all keyboards (funny enough, I found this in the metal section of a used CD store).

GOTHIC IMPRESSIONS is easy to gobble up if you're already a fan of symphonic prog, but most others will find it overkill about halfway through ''The Iconoclast''. Surprisingly, as memorable as some melodies are and as bombastic as it is, compositionally it didn't move me too much. The vocals are also a complete lull. I will give them credit for the good adaptation of Mussorgsky's ''Night on Bare Mountain'' as well as the first half of ''The Cathedral''. However, the second half of that epic was better when it was called ''Karn Evil 9''.

I would normally have qualms over something like this, but the bombasticism is actually what makes GOTHIC IMPRESSION so enjoyable. Not in the upper echelon of prog, but if you can find it, I'd check it out.

Review by Progfan97402
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.

Review by Warthur
4 stars This debut album finds Pär Lindh and his collaborators taking the ELP sound down a road less travelled. Whilst in their 1970s career ELP ended up finding their music becoming increasingly crowded with incongruous novelty elements and a general lack of thematic focus as a result of the infamous creative struggles within the band, you don't go into a group called "Pär Lindh Project" unless you're comfortable with the idea of Pär Lindh himself having the final say; perhaps that's why I find this album more cohesive than any ELP release with the possible exception of their debut.

In particular, imagine a version of ELP where, on reviewing the dark, brooding atmosphere of "The Barbarian" on their debut album, decided "Yeah, that's what we need to be going for", and where their subsequent original prog compositions and classical adaptations alike were adapted in the service of evoking that very specific atmosphere; they might have ended up somewhere in the vicinity of Gothic Impressions. Make sure to get the CD version; the lone LP release from 1997 cuts "Night On Bald Mountain" from the running order, which I consider to be a real shame.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The debut album from Pär Lindh and his co-conspirators, their brand of Neo Prog is quite refreshing in that their aim is definitely to recreate a kind of ecclesiastical epoch of music with their church organs and choir banks of voices. The participation of three of the Änglagård crew (Anna, Johan, and Mattias) make this more interesting.

1. "Dresden Lamentation" (2:06) a fitting tribute to the victims of the 1945 firebombing. (4.5/5)

2. "The Iconoclast" (7:04) I like the beginning and chamber/choral end of this but not so much the middle (don't really like the lead male singer's sound or style). (12.5/15)

3. "Green Meadow Lands" (7:24) flute and harpsichord open this. Quite lovely. Nice male vocal with tubular bells and rock ensemble. In fact, the Änglagård trio have quite a big presence on this one. A litttle nod to King Crimson in the fifth and sixth minutes despite the Mike Oldfield-like lead guitar. (14/15)

4. "The Cathedral" (19:33) one of my ten favorite long-playing epics of the 1990s. (38/40)

5. "Gunnlev's Round" (2:50) a delightful little pastoral piece done in a baroque style. (5/5)

6. "Night on Bare Mountain" (13:50) never a big fan of this piece by Mussorgsky, this version is performed stylishly but does nothing for me. (26/30)

A-/five stars; a minor masterpiece of progressive rock music. Quite an impressive debut!

Latest members reviews

4 stars If only the last track was not there !! Gothic Impressions is what we may call a dream made of angel's music, dream that fell short. From the first seconds of that CD, we know it will be fabulous : beautiful arranged keybords leading to the first song : "the Iconoclast". Every little things ... (read more)

Report this review (#212738) | Posted by Ultime | Tuesday, April 28, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I think people often forget that Par Lindh was one of the early proponents of the third wave of prog. This album from 1994 is quite interesting for a number of reasons. First, 2 of the most important tracks (including the epic) feature the rhythm section from Anglagard, with another track feat ... (read more)

Report this review (#207687) | Posted by infandous | Wednesday, March 18, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I recently acquired this great album and was right away impressed by the quality of the musicianship and songwriting. The more you listen the more you discover subtleties in the composition and soudscapes. The instrumentation is also wonderful. Really I wish we could give Half stars as this one ... (read more)

Report this review (#175060) | Posted by pollux | Tuesday, June 24, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "The Cathedral" is a 20 minute song that deserves more attention by prog rock dj's. This album is very underated in the internet prog stations . the gothic prog sounds are brilliant. the organ is in front row, forget about guitar junk in Dream theater's recent albums, Par Lindh is for those w ... (read more)

Report this review (#78492) | Posted by V for Victory | Wednesday, May 17, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I would give this 5 stars at the moment, this CD is a must for those into indulgent keyboard based music - the Church organ work is fantastic and the keyboards styles are easy to pick out - Emerson , Greenslade amd Wakeman. I especially like the Cathedral - This has lovely Church organ, nice ... (read more)

Report this review (#4436) | Posted by Swinton MCR | Monday, December 13, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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