Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Blå Lotus - Högtid CD (album) cover


Blå Lotus


Heavy Prog

3.90 | 14 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Forum & Site Admin Group
Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
4 stars "Bla Lotus" is a Heavy Prog band that was formed in 2016 in Sweden. The interesting things about this band is that it is a trio of musicians that make music without the use of a guitar. Their 2nd album, released in June of 2019, is called "Hogtid" and is made up of 7 tracks and a total run time of over 51 minutes. The line up is the same as their debut album: Fredrik Andersson on both Hammond and Farfisa organ, mellotron, synth, electric piano, flute and vocals; Linus Karlsson on bass, theremin and sound effects; and Wikto Nyden on drums and percussion.

The music is made up of songs that originated in 2017 and the band worked on to prepare them for this album. Unfortunately, Fredrik was hospitalized for a while and that delayed the release of the album, but eventually the band was able to finish it off. The album begins with "Pagan Solstice" which is a song that actually originated with Freidrick's previous band in which he played the guitar. This song had to be revamped so that it was suited for the Hammond. It starts off as you would expect, heavy and dark with a lot of somber organ and a psychedelic, yet folkish feel. The vocals are heavily processed, warbly and with reverb, giving it an even more psychedelic sound. The folk element is in the traditional sounding melodies presented by the organ, but you would also swear you were listening to early Deep Purple without the guitar. The tempo does pick up a bit halfway through the track and then the organ persuades it to speed up even more as a secondary vocal theme comes in. The track exceeds the 9 minute mark and is considered by the band to be one of the two main centerpieces of the album.

"Open Hand on All Fours" has a brighter texture to it and is more upbeat. Heavy organ melodies are backed up later by lighter synths. The middle section goes into a jamming mode with the organ embellishing on the theme by improvising around it. Following this instrumental is the track "Unreal Estate" which approaches the 10 minute mark in length. It is another track taken from an earlier project that included guitar and had to be rearranged to fit in with this album. It begins with a lilting organ melody and then a very folk sounding melody in the harmonized vocals. The track has a more progressive style to it with tempo and meter changes that support the basic melody. The effects and lo-fi feeling of the music give it an authentic retro feel. As the singing ends, the tempo speeds up and the flute is utilized and then an exciting organ solo takes over with nice retro effects added in here and there. Different backgrounds enhanced by changing rhythms bring in different keyboard solos.

"While You Were Away" is an ode to the division of labor, but that the world continues to be a better place day by day regardless of the issues we are always facing. The Farfisa organ is the centerpiece of this track mostly in order to provide a variety in sound in this track. The vocals and the melody is more up front, but the organ use keeps the sound in the retro vein. In the middle of the track, things get a bit heavier and dark, and then later wanders a bit while a mix of sounds, natural and strange form a wall behind the music before the vocals start again. "Ganglat" is a short rendition of a traditional Swedish marching tune. This 3 minute instrumental track starts off with a lot of noise and chaos before it settles into a heavy track with the distinct melody played and embellished upon by the organ.

"Summer Demons" is the 2nd main track of the album as designated by the band. It is over 12 minutes in length. According to Fredirck, the track began it's life as a short Neil Young style folk song but morphed into the longest track on the album. After the introduction, it turns to an atmospheric track with layers of keys and a Pink Floyd style pinging sound, then it builds tension by a ticking cymbal and rolling organ riff before the vocals come in after 2 minutes. The melody is simple, yet nice and is supported by the entire band. Soon, the organ takes over by playing through riffs and improvising over the band. After 6 minutes, the beat goes into a more driving rhythm and soon the synths come in as the center instrument. This culminates into a bright riff towards the middle of the track that gets repeated several times. After 9 minutes, more synths are used as the track enters another jamming section. Vocals return at 11 minutes.

The last track is "Rats'n Brats" and is a fast rocking style track and ends the album on a stoner-style, rock and roll song, simple, yet infectious.

The album definitely has the retro feel to it, but has a unique folk undertone going on through out. The heavy use of the organ brings back memories of Deep Purple and Uriah Heep and other psychedelic style groups from that time. The lo-fi sound also helps make things more authentic. It's a fun album, but it is only for those that love the heavy and dark sound of the organ. You keep expecting a huge guitar solo all along, but that is what makes this band unique, is that most of the music and sound is produced by mostly older keyboards, especially organ. It does tend to lack in variety because of that, but the songs are interesting enough that you still end up getting caught up in them, especially in that nice retro feel. Anyway, the album is decent, and is definitely a few notches above simply 3 stars, so it is easy to round it up an extra star because of enjoy- ability. Just know that it has a lo-fi quality to it to help bring authenticity to the recording.

TCat | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this BLÅ LOTUS review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.