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Lars Boutrup's Music for Keyboards — The Great Beyond
(Ex'cess Records, 2020, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2021-04-08

The Great Beyond Cover art

On The Great Beyond, Lars Boutrup gives us another dose of his update to Rick Wakeman’s classic instrumental rock. Barring some of the more modern synthesizer sounds, the music could easily be taken for a stylistic sequel to The Six Wives of Henry VIII. Vintage Hammond organ sounds are often at the forefront, which heightens the impression, and the tonalities are similarly derived from Classical music and hymns infused with touches of the blues. Some of the more successful tunes feature sequencer patterns that are outside the Wakeman idiom, and make for enhanced rhythmic drive. “Whatever Mama Said” is a good example of this, with a steady synthesizer pulse backing the organ leads while drums (Spike Nior) and slightly distorted bass guitar (Niels W. Knudsen) further boost the energy. The melodies are simple enough to be catchy but complex enough to provide interest. “Inventio” supplies a meditative break from the more rhythmic tunes with densely chorded synthesizers and a touch of outer space. “Klavier Stück für Freude” is a solo piano piece very much in a Classical mode. The album finishes off with the title track, which starts off with mysterious spacy synth chords, then dives into a dramatic rhythm before settling on another organ-led workout. The Great Beyond is a keyboard rock album in the classic mode, and should please fans of old-school progressive rock in spite of its lack of Mellotrons.

Filed under: New releases, 2020 releases

Related artist(s): Lars Boutrup

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