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Pär Lindh and Björn Johansson - Bilbo CD (album) cover


Pär Lindh and Björn Johansson


Symphonic Prog

3.55 | 59 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars I don't want to discuss the need of another tribute to Tolien. Bo Hansson's masterpiece is enough. So I will comment the music only without thinking to the concept.

"The Shire" reminds to some Vollenweider's pieces. Book of Roses as reference. Relaxing music, tendentially new-age. It's followed by "Gandalf the Magician". This is a Wakeman-like track, specially in the sounds choice: Cymbals, Mandolin, Harp as example.

It's only with "Song of the Dwarf" that it turns into celtic. This is the first non-instrumental track. The voice of Magdalena Hagberg makes me think to Pentangle's Jacqui McShee, as well as the melody. A great track if you like the genre of Pentangle or early Clannad.

"Rivendell" is a short childish song, similar to a Christmas carol in the structure (and the voice). Fortunately it's just 2 minutes long. Not that it's too bad. I just think 2 minutes of this are enough.

"The Dark Cave" is dark, as the title says. It's where I find many similarities with Bo Hansson's work, at least in the first half, until the classical guitar remains alone in a Steve Hackett's style. After the guitar part, keyboards are back again to the cold world already described by Bo Hansson. The tracks fades into "Running towards the light"; a track with some drumming and electrical guitar. It alternates between medieval and electronic for two minutes, then it's like Keith Emerson has joined the group. When I mention those artists, I mean mainly that the sounds used are very similar.

"Uncomfortable Seats" Opens with wolves and dogs crying while a crescendo march is played by the keyboards. This track transmits a sense of cold and urgency, even if you don't know the story behind. The second part of the track is more progressive-rock, but after 5 minutes, it goes back in time again.

"In Beorns Garden & Beorns Walk to Carrock" is again in Bo Hansson's style. Well it's not a secret that Par Lindh was a fan of Bo Hansson. A small part of "Lord of the RIngs" is included in the Lindh's live medley "Rondo" from Live in America.

"Mirkwood Suite" starts with a little more than one minute of Krautrock-like keyboard, then guitar and electric piano play a sort of slow Tarantella. When bass comes, it's pure prog- folk. Who likes the most folky songs of Mostly Autumn, will like this track as well. I think Mike Oldfield would like it too. Then it calms down and restarts on a different more rock theme, to stop and rerstart again om different tunes several times. Only the final 2 minutes are sung. The vocals are accompanied by a church organ taht makes it similar to a religious chant.

"Smaugh" is the last track. It's where Par Linh feels himself more comfortable. It takes just 3 amd 1/2 minutes and it's amazing how so many themes are used on this song.

It's a good album that doesn't add anything to Tolkien's stories and is not at the same level of Bo Hansson, so it fits perfectly into the 3 stars definition.

octopus-4 | 3/5 |


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