ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages


Bla Lotus - 2019 - "Hogtid"

(51:10; Melodic Revolution Records)


The Swedish trio are back with their second album, and yet again we are dragged back into the early Seventies by a band heavily influenced by the mighty Atomic Rooster and a refusal to use guitar. The line-up is the same as the debut, namely Fredrik Andersson (Hammond and Farfisa Organ, Mellotron, synthesizer, electric piano, flute and vocals), Linus Karlsson (bass, Theremin, sound effects) and Wiktor Nyden (drums) and they make a might sound indeed. There is no room in their music for a guitar, simply because the organ is everywhere, permeating every nook and cranny with its depth and sounds. There are few keyboard players in the rock arena these days who know how to get the best out of a Hammond, and Andersson is surely one of the new breed who are leading the pack. This is heavy progressive rock music, yet without any guitars. They are channelling Vincent Crane, Keith Emerson and Jon Lord, making music which is immediate and effective while also looking back the best part of 50 years for inspiration. There are few who are making music like this at present, so their sound is not only incredibly regressive but also forward looking in that they are not trying to sound like anyone else in the scene. Due to the imposing presence of Andersson it is sometimes easy to overlook the impact of Karlsson and Nyden, but it is impossible to overstate the impact of the fills and rolls being provided behind the main melody. Nyden has obviously double tracked some of his percussion, as there is no way he can produce all the sounds he is creating unless he has at least 4 arms. Melodic, exciting, the band deliver a sound which fills the ear – there is nothing lightweight here, this is all-encompassing progressive rock music which contains strong melodies and is a delight to enjoy. Some of the songs, such as “Open Hand On All Fours”, manage to sound incredibly commercial while never losing any of the power, and others where the flute makes an appearance are far more proggy as they move between styles without ever diminishing the passion. Well worth investigating for fans of “old school”.

Progtector: November 2019

Related Links:

Bla Lotus Melodic Revolution Records


ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages