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Roine Stolt

Symphonic Prog

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Roine Stolt Fantasia album cover
2.20 | 37 ratings | 3 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Collectors/fans only

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Studio Album, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Nytt Blod (4:40)
2. Som Svalor Mot Skyn (4:01)
3. Samhällets Olycksbarn (6:15)
4. Dödens Ansikte (6:49)
5. Café Caruso (2:50)
6. Continental Carneval (3:59)
7. Silversurfaren (3:45)
8. Grodballetten (4:52)
9. Giganternas Kamp (6:49)
10. Järnhästen (4:35)

Total Time 48:35

Bonus tracks on 1992 CD release:
11. Kinesmarknad (3:43)
12. Mr. Evergreen (3:47)
13. Lejonhjärta (4:56)

Line-up / Musicians

- Roine Stolt / 6- & 12-string electric guitars, acoustic guitar, Roland guitar synthesizer, keyboards (Crumar Multiman, Minimoog, Korg Polysynth, Yamaha CS80/SV2, WLM & Crumar organs) , vocals (1,3), Korg vocoder (3,4), bass (2,13), drums & vibes (13), glockenspiel (10), percussion

- Janne Ahman / vocals (1,3)
- Mats Löfgren / vocals (2,4)
- Ninna Högman / vocals (2,5)
- Per Andreasson / synths - Crumar Multiman, Minimoog, Korg Polysynth (1,3,4,8,11), piano (8), guitar & vocals (1)
- Andreas Zeitler / alto saxophone (6,11)
- Mats Lindberg / bass, Minimoog, Taurus pedals, chimes (3-5,8,10)
- Håkan Hultman / drums, vocals (1)
- Hans Bruniusson / drums (4), xylophone (8)

Releases information

Artwork: Bill Moëll

LP Svenska Love Records ‎- SLLP 06 (1979, Sweden)

CD MNW ‎- MNW CDR13 (1992, Sweden) Remastered with 3 bonus tracks

Thanks to akagert for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy ROINE STOLT Fantasia Music

ROINE STOLT Fantasia ratings distribution

(37 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(5%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (43%)
Poor. Only for completionists (14%)

ROINE STOLT Fantasia reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by progaeopteryx
2 stars In 1979 Roine Stolt left the band Kaipa to form his own group which he called Fantasia. Fantasia released two albums before breaking up in 1983. The first of those albums was later released on CD by MNW Records in 1992 under Roine Stolt's name with the title "Fantasia," most likely for marketing purposes.

Fantasia is a real mixed bag. It has its share of very good songs intertwined with a bunch of boring filler. Still, you can hear glimpses of what will eventually turn into the trademark Flower Kings style in places. Being more familiar with Stolt's work in the 1990's, I was surprised at the small amount of vocal contributions he made to this recording, often relying on other vocalists including Janne Ahman and Mats Löfgren (from Kaipa). In the few parts he does sing, he uses a vocoder. In addition, Fantasia features bassist Mats Lindberg from Kaipa and Hasse Bruniusson (later with the Flower Kings) on percussion on a couple of songs.

Right away Fantasia starts off on the wrong foot. Nytt Blod sounds like disco and the following track is a boring acoustic piece that made my eyelids very heavy. Fortunately, I was awakened by Samhällets Olycksbarn which is a very lush symphonic piece similar to Wind & Wuthering-style Genesis with some rather strange vocal effects. This was followed by Dödens Ansikte which reminds me of the Flower Kings with Löfgren on vocals. A very good song. Stolt performs an adequate Moog solo on this piece. The fifth track, Cafe Caruso, features a lovely female vocal (Ninna Högman), has a nice ambient flavor and gives the impression of an orchestral interlude leading up to the next track. Unfortunately, the next track leaves much to be desired. Continental Carneval is a disco-like instrumental that sounds like TV music for the Love Boat.

As we proceed forward with this disc, we delve deeper into mediocrity. Track 7, Silversurfaren, is a rather spiritless, but funky adventure. Grodballetten is average fare, similar to Flower Kings filler material, but has some nice xylophone playing. As our eyelids begin to grow heavy again, track 9 wakes us up, if only momentarily. Giganternas Kamp is another instrumental, again in a style similar to a precursor of the Flower Kings, but is much, much better than the previous tracks. However, this is the last good song on the album. The remaining three tracks (which are bonus tracks) are boring instrumentals bordering on pop rock.

Overall, I liked 5 of the 13 tracks on Fantasia. Of those five, none of them are particularly special. The remaining eight tracks are either filler or unworthy of being filler, in prog rock terms. The musicians are adequate, but nothing really catches my attention from the playing. This is after all Stolt's first "solo" album and his debut at writing all the material for an album (I think?), plus I'm guessing even Sweden wasn't immune to the dreadful state of music during this time period. In that sense, Fantasia is average for prog rock during that time period. But in regard to the genre as a whole, I can only recommend this to collectors and fans only, meaning Stolt, Kaipa, and the Flower Kings families. All others, please avoid, unless you are really looking for something better than sleeping pills.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars What rating means to you? I need to ask you this for clarity of how the ratings that I have given you so far through this wonderful site have worked well for you. My chief intent of giving rating is in the same spirit with progarchives guidelines: it helps you determine your purchasing decision on an album. I just need to emphasize this right here because what I am giving you with this review is my opinion about this pre-debut album of Roine Stolt solo album. I say it pre-debut because I have insofar considered that "The Flower King" was his true debut album while the two albums prior to debut "Fantasia" and "The Lonely Heartbeat" were something to do with his previous work with his band Fantasia prior to the debut and The Flower Kings (with "s") band. Back to the issue about rating, please don't get me wrong if I give a two star rating with this album, it is not intended to demean the musicality of this album. It comes back to your chief reason of having this album. If you have been a die hard fan of The Flower Kings, I recommend you to have it. But if you are newbie, please do not start with this.

As I have known the band and Roine Stolt quite sometime ago, it's about time to look back on how it started all. I believe that this release would not be possible if he and the Flower Kings are not as famous as now. But, looking back on how it sounded like at first inception is quite important to me so that I could understand how the talent has grown until today.

The music is basically not the same with what The Flower Kings deliver but I can smell some sort of style that finally made the basic elements of The Flower Kings. You may not take literally for all songs in the album that must be some way similar. A good example is the opening track "Nytt Blod" (4:33) which does not seem similar with later releases of The Flower Kings. You may recall that "Som Svalor Mot Skyn" (3:52) in a way has formed a foundation of TFK in the melody was crafted and the music style. "Samhällets Olycksbarn" (6:07) is even closer to TFK even though the music here is much more ambient with long-sustain keyboard work. It seems like the music has its attempt to sound similar to Genesis "Back in NYC". "Continental Carneval" (3:54) and "Silversurfaren" (3:40) are more on disco pop song with tight bass lines.

If you listen to this album without remembering The Flower Kings, you might end up with getting bored with the music. But as you have known Roine Stolt is, it gives you biased opinion toward this pre-debut album. So, I give this recommendation only for thos The Floer Kings and Roine Stolt lovers. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Tarcisio Moura
2 stars A very difficult album to understand. Fantasia is supposed to be Roine Stolt´s group after he left Kaipa in the late 70´s. Now their first album bears his name. A ruse to fool record buyers after the amazing success he had with his band The Flower Kings and his other several side projects (Transatlantic, The Tangent, Agents of Mercy, etc)? Probably. Anyway, after getting two magnificent 90´s solo albums (The Flower King and Hydrophonia, both 5 star affairs) I had to listen to his previous cathalog to see what he has done before. Of course I was not expecting much, and I had been warned. This album has very little to do with his terrific works he released since The Flower King (1994).

In fact, this CD sounds nothing like has done after AND before that year, so forget any Kaipa (musical) connections here even if Kaipa members Mats Lindberg (bass) and Mats Löfgren (vocals) are featured on Fantasia. The album totally lacks focus or direction, going from one style to the other like it was a different band on each track. And the songwriting is far from perfect too, unfortunatly. So we have disco/pop, straight folk, jazz rock/fusion, lounge, some Genesis influenced prog parts and even ambient tunes. All done separatly. And even if there are some very fine guitar solos from time to time, most of the stuff is not strong enough to call a highlight. Most of the material has nothing to do with anything we are accostumed to hear from mr Stotl, save a few instrumental parts. All vocals are sung in swedishm but Stolt rarely sings a note here. The vocal tracks are not the best either.

Conclusion: this CD is more a curio than anything else. Clearly Roine Stolt was already an excellent guitarrist, but he needed time to mature his songwriting skills and find his own way. Fantasia is for the hardcore fan who wants to know his first attempts to find his musical path after he left Kaipa. The disco connection on a few tracks will shock some, but on the other hand there are a few hints of the sound he would go to develop in the 90´s, both solo and with his main group.

Definitly for collectors and completionists.

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