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FREN

Eclectic Prog • Poland


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Fren biography
Coming from Krakow, Poland, FREN is an Eclectic Prog band that began in 2017 and was founded by Oskar CENKIER (keyboards), Michal CHALOTA (guitar), Andrew SHAMANOV (bass), and Oleksii FEDORIV (drums). They released their debut album "Where Do You Want Ghosts to Reside?".

The music has been compared to the spaceyness of PINK FLOYD, the eclectic feel of KING CRIMSON, a touch of the heaviness of ANGLAGARD, and the softer refrains of CARAVAN, while adding in their own unique ideas.

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FREN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.95 | 120 ratings
Where Do You Want Ghosts to Reside
2020

FREN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

FREN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

FREN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

FREN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.33 | 3 ratings
Heavy Matter
2019

FREN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Where Do You Want Ghosts to Reside by FREN album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.95 | 120 ratings

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Where Do You Want Ghosts to Reside
Fren Eclectic Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars Fren is a fantastic band that comes from Poland, and they Where Do You Want Ghosts to Reside for me is the debut prog album of 2020. It gives a fresh feel to prog and speaks to wider audiences of the genre. It starts with Twin Peaks a beautiful melancholic piece which builds up from dreamy Mellotron parts to introduction of guitar and Hammond. Surge for me, is the best song on the album, it is a true eclectic heaven with a great first part guitar riff and it shows the power of the band and the ability to write a complex but still a beautiful piece of music. If follows from the heavy sound to a great melodic guitar solo. The song ends with a heavy riff which sounds like it came straight from the 70's, some space elements with a blistering guitar work from Michal Chalota. Pleonasm shows the band's ability to write a great jazz piece. The last song on the album Time to Take Stones Away is the perfect end of this album, the band jet again unleashes beautiful prog, at the 2 minute mark, we have a fantastic piano part and the song just continues to grow and build perfectly until the end, a true joy to listen. This is a great band and I can't wait to hear what will they do next. 4.5
 Where Do You Want Ghosts to Reside by FREN album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.95 | 120 ratings

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Where Do You Want Ghosts to Reside
Fren Eclectic Prog

Review by Corcoranw687

5 stars Fren is a new band from 2020, I think? This is their first release I am aware of. I would not have been made aware of it at all except for one note, and that is the guitar player spoke to me one day. Truthfully I have been listening to this album since before most reviews came online, however I like to sit with something I like for a long time before I speak about it. It's been around 7 months, nearly to the day, and I venture I have heard this over 75 times and it is very good. I saw a comparison initially to Anglagard and although I invite the comparison for reasons of crossover audience, this is a very different group. I feel like Anglagard and groups like them strive to paint a musical picture and use their instruments to do just that, whereas Fren always feels like a band of 4 musicians who happen to be very adept at creating a musical picture. I hope that comparison makes sense; I feel like a lot of instrumental music is very cinematic and you get lost in the sound. Fren's album never does that, I am always very aware of 4 incredibly talented musicians working together. As you progress through a really great instrumental prog album, this never stops feeling like 4 musicians in a room looking at each other and having a really good time. I don't want to go track by track here, but more section by section.. as we open in a very "old school keyboard" space, evoking sounds of the 70s, before getting a little jazzier, before turning to full on jazz as the short track 3 turns to Pleonasm. A bit more fusion is added by track 5 and then all of these styles are combined for the final piece. It's so remarkable I have to tell you to just listen. Take 45 minutes, put it on Spotify and listen. The album is $7USD on bandcamp and I can't recommend it enough. I would be hard pressed to pick my top album of 2020 but this is in the top 5. Great production, which is critical in modern times! I bet this album has a really cool recording story. I know nothing about this band but I bet this album was not recorded in one week effortlessly. A lot went into just the recording. 5 stars
 Where Do You Want Ghosts to Reside by FREN album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.95 | 120 ratings

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Where Do You Want Ghosts to Reside
Fren Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars A remarkable debut album of solid, mature compositions from this classically-influenced "jazz" quartet from Kraków, Poland.

1. "Twin Peaks" (4:41) effectively used Mellotron flutes with PINK FLOYD/Post Rock (MONO) music beneath. Nice! (9/10)

2. "Surge" (9:43) jazz-bluesy, slow to develop/display instrumental prowess--though heavily drenched in Mellotron and early MOODY BLUES-like sound palette and feel. Moves toward a more ÄNGLAGÅRD-like palette and style in the fourth minute, though it never quite reaches the pace and precision of the Swedes. Denigrates into a more BLUE ÖYSTER CULT palette and style in the eighth minute--which, then, plays out to the end. (16.75/20)

3. "Goraca Linia" (2:59) rousing raucous of classical-jazz-infused rock. (9/10)

4. "Pleonasm" (12:02) classical-jazz piano intro turns at 1:04 into RENAISSANCE "Trip to the Fair" intro. Pretty awesome! Piano and jazzy electric guitar blend together perfectly over solid bass and drums rhythm track. Drops a little in refreshing innovativeness with stereotypic jazz guitar solo in fifth minute. Returns to a RENAISSANCE quality movement in the sixth before segueing into a nice piano-supported rock guitar solo and more tightly performed staccato whole-band chord play. Eighth minute sees a guitar-supported piano solo before bombastic crescendo of "power chords." This is followed by spacious soft section in which piano plays sensitive solo before dueting with jazz guitar. I'm also reminded of AFTER CRYING as I listen to the music being attempted here. Great outro.(22.5/25)

5. "Heavy Matter" (6:23) Opens with jazzy bass line, add piano, add electric guitar, add drums, and you've got the intro to what becomes a SANTANA-like groovin' jam (though a little more shape-shifting than Carlos' typical work). Superlative guitar soloing in the sixth minute! Wow! Technical skill of Colin Tench with emotionality of David Gilmour. (8.75/10)

6. "Time to Take Stones Away" (8:41) set up by a high-quality whole-band chord progression, electric guitar soars before music segues into more classically-tinged ALAN PARSONS-like section. At 4:10 we get a shift into a bass-line-led section that initially has a CURE-like feel until going back to a rapid fire jazz-rock whole-band chord progression at the six-minute mark. Piano solos between recapitulations of this "riff" and final slide into denouement. Pretty cool song! (17.5/20)

Total Time 44:29

Though I've heard the Änglagård comparisons, I only felt them once, in part of the epic "Surge." Otherwise, there is quite an eclectic sound and stylistic palette used.

B+/4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of refreshing jazz- and classically-tinged instrumental progressive rock. Definitely a band to watch for future development.

 Where Do You Want Ghosts to Reside by FREN album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.95 | 120 ratings

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Where Do You Want Ghosts to Reside
Fren Eclectic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars Fren describe themselves as an instrumental, progressive quartet based in Kraków, Poland. Formed in 2017 by Oskar Cenkier (pianos, organs, synthesizers, mellotron), Michał Chalota (guitars), Andrew Shamanov (bass guitars, synthesizers) and Oleksii Fedoriv (drums), this is their debut album, and one which has been receiving fairly unanimous praise from those who have heard it. I have a real affinity with Polish progressive rock due to my links with the scene over there, and have been contributing to a Polish website for many years, and it never ceases to amaze me just how much great music there is to be discovered by those who are prepared to venture away from the norm.

Here we have an eclectic prog band who are taking many influences from the Seventies and even late Sixties and then bringing them right up to date. There are classic keyboard sounds, including of course a mellotron, yet the guitar is far more modern, as is the bass, while the drums are often more rooted in jazz style. The result is something which is classic, timeless, yet also fresh and exciting. The rhythm section provide the foundation for keyboards and guitars to interact, and while there are a few times they do sound like classic Genesis that is actually very few and far between (there are a few bars on "Surge" which make me think that every time I hear it), but there are also elements of Tull and Crimson, while the bass playing in particular owes something to the Canterbury scene. But then over all of that is a rock guitar which is far more modern, both in sound and in style, and it is the combination of modern playing combined with traditional which really makes this stand out.

It is incredibly melodic and a really easy album to listen to and enjoy the first time of playing. There are many deft nuances and touches, and it certainly never comes across as a debut release but instead feels far more like an album from seasoned professionals. This is thoroughly enjoyable and definitely worth of investigation.

 Where Do You Want Ghosts to Reside by FREN album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.95 | 120 ratings

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Where Do You Want Ghosts to Reside
Fren Eclectic Prog

Review by Moonlight

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 we are in the presence of a little gem which can only resonate in us each time much louder !!!! I play it over and over at times, like an urgent need for this pallet of sounds of an exceptional rarity to be found nowadays in what concerns the creations. My friends and all my entourage here in France have completely adopted FREN, and France is just waiting for happiness one day to see them come and play in concert in France ... !!! Wonderful !!!!!!!!!!! France is waiting for you !!!!
 Where Do You Want Ghosts to Reside by FREN album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.95 | 120 ratings

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Where Do You Want Ghosts to Reside
Fren Eclectic Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Polish band FREN was formed in the fall of 2017, and following their initial EP "Heavy Matters" in 2017, they self released their debut album "Where Do You Want Ghosts to Reside" at the start of 2020.

Those with an interest in retro-oriented progressive rock has another band to take note of here. Where Fren differentiates from many other such bands is that they are an instrumental band, and that they appear to have a stronger focus on jazz-oriented escapades as well as adding folk music elements into the mix, with the word Canterbury being obvious to namedrop for these reasons; at least as far as the concluding four compositions are concerned. Obviously, those who feel intrigued by such a description will also be the likely key audience for this album in my personal opinion.

 Where Do You Want Ghosts to Reside by FREN album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.95 | 120 ratings

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Where Do You Want Ghosts to Reside
Fren Eclectic Prog

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

 Where Do You Want Ghosts to Reside by FREN album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.95 | 120 ratings

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Where Do You Want Ghosts to Reside
Fren Eclectic Prog

Review by nick_h_nz
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

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 The Progressive Aspect, I put my hand up for it fairly swiftly. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, and I admit I wasn't entirely convinced the album would, or even could, live up to the hype. But this Polish and Ukrainian group clearly know their stuff. They've concocted an absolutely astounding melange of sounds from the past and present, that manages to paradoxically sound like everything else and nothing else all at once. I can't help but name bands I hear, and yet what I heard doesn't actually sound like those bands at all. The band have somehow managed to not only sound like anyone else, but also not even really reside in any particular genre. Is post-jazz a thing? I've no idea, but that seems as good (or useless) a label as any to affix to Fren.

So, what do Fren sound like? Or, should that be, What Do Fren Sound Like. (Since the band seem to have named their album as statement, rather than the question it appears to be - an analogy for the way the music within is indisputably their own, rather than the influences it appears to draw on?) Well, the opening track, Twin Peaks actually feels like an extended introductory passage, rather than a number in its own right, but it builds beautifully, and flies by. It's almost five minutes in length, but feels more like two, and I could easily wish it to go on for a further five minutes. It's mournful and melancholic, yet somehow warm and comfortable, that it wraps me up so cosily, I'm reluctant to have it depart. Every time I hear it, I think Twin Peaks is probably my favourite track on the album. But Twin Peaks is quite deceiving, having lulled me into what I assumed was going to be an enjoyable, if sombre, spacey trip somewhat reminiscent of pink and tangerine dreams called Floyd.

Instead, all preconceptions are thrown out the window within the opening notes of what is probably my favourite track on the album, Surge. Beginning with the sound of Jethro Tull being fed through a seed drill into furrows of King Crimson, throughout the piece I'm reminded of all manner of other bands, including Rush, Genesis and Black Sabbath. Fren appear to have been influenced by, and borrowed from, all manner of classic bands, and morphed them into something quite original, and not at all derivitive. Calling this track Surge may be an understatement. It's a maelstrom of surges, as the various sounds cascade over, around and through each other in violent turmoil. And it's beautiful.

Gorąca Linia is the shortest track on the album, but has an enormous amount going on within its short timeframe, including an almost Iron Maiden galloping guitar, a somewhat Mission:Impossible bassline, and some absolutely gorgeous keyboard playing that reminds me a little of Kevin Moore era Dream Theater. Again, like Surge, nothing really sounds like any of those bands, so much as hints shine through at odd moments that I find reminiscent of them. It's over too quickly, and I'm left wondering why the band chose not to extend this piece a little more.

The following Pleonasm takes us into jazz territory, with some gorgeous piano. Part of me doesn't want to keep making these comparisons, but another part can't help doing so. There are times I'm reminded a little of Gentle Giant, King Crimson, Steven Wilson and Genesis. It's all bookended by that piano, and the final notes are sublime. However, if Pleonasm is the beauty, then Heavy Matter May just be the beast. The track plays around an almost mechanical descending tune, and jams all over and around it, before a particularly Floydian guitar comes in to rescue it from the depths, and have it soaring instead. The keys, too, could be Pink.

The bluesy opening to final number, Time To Take Stones Away, could also be compared to Floyd, as we are welcomed back to a machine like dirge. Two minutes in, and the tone changes completely as piano and bass almost seem to race each other with some urgency to find the next section. There's a sense of anxiousness, but not darkness. The music almost fades out completely, before coming back sounding more assured, and with no need to rush. Rather than crescendo, the band plays a steady and repetitive, simple and minimalist guitar line with subdued percussion, before the climax finally comes. The track ends as it began, but far more confidently. If the beginning passages seemed a mix of hope and apprehension, there is a sense of strength and self-assurance by the end.

Overall, this album provides a compact package of lush and rich atmospheric soundscapes that like the ducks in Itchycoo Park, come out to groove about, be nice, and have fun in the sun. It's a perfect summer album, and I will definitely be joining those throwing accolades around on social media. This is an album that deserves to be heard, and I'll be doing my best to help get it out there.

 Where Do You Want Ghosts to Reside by FREN album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.95 | 120 ratings

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Where Do You Want Ghosts to Reside
Fren Eclectic Prog

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!

 Where Do You Want Ghosts to Reside by FREN album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.95 | 120 ratings

BUY
Where Do You Want Ghosts to Reside
Fren Eclectic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

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 You Wants Ghosts To Reside. During my first listening session Fren succeeded to keep my attention for the entire running time (45 minutes) and to generate a lot of excitement in the six instrumental compositions (between 2 and 13 minutes). I am very pleasantly surprised by the maturity of Fren, this is only their debut, so what's next?!

1. Twin Peaks (4:41) : The album starts with a dreamy sound by different sections from the distinctive Mellotron, simply beautiful! Halfway a fragile electric guitar joins, reminding me of the melancholy Swedish prog from King Crimson inspired bands like Anekdoten, Landberk and 'nglag'rd. The final part features a more bombastic atmosphere with powerful electric guitar and lush Hammond organ. The conclusion contains subtle Mellotron splashes, fading away, a very promising start from Fren.

2. Surge (9:43) : Now propulsive guitar work and soaring Mellotron, in a hypnotizing climate, I love the captivating blend of raw guitar and tender Mellotron, this creates a lot of tension. Then a mellow sound with subtle sensitive electric guitar and soaring Mellotron violins, pretty atmospheric. The music turns first into a slow beat and compelling climate with raw guitar, and then into more dynamic and lush, featuring a Mellotron flute and propulsive guitar riffs. Then changing into a slow down with again subtle electric guitar, the music strongly evokes early Anglagard to me. A strong point is the beautiful interplay between raw guitar and tender Mellotron sound. The final part delivers a mid-tempo, gradually it becomes more lush with bombastic keyboards and powerful guitar, culminating in a heavy final part with blistering guitar and dynamic drums.

3. Goraca Linia (2:59) : A short but elaborate piece with a catchy beat, delicate and sparkling jazzy piano and tight drums (another original musical idea), then propulsive guitar riffs. In the end early Hackett-like guitar in dynamic interplay with piano.

4. Pleonasm (12:02): This is Fren's magnum opus, opening with a dreamy, wonderful Grand piano intro. Then an accellaration, with sparkling piano and dynamic drums, turning into a slow rhythm featuring jazzy piano and drums, reminding me of early Emerson, Lake & Palmer. But next Fren is delivering lots of own musical ideas with surprising twist and turns, the focus is on awesome work on the Grand piano and very tasteful electric guitar, between dreamy and bombastic. The experimental parts evoke the quirkiness of early King Crimson. My conclusion is that Fren knows its classics but succeeds to add an own flavour.

5. Heavy Matter (6:23) : Here's another strong example how Fren blends 'the classics' and own musical ideas: lots of shifting moods, interesting musical ideas (from atmospheric like 'nglag'rd to experimental like early King Crimson) and an excellent colouring by the keyboards (from sparkling piano to soaring Mellotron). In the second part the band works from dreamy to a compelling and sumptuous 'grand finale' featuring a moving guitar solo with howling runs (in the tradition of David Gilmour and Andy Latimer), lush Hammond joins, wow!

6. Time To Take Stones Away (8:41) : The final composition contains a slow rhythm, fiery and howling guitar, with a catchy beat. Then dreamy with sparkling Grand piano, gradually turning into a mid-tempo and bombastic with sparkling piano and a tight bass. Halfway a dreamy atmosphere, the sound is a bit experimental but then changing into a bombastic eruption featuring dynamic piano, delicate guitar and s dynamic rhythm-section (powerful drums).

Fren knows its classics but doesn't derivative, because the band delivers lots of own daring and adventurous musical ideas, how impressive, and what a mature sounding debut CD, thumbs up!

This review was previously published on the Background Magazine website, the oldest Dutch progrock source.

Thanks to tcat for the artist addition.

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