Par Lindh Project Reviews

Also see: ProgDay '98 ~ Progfest '99 ~ Bjorn Johansson ~ St. Louis Keyboard Extravaganza ~ NEARfest 2000 ~ Baja Prog 2003

Bookmarks: Live in America ~ Veni Vidi Vici

From: Mark Fonda
Par Lindh Project - Mundus Incompertus:  PL plays church organ, grand piano, harpsichord, Hammond organ, mellotron, analog & digital synth, percussion and 12-string guitar... there's some ethereal female vocals that rival Annie Haslam of Renaissance, and a cast of four others playing percussion, bass and electric/acoustic guitar. If you don't think this is one of your TOP 10 ALL-TIME PROG ALBUMS....

From: Richard Stockwell 
"Mundus Incompertus" is a brand new release from the Swedish master of composition and keyboard playing. Three long tracks of over 9 minutes, 6 minutes and the title track at nearly 27 minutes. Par Lindh plays Church organ, Grand piano Blutner, Harpsichord, Hammond Organ B3, C3 & L -100, Mellotron Mark V & 400, LSE synth, analog & digital synth, additional percussion & 12 string guitar. Other main members of the Par Lindh Project are Magdalena Hagberg on vocals, Nisse Bielfeld (Drums & percussion), Marcus Jaderholm (Bass) and Jocke Ramsell on Electric & acoustic guitars. Other guests help out on recorder, violin, oboe, trombone and the Singillatim Choir. The same high standard of classical and progressive styles that featured on "Gothic Impressions" is also a feature of "Mundus Incompertus". However this time Par takes no part in the vocals, leaving this department to the incredible voice of Magdalena Hagberg. Jocke Ramsell shreds some great guitar work within the compositions. The music of Par Lindh is less technical and more 'feel' than that of the other great keyboard wizard, Keith Emerson. A must have for any progressive music fans collection.

From: Keith Henderson
>> About the Progday reviews: I'm rather surprised that Par Lindh was described as sloppy in a live situation. Are there any second views of his performance? Maybe he wasn't used to the heat.
> I was surprised and disappointed to read that too. Keith Henderson had posted this short review prior to Sid's, which gives a more positive opinion:
>>>1. Par Lindh Project (Sweden) - the intended Saturday eve. headliner, who was rescheduled for Sunday aft. when Air France lost their instruments (temporarily). For those who don't know, they combine the classical (church organ-style) with powerful intricate rock music, with blazing guitars and thundering drums. Singer/violinist Magdalena Hagberg provides the 'coloratura' vocals...beautiful.
> Maybe the time delay, the jet lag and the instruments foul-up got them flustered!? Do you want to elaborate more, Keith?
Well, of course, unlike Sid, I knew five of the nine artists that performed (including Par Lindh, who I was most interested in seeing), so perhaps my view could be a bit pre-determined. But I think I was in the majority by saying that they were very good. They performed about to the level of my expectations, I'd say.
Now that PLP has also performed at the church in Pennsylvania, there have been other very positive reviews of that performance as well. That would've been very cool to experience. At ProgDay, I don't recall any particular moments when the group got out of sync or anything, but Par did seem to have monitor troubles so there was a potential cause.
PLP's drummer, Nisse Bielfeld, is fabulous (I gathered that from the recordings, esp. Mundus Incompertus), but he actually didn't stand out any from others that had played before him. But that was due to the fact that so many of the drummers were really excellent. One of the guys on Day 1 (I think it was Soundscape's, but perhaps it was Crucible's?) played a drum solo (which in every single case in the past, I've found to be a waste of time...including Carl Palmer's and Ian Paice's at the DT/ELP/DP show...blehhh). But this one was held my attention throughout and I actually applauded it!! A true first!
The band that has prompted a wider difference of opinions than PLP has actually been the Flower Kings (and also Discipline). In one sense, I'm kinda on the side that thinks they're (FK) not particularly innovative/different, but I still like them quite a lot. Other than the accent on the vocals, there's not much about them that reminds me of other Scandinavian artists, and while there's nothing wrong with that (I'm not going to be responsible for *another* worthless debate on national origin), there's something about the quirky, dark, brooding sound of the northlands that I really like. Landberk is the one I like best I think, but Hoyry Kone, Anglagard, and Circle are all very interesting as well.  FWIW....

From: "Richard Blouin" <>
I'm disapointed about the reviews of Par Lindh in Prog day. I didn't be there, unfortunately (too far from Quebec...) but we run 6 hours to see Par Lindh in Manchester. I can assure you that Par Lindh was fantastic! It was a very intimate concert, but all the band gave a great performance. I don't want to compare who is better between K. Emerson and Par Lindh but both are great keybordist of their time(maybe greatest!). All musicians are great and tight. The voice of Magdalena is wonderfull, celestial, definitively the best female voice that I saw live. His voice on Jerusalem (ELP) give an other dimension of this piece... They played also some pieces of Gotic Impression(Cathedral was unbelievable) and all Mundus Incorpuntus, Rondo... A great event, memorable! Thanks to Brian of Tristan Park who organized the concert!

From: Brett Rains
Seems it's my turn to recommend something & make you donate some of your hard-earned currency. Try Par Lindh Project's "Mundus Incompertus" as a starter for PLP. This is a majestic piece of work that will not disappoint. It's barely been out of my CD player since I got it. I would have to say it's a cross between ELP & Bach in it's scope. Some of the best keyboard playing I've heard in years & the angelic voice of Magdelena Hagberg is a bonus. Classic & essential. (And don't forget to order your PLP/Alaska church video from Joe Toohey!)
From:  (Vitaly)
I've received Par Lindh's "Mundus Incompertus": doubtless, the most popular album among the members of E-Prog. So, I have really enjoyed the CD - but now I understand that "Mundus..." is totally overrated album! This is structurally very simple work, full of by no means not the original keyboard passages a-la K. Emerson, and monotonous singing by female vocalist. I can't rate it even as an excellent album (not saying of a masterpiece!) after the really profound and original works like Present's "Certitudes", Francis Monkman's "21st Century Blues", Peter Hammill's "This"... I remember that the majority of you declared the best album of the year "Mundus...". Sorry, I know that my opinion is different from yours. As to "Mundus..."...much ado about nothing.

From: Brett Rains
Couldn't disagree more with you on the Par Lindh Project's "Mundus Incompertus" album. IMHO this is the one of the best prog releases of the decade, & maybe even in the top 20 of all! Beautiful, haunting, & complex are some adjectives that come to mind when I listen to this masterpiece. I didn't think music was made like this anymore & man, was I glad I was wrong! But like they say, opinions are opinions! They're like, er, bellybuttons; everybody's got one.

From: "drj_saro" <>
while my opinion isn't _quite_ as harsh as Vitaly's, i too was disappointed on finally hearing the Par Lindh CD's after all of the hype on the list....they definitely did not live up to the expectations that were raised.   the only PL work that i have interest in hearing again would be "Bilbo", and I'm assuming that is because (what i consider to be) PL's "worst" tendencies were filtered out by the other guy (who's name escapes me right now). (this theory will be tested when i get to hear their new one.)

From: "Lanzarini" <>
Rock Symphony - will release probably next semester the live show of Rio Art Rock 1997 (an event in Rio de Janeiro Brazil). Other bands played (Quaterna Requiem e Violeta de Outono). There will be an live double CD also. This show is quite memorable because PLP was releasing worldwide Mundus Imcompertus and it was the first time that songs from this CD was being played.

From: Jeff Marx <>
Well it's about time that we get some PLP live.....what with PLP having some newer material since Rio in 1997, I think their own Crimsonic label should also think about getting a live PLP disc out there. It's time Par!

Brett Rains [] 
I'd go for "Mundus Incompertus" first. A stunning blend of beautiful baroque melodies, great Emersonian Hammond work, & the angelic voice of Magdalena Hagberg. Some here would disagree, but I'd put this puppy in the prog top 10 of all. (....well, maybe top 20.) :)

From: Jeff Marx <>
> I have heard of this album, I think it is their most recent. What do you think about Gothic Impressions in comparison to Mundus?
To me, it's almost inconceivable to own one without owning the other. Gothic has a much bigger musical cast, many more players appearing on one or two cuts each. It has a wonderful centerpiece in 'The Cathedral,' and a great interpretation of Mussorgsky's 'Night on Bare Mountain,' among other wonderful pieces. Mundus features the current (and outstanding) 5-piece lineup with Magdalena handling all the vocals. The album as a whole is a bit more cohesive, the band interaction at it's peak IMO. And it really 'rocks,' while retaining it's Baroque classicism and Swedish folk feel.

From: "Fisher, Lee" <>
Anyone else get PLP Live in America yet? (Thanks Rob). It seems really amazing so far. I only owned "Mundus..." previously and the stuff is so incredible and dynamic live. It just jumps right out at you. Sound quality is quite excellent as well. Their version of Jerusalem is really cool. I'll try to give more feedback after I listen to the whole thing...

From: Jeff Marx <>
After watching the Par Lindh Project/St. Louis videos countless times, I finally got my greedy hands on the new PLP Live album, and man does it sizzle and crackle with intensity! You've got the whole of Mundus, a slew of Gothic Impressions tracks, a Bilbo medley, a smashing Rondo, Allegro Barbaro piano solo, and 21st Century Schizoid Man on board...this is as impressive a live document as I've ever heard. If you've ever heard any studio PLP work, just imagine an even more grandiose and dynamic sound, and you've got this 2CD set pegged. The sound quality is great, and the band performances are inspired. The booklet is a textual and pictorial guide to the band's short but hallowed history. Is this the best album of 1999(?)...if not, than a definite contender.

From: crimsoni <>
Work on the new album has begun in earnest now. All three of us are VERY dedicated to do a super CD. Release date is September 2000 (I think we can hold that deadline).
> P?, thanks for the tidbit about your upcoming new CD... can you tell us just a little more about it since you have many fans here on the e-proglist? Will it be along the same lines as MUNDUS INCOMPERTUS or is there any new direction or development? Can we expect more classical/baroque keyboards... more luscious vocals/violin from Magdalena Hagberg... more dynamic percussion and guitar? I/we look forward to seeing you live at NEARfest 2000!! Keep it comin' because you're one of the shining lights in progressive rock these days!!
Well I acctually only just got back from a PLP recording session a few hours ago where we laid down drums for a 12 minute track. There is a new direction going on in the band since Jocke and Marcus have left the band ( at least for the time beeing). This will however be a true PLP album but perhaps with a more varied soundscape as far as using string players etc., more piano and a slightly different concept alltogether. Very best wishes, P? Lindh, PLP
> Wow...this is a bit of a shock to my system about Jocke and Marcus. But of course this just whets my appetite even more to listen to PLP music in a different configuration. So Par, what will the lineup be for NEARfest?
For NEARfest and the Mexico gigs we will have the help of William and Joe Kopecky. We are very thrilled to work with them for the tour. Nisse and I had a listen through their new material today and it is exciting stuff! However for the time beeing we will continue as a threesome adding players for tours (which might be Jocke & Marcus on occasion). But let it also be know that there is one or two vacancies in PLP at the moment. Time will tell what the permanent lineup will be in the future. Very best regards, P?, PLP

From: Subject: Re: New PLP ! Everybody is still waiting but here you will find a review!!!!!!!!!! P? Lindh Project - Veni Vidi Vici Released: 2001 Label: Crimsonic Records Cat. No.: CLSCD 106 Total Time: 50:57 Reviewed by: John "Bo Bo" Bollenberg, April 2001 For some time now the P? 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 P? 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 J?derholm, 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 P? ranging from "ordinary" organ to splendid church organ recorded at Varfrukyrkan in Enk?ing, 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 P?. "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 P?'s Bl?hner 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 P?'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 P?'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"! More about Veni Vidi Vici: Track Listing: 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 Musicians: P? Lindh - keyboards, bass Nisse Bielfeld - drums, vocals Magdalena Hagberg - vocals, violin Extra musicians: Jonas Reingold - bass John Hermansen - guitar Jocke Ramsell - guitar Marcus J?erholm - bass Niclas Blixt - horn Jens Johansson - flute Contact: Website: Note: will open new browser window Email: Discography Gothic Impressions (1994) Rondo (EP) (1995) (w/ Bj?n Johansson) Bilbo (1996) (w/ Bj?n Johansson) Mundus Imcompertus (1997) Live In America (1999) Veni Vidi Vici (2001)

From: "Andrew J. Rozsa" <> Subject: Re: Disappointing new PLP I am VERY disappointed with PLP. Lovely Magdalena should be seen and heard sometimes... but not not seen and heard all the time. Another vocalist (male) who has no business singing (EVER!) feels compelled to "help." The drums are too much in your face (on some of the tracks, e.g. Track 6 - which are either poorly mixed or poorly conceived). The magnificent organ and larger-than-life keyboards that is Par's signature is almost not heard. What a bummer! I would sell the dang thing, if it weren't for the fact that I am a OCD 'completist."

From: "Jeff Marx" <> Subject: Re: Disappointing new PLP
From: Andrew J. Rozsa <>
I am VERY disappointed with PLP <>
Sorry to hear that Andrew, I have a slightly different feeling about it. I think it's a very solid album from start to finish, there is quite an incredible diversity in styles, and musical delivery here. Par's keyboard work certainly stands out as always, Magdalena does a great job singing, she seems more comfortable singing in English here than on earlier PLP. Yes, Nisse should keep far away from the microphone!  But having the drums so far up in the mix is great imho, they felt totally integrated into the sound for me, and I thought it refreshing actually. I even enjoyed the Choir and Sinfonietta...good contrasts to the instrumentally brisk keyboard trio. Par did leave an awful lot of open space during several instrumentals...I kept wanting to hear synth soloing. But he chose to go for the heavy Hammond attack in many cases. For me it's a very satisfying album, just not quite up to the level of "Mundus," but hey, how often has ELP played up to the level of BSS? :)