Lindh Project, Pär - Veni Vidi Vici

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Crimsonic
Catalog Number: CLSCD 106
Format: CD
Total Time: 50:57:00

For some time now the Pär Lindh Project prefers to be referred to as PLP. As a longtime admirer of Keith Emerson and ELP one can of course understand why. For some time now PLP not only stands for three letters but also for a nucleus of three people being Magdalena Hagberg, Nisse Bielfeld and of course maestro Pär Lindh himself. For their latest album, their third full studio album, they have also used three words as a title: Veni Vidi Vici, they came, they saw and they conquered. So did they? With the departure of Jocke Ramsell and Marcus Jälderholm, PLP used the talents of the Kopecky brothers when they were on tour in the States. For the recording of this album, however, they did use the combined talents of some of their friends, not in the least the new Flower Kings bass player Jonas Reingold. There's also a real choir and small classical orchestra, a sinfonietta, to be heard, so pretty much expect this new album to be even more classically inclined than the band's previous efforts.

Opener "Adagio" is a small instrumental section, very classical and pretty much in the same league as "Dresden Lamentation" on the Gothic Impressions debut. But then it's all systems go as Nisse Bielfeld bangs the drums in true Metallica style in order to introduce the title track. "Veni Vidi Vici" sports some incredible organ playing by Pär ranging from "ordinary" organ to splendid church organ recorded at Varfrukyrkan in Enkäping, Sweden. After about two minutes the atmosphere turns heavilly towards the ELP classic "Tarkus," whilst the choir in the quiet passage reminds me of the high pitched voice of Dane Stevens from Druid. The song also includes some outstanding fretless bass from Jonas Reingold, lifting the song once again towards unseen heights, getting close to uptempo Dave Brubeck and incorporating some wild piano playing by Pär. "Gradus And Parnassum" is as classical as you can get with some ace grand piano and choir in the background. The intro opens for a very solemn sounding Magdalena Hagberg before the mood completely changes and Nisse is allowed to let himself go again, adding a touch of James Hetfield to the complex arrangement. It's almost as if classics meet metal! In fact, the entire song is one melting pot of various influences and atmospheres enabling each individual musician to fully illustrate his/her abilities. There's a section which once again is pure classical brilliance when grand piano and mellotron unite. Then the piano changes towards a "Merlin The Magician" meets "Hungarian Rhapsody" atmosphere giving way to an incredible ambiance where drummer Nisse Bielfeld sees the opportunity to battle his way from one genre of music to the other. There's jazz, there's funk and there's the almost obligatory drum solo that really smokes! The song once again twists and turns in order to get the church organ back in, which, by means of a small brass section, opens for another stunning grand piano piece. Truly a song which will need more than one spin to be fully appreciated!

"River Of Tales" really has Pär's Blüthner piano sound like ripples backing Magdalena singing a very romantic and melodic tune, which in a way comes over very "grand" due to the piano. It's one of those tunes which would perfectly fit on a Rick Wakeman solo album as, apart from the vocals, piano is all you hear. In "Juxtapoint" I feel the sound of the drums is way too heavy in the final mix, which means they overrule the gentle layers of strings in the background. "Le Grand Chambardement" is a completely different kettle of fish, what with the choir singing in a very church-like manor without any musical backing whatsoever. Talking of different moods on this album! "Adagio Con Flauto Et Clavicembalo" sounds very old and classical, and that's exactly what you get once the harpsichord makes way for the choir followed by Magdalena backed by church organ and singing in a very ceremonious way, as if this was to accompany a stately wedding! On top of this, Magdalena also encorporates violin before majestic synths introduce the rhythm and the violin holds a little bit of Vanessa Mae's finesse! The album closes with the uptempo "The Premonition," containing a lot of superb organ and synth interspersed with heavy guitar solos courtesy of Jocke Ramsell. In fact, this song is the only one recorded with the previous line-up, getting close to the general atmosphere on Mundus Incompertus. Especially Pär's attack on the organ is again very Emerson-like, sometimes attacking the instrument in a percussive way. Here the balance between all the instruments is much better and it kind of became my favourite after playing this new album over and over again. No doubt this one will be a winner during forthcoming live gigs.

With Pär's ideas and interests being divided between PLP, the sinfonietta and an upcoming piano concerto, this album contains a mixture of his possibilities and compositional skills resulting in an album which needs several spins as it's so diverse. However, what Works was to ELP, Veni Vidi Vici is to PLP: the best example of "rock meets classical"!

Adagio / Veni, Vidi, Vici / Gradus Ad Parnassum / Tower Of Thoughts / Rivzer Of Tales / Juxtapoint / Le Grand Chambardement / Adagio Con Flauto Et Clavicembalo / Hymn / The Premonition

Pär Lindh - keyboards, bass
Nisse Bielfeld - drums, vocals
Magdalena Hagberg - vocals, violin
Extra musicians:

Jonas Reingold - bass
John Hermansen - guitar
Jocke Ramsell - guitar
Marcus J?derholm - bass
Niclas Blixt - horn
Jens Johansson - flute

Gothic Impressions (1994/2004)
Rondo (EP) (w/ Bjørn Johansson) (1995)
Bilbo (w/ Bjørn Johansson) (1996)
Mundus Incompertus (1997)
Live In America (1999)
Veni Vidi Vici (2001)
Live In Iceland (2002)
Dreamsongs From Middle Earth (w/ Bjørn Johansson) (2004)
Live In Poland (2008)
Time Mirror (2011)

Live In Poland (DVD) (2008)

Genre: Symphonic Prog

Origin SE

Added: April 19th 2001
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 784
Language: english


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