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(97 min DVD, Metal Mind Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Night on the Bare Mountain 15:31 (Mussorgsky) 2. Baroque Impression No-1 8:25 3. Mundus / Veni Vidi Vici 12:00 4. Suite in Progress 16:06 5. Montagues & Capulets 4:04 6. Bill's Solo 6:07 7. Gradus ad Parnassum 16:33 LINEUP: P?r Lindh – keyboards William Kopecky – bass Svetlan Raket – drums
Prolusion. Swedish outfit PAR LINDH PROJECT saw the light in the early nineties and quickly established themselves as a quality act performing classic symphonic rock in the vein of bands like ELP, fusing elements from classical symphony music and rock into complex but melodic and intriguing sonic creations. The band became internationally known and regarded within a few years, touring Europe as well as the American continent, even headlining the 1997 Rio Art Rock Festival. The momentum of the band stopped in the summer of 2002, when vocalist Magdalena Berg was diagnosed with cancer, and the further evolvement of the band stopped while she tried to recover from that terrible illness. In 2007 Par Lindh started to assemble a new line up for the band, and this DVD, “Live in Poland”, documents one of the concerts with this new band, from November 19th 2007 in Poland. Former vocalist Magdalena Berg died shortly after the recording of this concert, and the DVD is dedicated to her memory.
Analysis. Metal Mind Productions have established themselves as a major supplier of concert DVDs in the last few years, and one of their favorite locations is the Wyspianski Theater in Katowice, Poland. It's a very nice location for shooting concert performances, with three different levels easily accessible for placement of cameras, a large stage that makes it easy to place stationary cameras as well as lots of room for moving cameras, and the shooting of footage can take place without disturbing either audience or the performing band more than absolutely necessary. From what my amateur ears can tell, they seem to have rather good acoustics in the theater too, which is a major asset for audio recordings. On this occasion the band is a trio, with two members bound by stationary roles, which made the shooting of the concert an easy task; but at the same time made it more challenging to produce an interesting video. Thankfully, the good lighting system installed in the theater, as well as the number of cameras at work, sees to it that there's quite a lot of variation in the footage, and has been the case for the other DVDs produced by Metal Mind which has come my way, the quality of the visual and audio footage holds excellent quality. Within the budget a production like this have, this is as good as it gets. And the performance here is excellent too. It is a live concert, which means that pure perfection of the kind you can achieve in a studio of course isn't reachable, but there aren't many acts that will be able to top the technical performance displayed here. It's also obvious that the musicians enjoy themselves; it is a new band line up playing one of their first concerts, they know this is a concert that will end up on a DVD, and they get to perform the compositions in a slightly different manner than usual, as PLP at this point in time is an instrumental outfit. All of these facts seem to inspire the performance of the evening, and challenges that these excellent musicians genuinely enjoy. Some may miss audience interaction though; I got a distinct impression that the band really needs a front man to be able to add that dimension to their performance. And from what I gathered from the interview with Par Lindh, the band at this point in time was on the lookout for a vocalist too, preferably female, but as Par Lindh said, he was open to all options, and if he should get a call from Jon Anderson he would be welcomed aboard.
Conclusion. Fans of Par Lind Project will without a doubt want to get this DVD, especially if they like to watch concerts in the comfort of their own living room. That the concert in question is a rare performance by the band as an instrumental trio should also make this one of interest for musical reasons alone, as followers get to experience well-known tunes in a slightly different arrangement on this release. Fans of classic symphonic rock of the ilk which mixes elements from classical and rock might also have an interest in this release, especially if they like their music to be instrumental.
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