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PÄR LINDH PROJECT

Symphonic Prog • Sweden


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Pär Lindh Project biography
After the Symphonic debacle of the late 70's and a bit more than a decade of a different approach to Progressive Rock called Neo Prog, Symphonic movement started to resurrect but this time not in UK or in the most faithful country to the classical sound as Italy, it was in Scandinavia and more specifically in the cold Sweden.

Bands like ANGLAGARD and THE FLOWER KINGS re-created the original spirit of the early 70's with great perfection and extreme care but people rarely mention PÄR LINDH PROJECT, not only one of the main re-creators of the early style but a band that went back in history for the search of their roots, most precisely to the late Gothic Religious music of the XII and XIV Centuries with his dark haunting organ solos without forgetting the sober influence of the Baroque period.

But that's not enough, the natural leader of the band is also one of the main responsible of this new Symphonic Renaissance, being that in 1991, before the re-birth of Symphonic Prog sub-genre, a group of friends formed The Art Rock Society with the virtuoso multi instrumentalist Pär Lindh as chairman who presented the first Festival with ANEKDOTEN, LANDBERK and ANGLAGARD.

The personal musical career of Par Lindh goes way back to 1977 when he formed the Heavy/Hard Rock band ANTENNA BAROQUE and later in 1979 the Symphonic Trio VINCEBUS EREPTUM, but it was obvious that the peak of the genre was behind so he spent the next years as church organist, classical pianist, harpsichordist, drummer, Hammond organist, and even jazz musician with extreme success but leaving oin Par a great nostalgia for his beloved Prog.

In 1989 he returns to Sweden decided to resurrect the Symphonic early spirit and joins a band called MANTICORE, after a while he builds his own studio CRIMSONIAN LABEL and in 1994 with a Swedish dream team of ANGLAGARD, FLOWER KINGS, BJORN JOHANSON and other talented musicians, he releases the first PÄR LINDH PROJECT masterpiece called "Gothic Impressions" in 1994.

This album is really revolutionary not only for the impressive lineup but also because the music was deepest, darker and even more pompous than in the early years of Prog, not only a return to the roots but a total re-creation of the genre, the 20 minutes epic "The Cathedral" is one of the most amazing musical pieces I ever had the luck to listen and still find something new each time I give a new listen.

PÄR LINDH PROJECT has released 5 albums until 2002 with "L...
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PÄR LINDH PROJECT discography


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PÄR LINDH PROJECT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.04 | 87 ratings
Gothic Impressions
1994
4.04 | 73 ratings
Mundus Incompertus
1997
4.02 | 50 ratings
Veni Vidi Vici
2001
3.69 | 65 ratings
Time Mirror
2011
4.83 | 3 ratings
Three Christmas Concertos
2014

PÄR LINDH PROJECT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.25 | 18 ratings
Live In America
1999
3.46 | 9 ratings
Live In Iceland
2002

PÄR LINDH PROJECT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.92 | 13 ratings
In Concert, Live in Poland
2008

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

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

2.80 | 13 ratings
Rondo
1995

PÄR LINDH PROJECT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Three Christmas Concertos by LINDH PROJECT, PÄR album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.83 | 3 ratings

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Three Christmas Concertos
Pär Lindh Project Symphonic Prog

Review by Per Kohler

5 stars Finally, the very first classical Cd by Swedish Pär Lindh sees the Nordic light of day. This is Christmas time for all his followers. Maybe you're not in possession of the album, yet, so let's have a glance at what's seething beyond the unbridgeable castle moats. If it's already in your collection, you ought to be immensely proud of yourself. Simply because this brand of music doesn't really come to you; it is you yourself who has transformed into being a part of it. The frail tones of the Lindh - Manfredini - Corelli performance are well fit for the 21 century pedantic noble man. Leave out the frantic prog metal opera and let the velvety and less decibel exacting string sound in from violin, viola and the cello. Par Lindh himself takes on the celesta throughout the entire playtime (or so it says in the instrumentation list. We will return to the subject), but not in any way does this resemble a solo recording. Not regarding the competitive mix down commonly found in popular music. The bits and pieces of the jigsaw just fall into the right place by themselves. Led by an invisible hand perhaps, from a time when a sound engineer didn't have much to do. Simply because he didn't exist.

Lindh's plans for albums in similar direction go a meandering way back in time. Introductory and first title 'Then Svenska Julkonserten' is a pun between Swedish/English, or that's at least what one is inclined to believe. Par mixes half-ironically some Swe / Eng on his homepage. If we are more ceremonial then we'll find out that 'Then Svenska Mässan' is a work by Johan Helmich Roman. 'Then' isn't British language in this case but obsolete Swedish. The Vikings brought not only sword and shield but also indelible traces of old Norse. 'Julkonserten' started its life when the composer barely had left his teens. Fate didn't accept the live premiere or recording until now. Economy, distribution, record contract, timing; everything has to tally at the same counterpoint. A recording project doesn't bow and make obeisance to itself; do not walk to the bank and pay the bills. Unfortunately not. Pär disclosed in an interview as far back in time as -95 that he had plans for not less than 12 releases. Still we're not in any sense talking quantity but quality. With the newly founded Nordverk Classical Masterworks, alongside the well established Crimsonic Label, there are now two unbeatable self-owned alternatives. So stay tuned for an increased flow, the second classical will be out anytime. The common theme on the Cd is as the title suggests the Yuletide. Northern son Par Lindh puts on his own wintry plus two temperate Mediterranean pieces. On the traditional LP (which would be highly evocative not least due to the impressive cover), side A belongs entirely to the first mentioned. If it makes him easier that way to distinguish from the others it's all the better for the masses as 'all classical music sounds the same'. If you find a resemblance between Nordverk and the classic(al) Deutsche Gramophone label logo you're excused. 'Julkonserten' clocks 18:13 and is a concerto grosso (big concert) in a- minor. Why would you bother if it was in another key? Is your own vocal rendering more proficient in e-minor? It's just that it's pointed out and you can't necessarily figure out why if the answers are absent. As certain as you are that 'Dogs' of the Animals album never reminded you about similar facts. The professional language on this level is consequently in Italian and not your weekday English. Concerto grosso, in turn, is a baroque form (can't you tell from album covers of this artist?) with a number of solo instruments. The rococo style of the archway isn't at all less obvious in the just as embellished cadence. Adagio is (quite) slow but only in relative terms. The first part of 'Julkonserten'. There is not one but many slow variations like Largamente which is broadly slow and Largo defined as broad slow. Subtle variations perhaps but on the other hand much more than unavoidable. Lento means plainly 'slow'. As you grasp yourself there's room for interpretations. Vivaldi during the 18th century isn't the same in the 20th century. Even if you have the music paper in black and white in front of your eyes still it remains a challenge to exactly interpret what was first devised.

First movement of opening title runs for 4:31 and as this particular composition is on display for the very first time logically it attracts more attention than the other composers on the Cd. When you have settled on where the Piu Mosso presents itself it is much easier to accept that the chorus you think you are worthy of never seems to appear. Perhaps Corelli and colleagues never professed to climb up the charts but that gives you just more challenge. For the uninitiated this brand of music just starts up - goes on and on - and finally there's an end. That's quite logical, just like watching a film in a strange foreign language. The concerto grosso form should be a fitting means for Pär Lindh. Bearing the progressive rock band in mind with its shared solo spots between keyboard/guitar and others. With a limited backing not completely unlike the correspondent rhythm section. This ought to speak to the listener who is still in a transitional phase. Or simply just prefer the smaller section in front of the full symphony orchestra. This is not a Rick Wakeman album where orchestra/choir/band outdoes a hamlet in number.

The keyboard instrument celesta may pretend to be a part of a bygone era but it's actually just a couple of decades older than the Hammond organ. Still there's some debate about where and when the celesta was invented. There are a number of variations of cembalo / harpsichord / celesta. Who came first, the chicken or the egg? The outer measurements are closer to another feature of Lindh, the mellotron. Together with the violin/oboe it's noted as solo instrument on current recording. Thus establishes the idea with concerto grosso. Its sound is reminiscent of a musical box and conjures a fairy tale scenario. On your Christmas wish list you could ask for its inclusion on Genesis song with copied title. Had it been available on the Nursery Cryme recording the electric piano must look out for a serious competitor. Some listeners might object to the term 'solo' for the celesta on the score of its audibility. Where do you hear the first touch of it? The tubular bells, belonging to the orchestra, are actually easier to discern in the sound picture. It's actually not; once you are certain that you're taking in one of the two alternatives it might just as well be the other. Both the celesta and tubular bells share the percussive texture although they are played in entirely different manners. You know the bells from Mike Oldfield's debut work, but the celesta didn't gain as much attention in prog circles. At least not yet. It might be a matter of availability. After some initial uncertainty you'll find out that the tubular bells are in an inferior position. We're talking time-wise of course. So why is the refined keyboard more solo than any other of the contributors here? Do you accuse the master artist for putting his own name in a more favorable position? That would be a habitual sight on an egoistic secular pop recoding, but not excusable before the eyes of the archangel. First of all the celesta isn't as penetrating as the cembalo (or harpsichord). The latter is present on live display but nowhere to be found in the studio. Or what's your own judgement? This leaves you with the single alternative that it's rather the playing that counts. On 'Andante' you'll find some room for what could be, and is, pure clean celesta sounds. Pär handles it throughout the recording without putting his hands on a competitive keyboard, which must be a challenge in itself for a prog player who is used to a stack with a two-digit number of instruments. Now don't put too much trust in what you read in the instrumentation list. Actually there IS a cembalo present. In fact it is more common than the celesta. The latter is used in third movement of 'Julkonserten' and the final of Corelli. That was a test for you, and for a highly qualified evaluator like the undersigned who wants to believe what's written down. Let's save the Moog synthesizer's being or not being till next occasion.

Bearing the limited lifespan in mind for the celesta it met with approval in seconds. Tchaikovsky included it for full orchestra hardly before the paintwork had dried. Normally there's a gap, or a huge gap, before a rebellious novelty finds acceptance. Gustav Holst had no objections to it in The Planets. So where would the mellotron have ended up if it was a product of the same era? For what logical reason would Holst have, without prejudice, written off the detached and ascetic mello on Cathedral's Stained Glass Stories as a mundane invention? On the contrary, he should've revered it as the flesh and blood of the monk choir. And rightly so!

'Then Svenska Julkonserten' was completed in recent years with a forth movement to take on Vivaldi's 'The four Seasons'. That would mean an easy task as temperature- and seasonal changes are much more apparent in proximity to the polar circle. The musical side of the matter is for sure not irrelevant either. If you're familiar with the previous Project works there might be an immediate feel of recognition. Pär admits that the thematic choice is partly due to the present Corelli and Greg Lake's 'I believe in father Christmas'. Keith Emerson has also approached the subject, certainly not without attention from his Scandinavian counterpart. Many are they who have used the Christmas theme as a hidden means for financial reason. This isn't a charge here. The composition T. S. J. is simply gorgeous. Lindh, Pär has little reason to crawl to Pärt, Arvo. Together with similarly exquisite 'Mundus Incompertus' it's the finest music to come out of this writers efforts. No composer is a dessert island, but always dependent on surrounding circumstances. On Mundus there was a tight, hungry and single-minded band willing to serve. Guest performances out of this world plus uplifted production as high as the pillars of creation. Nobody could possibly be inclined to complain about present line-up either, a gallant mixture of talent and experience. Per (pronounced in the same way as Pär, basically the same name with alternative spelling) Björkling is indicated for 'bass' which supposedly is 'string-bass' or 'double- bass'. He has, in accordance with Lindh, dealt with profane progressions, but seems to have settled on what is defined as serious music. Danish violinist Kern Wetterberg is at the same age as Lindh was when Julkonserten was created. Possibly he is able to wring out the youthfulness of the piece that was once intended. We have to admit that a few of the musicians here are 22+ by now. It's tempting to give cellist Natalia Goldmann the same delicious task as Rachel Ford has on Genesis revisited 2. If the female sex is under represented in number let's state that this makes each individual more unique. Possibly the robust cello sounds melancholy from the grizzled male in the just as gray and dreary suit but then it becomes more intriguing in the hands of the fertile priestess. A woman cello- player with requisite academic background, a bottle of cold sparkling water and a late night philosophical conversation; what more could one possibly yearn for? No wonder that players are hidden behind draperies during auditions to symphony orchestras. The judges are not supposed to listen with their animal instincts.

Although Pär himself boasts of both producer and artistic director, the Kapellmeister role is given to solo violinist Anders Lagerqvist. Co-producer would've been an appropriate title if we were living in modern age but we're not. Musical leader and/or conductor is an aim. If there's meaning in appointing a 'soloist among the soloists' then the choice falls on the violinist. The album belongs just as much to him as the keyboardist. More than highly technically accomplished and a seasoned player with a hand in a multitude of projects; he is logically what Pär Lindh is leaning on during a debut in a somewhat untested field. Lindh /Lagerqvist become a Gabriel/Fripp pair on the 2 album. Lagerqvist's playing owns such professorial exactitude that you would flinch if one single atomic nucleus on his bow was placed in the wrong position. Don't play intellectual just admit that the violin of Lagerqvist rings like a smiling spring rivulet that discharges itself somewhere nearby the river of constant change. The fiddle isn't from the last century but even before that. Oboist kennet Bohman rounds off the trio of soloists. Like the violin more conspicuous in the sound picture than the moderate celesta. Some may assert that the oboe shares the same position as the four string and that's a fact. But only to the outer idiom. Both Corelli and Manfredini are violinists so Lagerqvist is closer to home than Bohman, right? The sax solo on 'Perspective' is just as telling as Fripp guitar on 'White shadow'. The sax solo on 'Perspective' is far from as telling as Fripp guitar on 'White shadow'. This is not a contradiction. How could Beethoven possibly write in triple time and make it sound like it wasn't?

All andantes and allegros, tempo- and mood changes, may give a picture of ornaments for the listener. They are meant to give a stimulation for the musician to play with the heart just as much as the brain. The notes are already there so why add even more instructions about the performance? Actually they serve as a gateway for the listener. If you're able to interpret their meaning your listening becomes more alert and purposeful. Dance music is exercise for your footpads but here you use your cerebral cortex instead. Which is just as fascinating. A hit song is constructed with intro, melody, chorus, solo in a manner so that anybody can take in the section changes. Classical music is background music in historical programs, castle environments with finical ladies in stays and corset. It's not standing on its own feet. Because it takes knowledge to listen, you're not offered anything for free. When Messrs. Manfredini/ Corelli were on the go they didn't even have the computer technique or recording facilities at hand when they were composing. That implies that they had to figure out every polyphonic part in deep contemplation, dedicate it to the emperor of the day who in turn was appointed by God himself. It takes concentration on high level for you in present time to reach similar heights. Anyhow, movement four from 'Julkonserten' with title 'Rondo' is a familiar face. You know the name from Lindh's Cd Ep recorded with the then much harder sounding group. It's a huge contrast but still not. Needless to say, rondo has been utilized by other prog bands in earlier eras as well. In Rondo the main theme is recurring over and over again. A concluding piece running for just over two minutes. Time wise small but big in significance. If you thought that you could distinguish the modern compositional style from the archaic now if never before it's obvious that a quarter of a millennium has come to nil. That's a fine certificate for Pär Lindh. Allegro molto, or molto allegro, is more than average moderately fast. How do you pin-point a plain allegro?? Interplay between violin/oboe is top notch throughout. It is somehow written between the lines that this composition has craved to be released for a long time, knowing very well that its own potential is indisputable. Andante is the most exiting section for the keyboard listener. The running time for the solo parts of the celesta is somewhat limited, but here it gets a proper chance.

The non-soloists group in a concerto grosso go under the name of ripieno. They are the composite, or comp, in today's terms but of a little different nature. The avant-garde jazz term 'ignore changes' gives the soloist right to play without paying heed to settled chord patterns. Certainly an idea but probably in a future century when today's genre restrictions are a distant memory. We're not ripe for similar drastic measures yet. Let's stick to the more down-to-earth Corelli contribution. His soul is definitely present in the Vivace-Grave-Allegro. If you find first segment more Grave than Vivace just await 1: 11 then you're blown away at full rapidity. A slip of the pen you might suggest. In popular music grave would serve as an intro to vivace, the actual song. From ballad mood to up-tempo. Just do your utmost and try to comprehend the underlying meaning with all belonging musical expressions. Regarding the later born compatriot Manfredini we will never know his true potential as an unknown portion of his works didn't survive. Possibly therefore Corelli must be ranked highest of the two. Let's estimate that the difference in running time between the Italians speaks for the difference in status. As mentioned in the inlay Corelli's Christmas concerto is the most famous in its way. Still his name isn't as well known for the common man as Händel or Schubert. A co-incidence perhaps or he wasn't pushed by his promoters with sufficient power. The Pastorale pointed out in the inlay belongs to Manfredini on the back cover, but let's place them in equality with each other. The most melodious features on the Cd are the two largos in question. Both are rather accessible, or maybe we should say of homophonic nature. Almost on a par with Vivaldi's sugary four-minute piccolo tune and Bach's 'Air', or maybe some will even place them in the same league. Rightly praised to the skies by Lindh himself and both fully possible to include on a 'Best of Classics' album or similar. Which isn't a negative thing at all, if you come from a nowhere position. From this starting point you can search even further and hopefully end up with a large, healthy collection side by side with your prog. More preferable: purchase the actual Cd. The crowning moment of Corelli, it says in the inlay. One is apt to agree. We're not neglecting Lindh here; his rondo weighs against the lack of a solemn largo. The pastoral side of the keyboardist's works can be found on i.e. 'Green Meadow Lands'. With vocals, lyrics and Roine Stolt on acoustic. If you want it to be; a faith healing just like taken from the Revelation of St. John the Divine. An immediate spiritual affinity with the other departed composers.

So, with the answer book in hand, is Pär Lindh a classical musician who deals with progressive popular music? Or is it the opposite? The answer is yes, in both cases. There are crossover musicians with decent technical ability capable of standing with one foot in each camp. Pär Lindh has the ability to stand with both feet in both camps. It's about understanding, maturity and insight. Not only playing technique as from the solo guitarist who has learnt to play the notes he can't read with swift fingers and from now on presents himself as the new Paganini. The guitarist in question is fully convinced that pizzicato is something you order by mobile from the local pizza restaurant. With green slimy cheese stuffing. Return to the Iron Maiden wolf howling. In the meantime let's hope that 'Julkonserten' will gain the attention it deserves and consequently pave the way for many future releases. Pianoforte, church- or Hammond B-3, cembalo. Solo or with other interesting combinations. With or without barré chords from electrified guitar.

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 Mundus Incompertus by LINDH PROJECT, PÄR album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.04 | 73 ratings

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Mundus Incompertus
Pär Lindh Project Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Par Lindh's contribution to the renaissance of Progressive Rock has finally taken shape in mid-90's after he set the seeds a few years back.More dedicated to his own composing material he released the EP ''Rondo'' in 1995 and the idea of forming a more stable line-up started circulating in his head.Inbetween he found time to collaborate with Björn Johansson in the Tolkien-inspired album ''Bilbo'', released in 1996.About the same time he established a solid core for a new release under the Par Lindh Project moniker.Singer Magdalena Hagberg and guitarist Jocke Ramsell were upgraded to this formation, which also included bassist Marcus Jaederholm and drummer Nisse Bielfeld.The second work by the group was again recorded at the Crimsonic Studios and published in 1997 under the title ''Mundus Incompertus''.

The whole thing is about three long tracks of keyboard-driven Symphonic Rock, however the first kicker ''Baroque Impression No. 1'' with its succesful title showcases Lindh's strong Baroque influences with an updated heavy electric guitar sound at moments, but always twisting around the group's leader's fiery, cinematic and orchestral arrangements.Filled with nostalgic harsichord, grandiose church organ and powerful Hammond organ fanfares, it displays Lindh's impressive Classical background.''The Crimson Shield'' is a completely different story.Smooth, Medieval-styled music, led almost exclusively by Lindh's mellow work on piano and harsichord and featuring Hagberg's angelic vocals all the way.Hagberg and her dreamy vocal colors will also kick off the 21-min. title-track, which comes as a combination of the two previous styles, mixing Medieval soundscapes with powerful, keyboard-drenched Symphonic Rock and Baroque influences.Bands like E.L.P., LE ORME and TRIUMVIRAT are the obvious inspirations here and Lindh often appears as if putting up a personal show with emphatic organ and synth acrobatics, based on plenty of virtuosic solos.The music is still very compentent with great drums and some cool electric guitars around.The atmosphere ranges from romantic to cinematic to extremely self-indulgent with long, technical deliveries, haunting chants, romantic soundscapes and rapid tempo changes but unfortunately the lovely melodies from their debut have been left aside.The grandiose passages with the Mellotron and the moments the group works as a balanced team seem to be the most interesting ones, although Lindh's personal keyboard offerings contain also plenty of challenging textures.

Solid Symphonic Rock of the old school, headed by E.L.P., with everlasting keyboard lines and solos.Not as great as the group's debut, but still a very nice album, especially considering the transitional period of its release.Recommended to all fans of Symphonic/Classical-styled Rock and Retro Prog.

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 Gothic Impressions by LINDH PROJECT, PÄR album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.04 | 87 ratings

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Gothic Impressions
Pär Lindh Project Symphonic Prog

Review by Sinusoid
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Time Mirror by LINDH PROJECT, PÄR album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.69 | 65 ratings

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Time Mirror
Pär Lindh Project Symphonic Prog

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

4 stars An acquired taste

A decade after Veni Vidi Vici the release of Time Mirror took me by surprise, mostly because this is no longer the wonderful mini orchestra called PÄR LINDH PROJECT but a power trio headed by Par Lindh and William Kopecy plus four different drummers (Al Lewis who also takes the role of lead vocalist, Svetlan Råket from the DVD In Concert - Live in Poland, Stefan Bergman and Pär himself), one for each tack.

I don't have any problem with the new band because Pär is exceptional as usual, William Kopecy is an outstanding bass player,. the four drummers are capable and Al Lewis does a great job in the vocals (Sounds like a not annoying Jon Anderson) but something is missing, maybe the lack of guitars, or the magic of a real band instead of a keyboard driven trio, the point is that they are technically flawless but part of the magic is gone..

Until now I always disagreed wit the people who said that PLP was strongly influenced by ELP, as a fact I always considered that Pär is cleaner with more classic approach, surely less spectacular, but technically superb, now I have to agree with them, because in his new role as a one man orchestra he borrows a lot from Emerson, mainly in the first two songs..

The first track Time Mirror is chance for Pär to demonstrate his skills, with church organ solos as usual, and Jazz fugues, but seems that he has too much work covering the instruments he usually added, yes it's pompous and brilliant, but as I said before there's something missing.

The first half of Waltz Street seems like a comedy relief track in the vein of "Jeremy Bender" or "The Sheriff", but a few organ solos in the instrumental break make the difference, a good song but not in the level of previous material.

With Death Unreconciled reminds me more of the old PÄR LINDH PROJECT, the piano and organ work are simply delightful and Pär Lindh allows himself to be the keyboardist we all admire again, much more original and imaginative, even the vocals and percussion remind me of Gothic Impressions, all the Keith Emerson references are left behind, the magic is back, at least for one song.

The album ends with Sky Door, a very interesting instrumental, because represents a change in the bands sound, even when doesn't remind of previous albums, they keep a healthy distance from ELP and again Par Lindh sounds as Par Lindh, they sound lighter than the rest of the album but must recognize that the sound is absolutely original.

The header of this review, says "An acquired taste", because used to fall in love with every PLP release at the first listen, but Time Mirror took me several attempts, as a fact I felt that I wasn't before PÄR LINDH PROJECT except for With Dead Unreconciled, but once I got used to the new atmosphere and sound, discovered an excellent album that deserves no less than four stars.

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 Live In America by LINDH PROJECT, PÄR album cover Live, 1999
4.25 | 18 ratings

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Live In America
Pär Lindh Project Symphonic Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

3 stars This double live CD has the characteristics of showing at the same time both the goods and the limitation of Pär Lindh as player and composer, other than giving the band the possibility to show an excellent skill.

First of all the presence of a version of Jerusalem that's almost the same arrangement as ELP on Picture at an Exhibition on CD1 and of a cover of 21st Century Schizoid Man on CD2 which can give a clear idea of who the main influencers are, but listening better, specially to the long medley entitled "Rondo" on CD 2 you can hear more than one reference to Bo Hansson and his Lord of the Rings, and considering that the band has released an album entitled "Bilbo" inspired to the first chapter of Tolkien's trilogy it appears clearly that Bo Hansson is another point of reference for Lindh.

All the goods and the limitations I was saying...the already mentioned Rondo is enough to show them all. There is an impressive drumming throughout the over 10 minutes of the medley, and effectively Nisse Biedfeld is a very resistant drummer, able to play very fast for a long time, really impressive. It's fun trying to recognize all the excerpts from rock, classical music, traditionals and anthems which are part of it, and here is where we see the limitations: Pär Lindh plays very fast but on the classical parts is sometimes too approximative. Lovers of classical music would surely be disappointed, not only by the arrangements but even by the keyboards' execution.

On his original parts, like the Bilbo Medley but across the whole CD1 the band plays at its best and it makes this double CD a worth buying.

The fact that it's sometimes an ELP clone, plus the mentioned not great performance in the classical parts make me decrease the rating to 3 stars, even if a mention has to go to the rest of the band, not only the drummer which is able to cover the mistakes and to the great soprano voice of Magdalena Hagberg.

One last note: Par Lindh is an excellent keyboardist it's only when he plays Bach or Mozart or tries to make an anthem fit into chords that aren't its domain that I quite dislike him.

3 stars

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 Live In Iceland by LINDH PROJECT, PÄR album cover Live, 2002
3.46 | 9 ratings

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Live In Iceland
Pär Lindh Project Symphonic Prog

Review by elpprogster

4 stars What do we have here? Really tight songs and above all a truly tight perfomance. As a previous reviewer said this is basically Vini Vidi Vici played live, and although the songs remain original to the studio versions, one can feel there is something special in here. The Emerson Lake & Palmer influences are still very clear, be in the hammond organ playing be in the synths runnings, but anyway, there´s also a couple of leanings that don´t allow us to say that PLP are merely ELP copycats. So all in all this is a truly satisfactory album for the devoted keyboard prog afficionado!

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 Gothic Impressions by LINDH PROJECT, PÄR album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.04 | 87 ratings

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Gothic Impressions
Pär Lindh Project Symphonic Prog

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

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 Time Mirror by LINDH PROJECT, PÄR album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.69 | 65 ratings

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Time Mirror
Pär Lindh Project Symphonic Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Swedish keyboardist and composer Par Lindh has been given much credit for the renewed interest in symphonic progressive rock, due to his role in the establishment of The Swedish Art Rock Society and his output with PAR LINDH PROJECT that both started in the early 90's. "Time Mirror" is the latest effort from his band, their fourth full length studio album, and follows almost a decade after their previous CD "Veni Vidi Vici".

If you love symphonic progressive rock, have more than a passing interest in the genre or merely are curious as to how a high quality production of this genre sounds like, "Time Mirror" is a disc you should add to your purchase list straight away. Those who know they have strong opinions as far as lead vocals go might want to sample this disc prior to making a purchasing decision, but that minor detail aside this a CD that comes warmly recommended.

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 Time Mirror by LINDH PROJECT, PÄR album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.69 | 65 ratings

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Time Mirror
Pär Lindh Project Symphonic Prog

Review by robbob

2 stars I haven,t been a very enthusiastic PLP follower.

But in their albums i could find some good compositions and very good interpretations.

But what is this?

Every song starts very well ...it seems a good song is coming...a good composition is coming ..but....too much jam prog session then...improvisations and less melodies.

So well...I can,t find this album very original...and I think their songs will not remain in my heart.

May be for a tribute to ELP with melodies in that way could be fine .but.....

Almost all of the songs seem to be an ELP (1970-1975 era) song...

I feel this is a strong effort to sound as that old prog symphonic songs..but where is the quality of the compositions to sound as ELP?

There is no doubt that PLP is a very solid band with very good musicians ,specially PL..and in this album his interpretations are remarkable.....but I really can,t find something very good in this work(songs I mean)

2 stars

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 Time Mirror by LINDH PROJECT, PÄR album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.69 | 65 ratings

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Time Mirror
Pär Lindh Project Symphonic Prog

Review by Per Kohler

4 stars So was the wait finally over! After too many, too drawn out and far too many involuntarily non-productive years is the follow-up album to Veni, Vidi, Vici just where it belongs. Namely in our CD-players. Pär Lindh has suffered a series of mishaps along the the way. Some of technical nature which we do not have to immerse ourselves in. But the most serious and tragical is, of course, the passing of vocalist Magdalena Hagberg (or Berg after marriage) in December 2007. Her illness meant that the group got into a passive state for a long time. The delay of the forthcoming album was therefore considerable. It's hard to measure the costs when a close person is vanishing. Not only Magdalena is missing, but every single member known from previous recordings of Pär Lindh Project have jumped the ship. However, PLP has not taken its last breath if that's what you suspected. It's been a toilsome and trying road to walk down, but now it seems like the art rock group has recaptured all lost ground. They have returned, and done so with a vengeance. The proud achievement is called Time Mirror. But first let us look briefly at what has happened along the way. Pär hasn´t been completely idle despite missing PLP releases. 2004 saw the continued work with fellow musician Björn Johansson. A remastered, partly re-recorded Gothic Impressions didn´t take that album to higher altitudes but put it in a new frame. Lindh also produced Swedish singer/songwriter Anya on her debut album (Pär and Anya became actually more than professional partners). In fact, I had a feeling that Anya could be involved on Time Mirror in some form. Just like Jill Gabriel on P.G. 4 (on "San Jacinto"). Perhaps this will be realized the next cd?

But now let's concentrate on the moment... Yes, this time Pär Lindh has taken the plunge and moved closer to his heroes Emerson, Lake and Palmer. The artist has skipped all available guitars (both electric and acoustic). It is a huge step away from earlier works. Sound wise it's mile in distance from previous band recordings where not only the string bender, but also the entire rythmsection were of heavier kind. Some people had opinions about this. Pär has experimented with various sound textures throughout the years, of which this is the latest. The keyboard instruments will logically be more central as there´s no visible competitor. But that´s probably the point. Now there´s no reason to hesitate about the mixture of the group. PLP is composed of Pär himself on keys, accompanied by bass/drums with the occasional guest instrument. It remains to be seen how the live band will be arranged after all. The uninitiated may be informed that Pär plays the genuine keyboards. Raw earthy Hammond, authentic church organ directly from the house of god, and grand piano of highest craftsmanship. You can never cheat a record buyer, can you? In the end its always quality that survive and plastic copies will disappear unnoticed straight into the recycling center. Let´s take a glance at the musicians/singers who are to be found on our fresh album. Of the disc's four tracks have factually all different drummers. We find former (?) Norwegian member Svetlan Råket on the opening title track. This Svetlan has figured for a long time in the band but his present status is unsure. But when we´re dealing with the title track, it is actually irresistible to talk about the song itself. How can one resist?

"Time Mirror" is the longest song on the disc with its impressive 17 minutes, and it jumps quite naturally of energy. This is the revenge/comeback/energy package that knocks you in its joyfulness. A majestic music piece is in the tradition of lengthy compositions like "The Cathedral" and "Mundus Incompertus", but it´s quite different in mood and shade. The melody and chorus are in the major key and have a slight commercial touch, but we can accept that without crying. Pär offers us a complete smorgasbord with all keyboards available. Also the same player is offering us a selection of all styles this keyboardist has been involved in during the career of the artist. They are quite a few. My advice here is simple, just listen yourself. "Time Mirror" is a complete meal with all nutrients you are in need of. The vocals are not handled by a female singer this time. Pär has chosen a new path and ended up outside the border of his own nation, and even the continent. His name is Al Lewis, and in common with the bass player of the band, he´s from the United States of America. Weather this multinational orientation is a conscious choice or just a coincidence is anybody´s guess. Maybe you are familiar with Lewis´ former outfits Alaska, or more likely Starcastle (with whom he has toured). Can you, after studying his voice, regard Al Lewis as a more down to earth Jon Anderson? I find the comparison reasonable. He is anyhow the most independent vocalist PLP has ever had. Just have a look at the production credits on Time Mirror and realize that Lewis is not a passive onlooker of the collaboration. Not only is he repeating pre written vocal lines, but the singer is also contributing his own musical ideas! Wisely, Pär Lindh has given him full permission to contribute to the design of this project. Al's singing on the first tune is convincing for every listener who wants power and nuance in one voice. And he´s involved in the writing as well.

"Waltz Street" has a co-written lyric by Lindh/Lewis. It deals with the ever-present topic - the money and economy scene from an all but unknown place in the financial world. Musically I can hear traces of ELPs "Jeremy Bender" but who´s complaining? A violin serves as musical decoration. Not only here but on other tracks as well. Back to the works of the longer school in form of "With Death Unreconciled". A darker, sad title but inevitable if you want to depict life without embellishment. Strong emotional church organ playing and a highly melodic vocal part turn this tune into a first class item. Note that some church organ sections are recorded at Uppsala Cathedral and it´s not a second rate instrument, rather one of the mightiest on the planet. Pär is the first worldly artist who is allowed to touch its keys. The result is a monster sound. "W.D.U." is one of the very strongest moments on an album with a lot of fine moments. The synthesizer solos grabs your attention and they are complimented by piano and mentioned organ. This is your 10 minute progressive moment in late 2010. "Sky Door" is final song and the only instrumental to be found. Definitely less than usual. William Kopecky excels on fretless bass. He is the excellent bass player of the band. Tight and economical when required, virtuoso in the right context. He is as important today to the end result of the recordings as the main man. You can witness him onstage on the DVD released some time ago. One can argue about what the missing guitars means to the overall sound picture on Time Mirror. But some harder tones are actually produced by the bass.

Drummer on this "Sky Door" happens to be Stefan Bergman, who is unknown to every single PLP fan. As you are informed about if you study the inner sleeve, Pär himself, and his new vocal supplementation are responsible for the drum duties on remaining tracks. The albums running time stops at about 40 minutes. There are certainly people who had expected a little more but personally I prefer the length of the old Lp. Save the excess material for future releases and think in quality terms instead of quantity. The present, international, line-up of PLP is highly promising and an obvious choice for coming projects. If they can afford costly flights across the globe in order to assemble, there will be no limit to what the gang can achieve together. PLP occupies a unique place in today´s progressive scene, a successor to giants of days gone by. Few keyboard players can boast with equally rich keyboard equipment like Lindh's, and equally few will produce a sound as fascinating as this in question. Let´s hope that next album with PLP not takes ten more years. There is nothing to suggest that it should be so. Hopefully and probably, Lindh, Kopecky and Lewis will be joined by one or two strong additions on the upcoming tour and there is most likely material for a follow-up album within a decent time frame. Just stay tuned!

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Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition.

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