Fire Fortellinger by Lars Fredrik FrøislieRelease date: June 2, 2023
Label: Karisma Records
The epic mellotron introduces this fanfare opening by creating an imaginative movie, coming to life with ‘Rytter av dommedag’ as Lars Fredrik Frøislie brings out the heavy artillery to make a parallel universe on the Ragnarök story. Co-founder of Termo Records, composer for both TV and film, and members of Wobbler, White Willow, and The Opium Cartel, Frøislie has been creating music by adding his own crystal gem to his fellow band mates.
Many years later, he can still bring his vintage analog to life on his solo debut released this year on the Karisma label entitled, Fire Fortellinger. This is very much a powder-keg, waiting to explode. And this is Lars at his finest, making sure that the prog genre doesn’t die.
He had worked on this album during the pandemic. And it gave him time to prove himself that he’s more than just a member of Wobbler. ‘Et sted under himmelhvelvet’ takes you into a medieval garden filled with harpischords, and mixtures of the ‘70s Italian prog textures from Banco, Museo Rosenbach, and Locanda Delle Fate.
But its Nikolai’s bass that spreads its wings and goes in a Chris Squire territory from its heavy tip towards Close to the Edge, mixed in with a spiritual organ by finding your true self. ‘Jærtegn’ becomes a frantic gallop, as Lars takes us into a huge, massive brawl that’s happening over the edge of the cliff.
Then, the mood changes as Lars sets up a heavy snowstorm approaching Ragnarok with a calm before the storm. Taking harpischords and mellotrons into the clouds, it walks into a midsection that resembles Premiata Forneria Marconi’s ‘Impressioni di Settembre’ from their 1972 debut, Storia di un Minuto.
‘Naturens katedral’ closes the album in a motif from Eloy’s Inside album. It makes the snow, impossible to get out. And we ain’t talkin’ about Disney’s Frozen ladies and gentlemen, we’re talking about some heavy shit that’s occurred. This is the aftermath, the destruction of the city, and what will happen next.
For Lars, he takes listeners into a city of once was a time of beauty, is now stuck in time that’s been completely frozen. And it leaves listeners on a cliffhanger. And what will happen in the chapter of Lars’ Ragnarök story. Fire Fortellinger is one hell of a debut that Frøislie has unleashed.
He has proven to push enough boundaries, and seeing where the yellow brick road will take him next. And this is only just the beginning.