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Lars Fredrik Frøislie

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Lars Fredrik Frøislie Fire Fortellinger album cover
4.27 | 160 ratings | 13 reviews | 45% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Studio Album, released in 2023

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Rytter av dommedag (16:56)
2. Et sted under himmelhvelvet (6:53)
3. Jærtegn (6:27)
4. Naturens katedral (16:36)

Total Time 46:52

Line-up / Musicians

- Lars Fredrik Frøislie / Hammond C3, Mellotron M400, Minimoog D, Chamberlin M1, Hohner Clavinet D6, spinet, Yamaha electric piano, ARP Axxe & Pro Soloist synths, Solina String Ensemble, Rhodes MKII, Wurlitzer 200, tremoloa (zither), recorder, drums, vocals

- Nikolai Hængsle / Fender & Rickenbacker electric basses

Releases information

Artwork: Lars Fredrik Frøisli

CD, LP, Digital album on Karisma Records (KAR253CD)

Released June 2, 2023

Thanks to rdtprog for the addition
and to Dark Ness & projeKct for the last updates
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LARS FREDRIK FRØISLIE Fire Fortellinger ratings distribution

(160 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(45%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

LARS FREDRIK FRØISLIE Fire Fortellinger reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Progfan97402
5 stars For years I often wondered what it would be like if Lars Fredrik Frøislie would record a solo album. I didn't think he had much motive to do such because of his busy schedule with the numerous bands and guest appearances he made. Then comes the pandemic which naturally would slow down the already slow process of making a new Wobbler album. So that gave him the time to cut a solo album, and Fire Fortellinger is the results. What's unbelievable is, aside from bass, everything you hear is by Lars, including drums and vocals. No guitar but as proven with many prog rock acts since the beginning (including 80% of ELP's output, aside from the acoustic Greg Lake ballads or when Lake adds on electric guitar) is they do just fine with keyboards and no guitars. So of course that won't be a problem with Fire Fortellinger. His vocals remind me of Benedikt Momrak of Tusmørke rather than Andreas Prestmo of Wobbler. How's the music? Elements of Wobbler do show up, even a bit of Tusmørke and Jordsjø but pretty much it's his own thing. "Rytter av Dommedag" is an incredible opening piece, full of great vintage keyboards including Hammond organ and Mellotron. He also includes a Yamaha CP-70 electric grand piano, something I never heard him use before. The second part is full of those "Ah" choruses that get me. thinking of Tusmørke. "Et Sted Himmelhvelvet" is more calm most reminding me of Jordsjø. The flutes are of the Chamberlin M1 variety rather than standard Mellotron. "Naturens Katedral" is a bit in King Crimson territory, that is if the band was completely keyboard-dominated, particularly during the more dirge-like passages. Again more great use of keyboards. Now this will be a polarizing piece because it's the least accessible piece on the album (I don't blame anyone if they felt this piece loses focus or is a bit disjointed) but I am blown away and I love how the album ends. I guess the biggest problem some may have is it's not as melodic as much of the rest of the album, but is a bit more experimental. I really do love that muted harpsichord spinet passage that attempts to sound like an acoustic guitar. Oh yeah, the vocals are all in Norwegian, something normal in most of the Tusmørke albums but totally unheard of in Wobbler. The keyboards are all authentic vintage. This album left me blown away. I can see "Naturens Katedral" being controversial but even I love that one. This is certainly one of the finest prog releases of 2023!
Review by Warthur
5 stars With Wobbler on such a streak of high-quality releases, the prospect of a solo album from Lars Fredrik Frøislie, their keyboardist, is a tasty one indeed. As one might expect, it sounds somewhat Wobbler-ish, though perhaps with more influence from the more pastoral moments of Genesis, the gentler Italian prog bands, or fellow Scandi-prog stalwarts Änglagård, and substantially less influence from Yes.

The scaling back of the Yes influence is no surprise; Lars recorded this without Wobbler's Kristian Karl Hultgren on bass (who's one of the few players out there to really nail a style similar to Chris Squire's), and without the vocals of Andreas Wettergreen Strømman Prestmo, which whilst not ripping off Jon Anderson are in the same sort of arena. Instead, Lars tackles all the vocals himself, opting to sing in Norwegian rather than English - perhaps wisely, because making song lyrics flow naturally in a language which isn't your first is no easy matter.

The music is also a bit more improvisational, being a little rawer - Lars taking the opportunity to offer his ideas pure, without the usual process of filtering and refinement and collaboration which goes into making any band member's individual concept a Wobbler tune. The end result is perhaps the best sort of solo album a member of an active band can make - something close enough to the band's stamping grounds to please existing fans, but different enough to be worth pursuing as a parallel project.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The first solo album by long-time keyboard genius of Norwegian band WOBBLER. It's about time(!) as unsung hero and perhaps greatest prog keyboard artists of the 21st Century, Lars has also served as a full member of the bands TUSMÃ?RKE, HOLON, IN LINGUA MORTUA, WHITE WILLOW, WESERBERGLAND, THE OPIUM CARTEL, and CALIGONAUT!

1. "Rytter av dommedag" (16:56) I haven't heard this keyboard sound in a long time--since PETER GABRIEL circa 1982! The song moves into a EMERSON, LAKE AND PALMER/RENAISSANCE-like vamp motif for the second minute before unravelling for a delicate vocal supported by the above-cited "ancient" electric piano. This motif and music sounds almost mystical, magical, or mythical--as if we're hearing the musical presentation of the life of a mediæval wizard or alchemist. In the fifth minute we move back into a variation of the ELP/John TOUT motif before turning off into a more public/confessional sounding vocal passage still using full ensemble support. The keyboard solo in the seventh minute is, again, quite Keith EMERSON-like (with John CAMP-like bass support). I have to admit: Lars (like his Wobbler band mates) excels at the replication of classic 1970s sounds and motifs. With repeated listens it happens to be Lars unusual vocals that interests and entertains me the most: he feels as if he is truly the embodiment of the classic "magician" stereotype: ambiguous, suspicious, perhaps even unknowable. The song's construction and execution is strong--perhaps even flawless--though, as suggested, very closely mimicking the music of the past (which makes it challenging to rate). (32/35)

2. "Et sted under himmelhvelvet" (6:53) harpsichord arpeggi and "flute" (synthesized) open this before Mellotron and Lars enter to sing a vocal in Lars' native Norwegian that sounds quite a bit like a lot of the current Italian progressive rock artists in its bombast and melodic sensibilities. Nilolai Hængsle's chunky bass is quite the attention-grabber in the third minute as a fairly long instrumental passage begins. Lots of fine keyboard display from vintage sounds. At 3:49 we get a stoppage out of which flows some peaceful Hammond organ play in which is entwined with more of the "flute." At 5:13 Lars returns to the previously used vocal motif, leading again into the very RPI-rich keyboard motif which closes the song in a rather quick fadeout. (13.3333/15)

3. "Jærtegn" (6:27) the launch into fast-paced organ-rich prog sounds so much like a blend of KEN HENSLEY/URIAH HEEP, KEITH EMERSON, and ALLAN "TAFF" FREEMAN (NEKTAR) and yet is also steeped in the older stylings and sounds of ROD ARGENT, BRIAN AUGER, JON LORD, and even MATTHEW FISHER. The rest of the RPI-like styling is nice, the vocal only fair, yet this piece is a very nice tribute to the Hammond. (8.75/10)

4. "Naturens katedral" (16:36) a song that seems to work hard to replicate a scale of keyboard bombast that was only ever really used/identified with KEITH EMERSON, Lars here even goes as far as to try to imitate the vocal timbre and style (and bass sound/style!) of GREG LAKE as well as the drumming style of CARL PALMER. A true tribute to (one of) his hero(es). I'm actually quite impressed with how well Lars (with his doubling-up technique) manages to "duplicate" Greg's vocal style and sound. It's a very different vocal sound than what was present on the previous four songs.

The instrumental passages of the fourth and fifth minutes--with their occasional choral vocalise in the background and rich bass and Mellotron presence--are straight out of the classic RENAISSANCE soundbox. But then we go into a much more ominous Hammond-driven passage that makes me think more of classic Rock Progressivo Italiano music (like that of GOBLIN or LE ORME). Next is the stripped down harpsichord section. While I don't associate the harpsichord with any one band, the prolonged display in the tenth and eleventh minute flows into a passage that sounds and feels as if it comes straight out of the heavy psychedelic craziness that is IL BALLETTO DI BRONZO's 1973 classic masterwork, Ys. Great stuff! (As is the original.)

As we rise out of the RPI maelstrom and into the fifteenth minute we return fully to the realm of the jazz-rock stylings of the great Keith Emerson for a penultimate theme which then morphs into yet another passage in which Lars seems to be paying tribute to the great mainstay of progressive rock music: the Hammond organ. Well done! Though never a raving fan of ELP or Keith Emerson, I love how Lars packaged this tune as what feels like a tribute to how good Keith Emerson might have been. (29/30)

Total Time 46:52

If retro-prog (i.e. the faithful replication of the sounds, styles, and motifs of the "classic era" of 1970s progressive rock music) is what you love, then you'll probably love this product. In fact, I don't think I've ever heard so nice a memorial to the great prog keyboard masters as this one!

A-/five stars; a wonderful contribution of classic keyboard-oriented progressive rock from one of the true modern-day masters of the prog keyboard. Thank you, Lars!

Review by Dapper~Blueberries
5 stars Wobbler is probably one of the most popular modern prog acts right now, especially in the field of retro prog. With five consistently great albums and many more to come, their inventiveness on more symphonic prog textures of Genesis and ELP, with combined elements of Gentle Giant, Renaissance, Anglagard, and Gryphon create a very familiar, yet really unique sound on their part. So, it is great to see their lead vocalist and keyboardist, Lars Fredrik Frøislie, being highly successful in his first solo endeavor of Fire Fortellinger.

While Lars is no stranger to making really stellar music, as he has been involved in numerous bands, his first solo album definitely shows off his talents in a more upfront and personal way, having him being the main musician here with Nikolai Hængsle of Elephant9 helping out on bass.

For what this album is worth, I say it is absolutely stellar. It has two 16 minute epics at the front and back with two smaller 6 minute tracks in between, creating for this really nice order of things in my opinion, but besides that I say all the tracks here are just immaculate.

The music on here, which is definitely shown a lot more in the big epics, are a lot less compositional than what is shown on Wobbler, and while it does have that Wobbler-esque ideals to it, I can say it feels a lot more energetic, with Lars creating these dynamics and improvisational ideas that feel right at home with an early 70s prog venture, though with the high quality production and mixing of the modern day.

I also noticed a bit more focus on the prog folk sounds, notably in the smaller tracks, which both have this sort of Strawbs like feel to them, mixed with a bit of Anthony Philips' The Geese & The Ghost and Harmonium's Les Cinq Saisons being a backing element. All of these different dynamics and moods in Lars' sound really does give this album a very different flavor of symphonic retro prog that I have not quite seen anywhere else in this sphere of music, as most bands usually take a more Yes, or Genesis route, but with Lars he isn't afraid to show his, more or less, lesser known inspirations on his sleeves with this release, and I really appreciate that.

I also love the heavy pastoral flairs on here. Wobbler in themselves were already pastoral as a bed of flowers, but Lars cranks that up to 11, having these moments that feel medieval, epic, and down right agrestic. If he releases an instrumental version of this record, I bet it'd fit really well as background tunes for a lot of DnD sessions.

I do not really think this album has much of any flaws really, maybe some moments of Lars' keyboard might not be as strong as other parts, but even then I feel like even the worst this album could offer is still really good, and for a debut solo album to be of this caliber is honestly a surprise, but definitely a welcome one.

It is honestly really hard to not rank this a five stars, in fact I'd say it is impossible. I really love this record with all my whole heart, with its boundless and energetic symphonic prog dynamics, its multitude of prog folk musical ideologies, and its perfect length and structure, it all becomes this really stellar experience in my book. If you love Wobbler, or just symphonic prog, prog folk, and or retro prog in general, there is no better time than now to check this record. I guarantee you that you will not be disappointed.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars We all know by now that Norway is a progressive rock powerhouse, becoming a major player only after the golden period of the 70s, starting off with pioneering bands like Kerrs Pink, Fruitcake, Kvazar, Gazpacho and Shine Dion, then further emboldened by Airbag, Motorpsycho, Oak, Soup, Pymlico and the Windmill, finally killing it with two huge bands in White Willow and Wobbler. The last two featured a remarkable keyboardist in Lars Fredrik Froislie, an instrumentalist never that flashy in terms of showing off dazzling skills but an absolute master of understated tone and technique, very much at the beck and call of the arrangement in question. He even participated in genre bending as he fronted the Norwegian progressive black metal band In Lingua Morta (a style that the icy cool Norsemen really nail down shut). Lars is quite the sonic adventurer, steering his arsenal of keyboards on a 'drakkar' of endless voyage and innovation but who has now finally decided to do his own thing via a solo album. I have been lamenting since my early prog days in 1969, the lack of usage of my favourite instrument, sadly disregarded by way too many artists, the harpsichord. Attending a classical concert at 13 years of age, I got introduced to this beautiful Baroque/Renaissance instrument, with works by Bach, Couperin and Haendel, played by a young maestro who added some dramatic flair to his technique. It has haunted me ever since. But not anymore, as "Fire Fortellinger" has cascades of this plucky (pardon the pun) keyboard all over the 4 extended tracks that make up this 46-minute masterpiece. Froislie also handles all the drums and vocals, with equal dexterity.

Another typical 2023 prog sandwich, two 16-minute epics to start and finish, stuffed with two 6-minute delights, wondering if this is a secret trend that is becoming pervasive. Or just good old-fashioned coincidence. Well, "Rytter av Demmedag" explodes out of the gate with a thunderous torrent of swirl and a mellotron gale that blows a rousing organ pattern straight into Oz! Bombastic, bold, and utterly alluring, the main theme features a voice that is surprisingly attractive, sung in Norwegian before the synths suddenly weave amid the Gothic organ swells, solidly supported by an athletic bass, courtesy of Nikolai Haengsle and impressive drum gymnastics from Lars himself. The pastoral serenity towards the end harkens back to a sound closer to Genesis' Trespass, with a raw organ, a clever flute synth and some mellotron strings elevating deliberately to a glorious hymn of whopping majesty that invites a colossal choir into the melee, an absolute killer finale.

Speaking of beauty, a delightfully elegant harpsichord arrives in company of a gentle synth flute, as well as Lars' Norse voice introducing a gargantuan crest on "Et Sted Under Himmelhvelet", sounding in fact closer musically to classic PFM. The bass ravages convincingly, a bustling stroll of trebling rasps that really catches the ear, ebbing for just an instant, before re-igniting once again that magnificent mellotron-drenched melody and diving deep into the dense fjords of sonic bliss.

The vintage Hammond organ gets the spotlight on the charging "Jaertgen", a bruising and chaotic slice of wilderness that offers no mercy, until a sudden halt provides an excuse for the harpsichord to charm the listener with that distinguished baroque feel, pleading grey promenade voice in tow, overwhelmingly melancholic and sorrowful.

Sounding at first like a tribute to Brain Salad Surgery, "Naturens Katedral" offers superlative drumming skills, riffling contrasts on the various keyboards (though the organ really is the star) and a vocal style closer to Lake's swooning voice. The arrangement veers into gentler pastures where the piano rules, tingling sparkles of faithful observance when ushering in the choir, greeted by a tortuous synth flourish shoving this epic into another field of play altogether, where the raucous, rabid, and muscular coalesce with the soft elegance of simplicity. It does not take long for the sombre theatrics to kick in anew (think classic Goblin), echoing suspense on a visceral scale, a return to the precious harpsichord to calm the waters, though only for a second. The arrangement is flung into hyper speed, as if to finish in a dizzying display of fury, I can imagine Lars bobbing his head like a 1973 This van Leer on his organ, perhaps even making an odd grimace of contorted euphoria (Focus' La Cathedrale de Strasbourg did come into my mind, albeit only as a wink). Then comes a jazzy bit sounding like an evening tango with Brian Auger, shuffling drum beats straight out of John Marshall's soft spot. Clever and grandiose.

Thoroughly enjoyable, this is a romping adventure that exudes playfulness, honesty, fun and glittering instrumental dexterity without being overtly show-off.

4.5 quivering snowy trees

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars I can't imagine this album not being my record of the year for 2023. Lars Fredrik Froislie is a bad man. Hey I love that he's so serious in all the pictures I see of him it reminds me of another bad man Gerard Hourbette from ART ZOYD, just look at the two pictures in their bio here for example. Anyway I was really looking forward to this but I also had reservations given that this was all Lars except for the bass.

Well my appreciation for this man has blown up after spending the past week with this album. His vocals have such character and that's what you want when you have an album of stories. There's a cool picture of Lars holding a huge story book in the liner notes. And how about the four pictures on the album cover representing those four stories. I mean the art work for story books back in my day were not of this quality, each picture is so beautiful in it's own way.

There's another interesting picture of Lars and about a dozen banks of keyboards surrounding him in the liner notes. His M400 mellotron gets put to good use here along with an array of keyboards of course. And I have to mention Nikolai Haengsle from ELEPHANT9 playing a lot of his Fender basses but also that nasty Rickenbacker. I'm such a huge bass fan and it was so wise of Lars to bring him in because he is all over this album and the importance of his input can't be stressed enough.

This is an album where I run out of adjectives trying to describe it. The last one like this for me was SHAMBLEMATH's "II" album from late in 2021. We get two long tracks of just under 17 minutes each and the two shorter ones both under 7 minutes.

The opener "Rytter Av Dommedag" features the most beautiful and memorable of melodies that comes and goes. The song opens with some power, quite dramatic. Man I love the sound of the keys on here at times bringing RPI to mind. This is just a joy to listen to and we get those contrasts and repeated themes over the 17 minutes. I should have mentioned given the song titles that Lars sings in Norwegian.

The second track features more beautiful atmospheres with mellotron and Lars voice is especially good on this one. The bass is insane after 2 1/2 minutes. "Jaertegn" has those amazing keyboard sounds as it hits the ground running. Vocals and huge bass lines too. A calm and synths lead for a while.

"Naturens Katedral" ends it and it's surprisingly heavy with vocals to start and mid-paced. It turns mellow and these contrasts continue. Check out the mellotron 8 minutes in. Oh my! Some nasty experimental sounds 10 minutes that are amazing before the tempo picks up and vocals return before it settles once again.

Well we have that new JORDSJO coming out in October and Hakon from that band along with Lars are also on that new THE CHRONICLES OF FATHER ROBIN record due to come out next month. But I can't imagine either beating this one out.

Latest members reviews

2 stars 1. Rytter av dommedag for a deluge of vintage notes which echo what was done in time, hence my disappointment since the creation is missing; 16 minutes of thinking about, of bathing in a barely brackish musical climate is a painful observation of poorly digested revival 2. And sted under himmel ... (read more)

Report this review (#3050303) | Posted by alainPP | Saturday, April 27, 2024 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Track 1: Rytter av dommedag: This is a modern prog rock masterpiece, "Rytter av dommedag," a vintage keyboard aficionado's dream come true. From the ethereal mellotron soundscape that bookends the track to the intricate riffs on the ARP and Moog synthesizers, every moment is a testament to the ... (read more)

Report this review (#3049618) | Posted by hugo1995 | Tuesday, April 23, 2024 | Review Permanlink

4 stars In the early Nineties I started to write about progressive rock, in those days The Second Wave Of Skandinavian Prog emerged, spearheaded by Anglagard, Anekdoten and Landberk. I was blown away, especially due to the frequent use of the unsurpassed Mellotron, in the vein of the best early King C ... (read more)

Report this review (#2947044) | Posted by TenYearsAfter | Wednesday, August 23, 2023 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Lars Fredrik Frøislie is the keyboardist and a backing vocalist of Wobbler, and Fire Fortellinger (Four Stories) is his first solo album. I had a few people reach out, independent of one another, to tell me about this album, and they all had a line to the effect of, "I know you're not really a fan o ... (read more)

Report this review (#2935679) | Posted by TheEliteExtremophile | Monday, June 26, 2023 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I want to be clear, I like the music on the record. It is all well-played, well-crafted and well-composed. But it is not my cup of tea. Of the many things I love about discovering music, two are: - seeking the hidden gems from the history of music. There's still so much to explore, I hardly s ... (read more)

Report this review (#2934582) | Posted by WJA-K | Tuesday, June 20, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars What is presented to us in this album is the idea to revive the glories of a certain way of making progressive rock, based on extensive technical approach, complex but never without melody. This is the result of some seventies ideas reworked with taste by the Norwegian keyboardist. An intense ... (read more)

Report this review (#2934008) | Posted by newdawnofprog | Friday, June 16, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I was VERY excited for this one since Wobbler is probably my favorite band formed in the last twenty years so... anyways I'll try to be as conscious of my own subjectivity as much as possible for the sake of the review. lars is insanely talented, really, his drums are on point (WHAT A SURPRISE!) ... (read more)

Report this review (#2930698) | Posted by patrishiou | Monday, June 5, 2023 | Review Permanlink

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