Sweden flag Sweden – The Symphonic Dream

Danish keyboarder Lars Botrup is known for collaborations with many bands and artists, he has also done music for films from both Sweden and Denmark, he has done a lot and this album called The Symphonic Dream is his second in the project he calls Music For Keyboards. The difference between this album and the first one is not just that it is a new cover art and that it is released in 2011, this album also features bass players, two guys have helped Lars with the bass work and the drummer Sunesen is with just like in the first album. The cover artwork witnesses of some atmospheric work and also adds to a sense of adventure, the label speaks of all the ingredients of progressive rock music along with some great keyboarding and some new kinds of rhythmic subtleties, on paper it sounds interesting but what about reality?

Musically it can be said to originate from the progressive rock music, but then it flows out into a world of keyboard atmospheres. I think that you can call it atmospheric as it moves in that direction, the compositions are often quite grande and majestic and the musical performances of the members is of the highest class and as is the production which is modern and clean as well as powerful. The album contains eight tracks and those eight tracks will take 53 minutes to play through, unless you tried to play the tracks converted to play on my iPod which only made my iPod freeze and fail, stupid machine made by an abusive and worthless company, anyway that apple thing made this review a bit late but I guess it can be better late than never.

The Symphonic Dream is a great title for this album because that is what it feels like, a symphonic dream, taking you to a place where the daylight meets the night, you could call it a twilight zone. The songs paint different kinds of landscapes and sceneries where you are then free to add your own characters and sequences of events. I find it to be a dreamy record which really takes me places, like a dream or an escape from reality, you could almost call it cinematic with the only difference that it is you who adds the stories and the adventures to the music. In being this musical adventure it is also a document of what can be done with the keys and the organs, pianos and whatever else keyboardish that you can muster up, so if you like instrumental music or if you are a fan of progressive rock with a dominating keyboard style, then I am quite sure that you will enjoy this album.

It was not the easiest thing to pick out favourite songs on this album as I do think it works really brilliantly as a coherent storyline, but I do think that the opening track June along with track four Space Peace and second to last song Eddy Will not be Ready are the ones to watch out for. But it is in many cases splitting hairs to select the best track which I will not do, but any of the three mentioned might fit that description. Still, I do think all the tracks on this album are very good and almost equally exciting and you might even say that they are hypnotic in their disposition.

I would say that this album was something of a positive surprise, a 53 minutes escape from the dullness of reality into a magical place, a place where your symphonic dreams are realised and you can feel safe and happy maybe. Not only is it a good album to listen to, it is a way to escape the hardships of today’s hectic life. I can recommend this album for anyone who likes the art of keyboard magic, or just is a fan of instrumental music, I think it is a really good album and a given for anyone looking to escape reality for a while.

Rating: 5 out of 7
Really good album – Fans will adore this and most will like it

Reviewed by Daniel Källmalm


Link to Hallowed & review