Lars Fredrik Frøislie, for those who do not know, is the keyboardist of Wobbler. Due to the pandemic, I suppose he finally got the opportunity to record and release his debut solo album, “Fire Fortellinger”, as many musicians and bands have done during this time period.
Lars plays the keys, the drums, and every other instrument you hear (Mellotron, ARP, and so on), and he also sings in his native language, Norwegian. Bass player Nikolai Hængsle (Band of Gold, BigBang, Elephant9, Lester) is the only member on his side. As you can guess, there’s no guitar; therefore, the sound is dominated by keys, Hammond, Mellotron, and other such instruments, as well as Nikolai’s incredible bass work, to tell the truth.
The album was recorded, produced, and mixed by Lars himself, while the mastering was done by the well-known Jørgen Træen (Enslaved, Einherjer, Seven Impale, Major Parkinson). The album has an organic, full, and somewhat retro sound on the whole. I do like the final outcome a lot, especially if you take into account that there’s no guitar to fill out certain significant frequencies.
Musically, the album can be described as symphonic prog with various 70s prog rock and folk elements. It does have a tendency to sound like a 70s release, but I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with it. I guess some might find it fascinating, while others may not. Personally, I do not fancy Lars’ vocals a lot (even if he doesn’t sing much) and the fact that he doesn’t sing in English, but that’s just my opinion.
This album is more than a showcase of Lars’ keyboard virtuosity. It demonstrates his abilities as a composer and musician. If you like bands like Wobbler, ELP, Genesis, King Crimson and Renaissance, you might want to check out “Fire Fortellinger”.