ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages


Inquire (Germany) - 2003 - "Melancholia" (2CD)
(76 + 19 min, Musea)



Prolusion: The double CD album "Melancholia" is the third official output by the German band Inquire, though they also have a collection of their early recordings, which was issued back in 2001 as a strictly limited edition without any commercial and promotional purposes: "for fans and friends only". The two parts of the band's new album are musically so vastly different among themselves that it's necessary to review them separately. (The reviews of both of the previous studio albums by Inquire, "Within" and "The Neck Pillow", can be read by clicking >here).

Inquire - 2003 - "Melancholia: Melancholia" (Disc 1)
(76 min, Musea)


1.  Bienvenue a Bouville 7:32
2.  Nausea 6:29
3.  Anny-1 3:03
4.  Der Autodidakt 9:39
5.  The End of Sunday 9:52
6.  Anny-2 3:04
7.  The Museum 13:28
8.  The Chestnut Tree 7:59
9.  Anny-3 1:19
10. Melancholia 13:40

All tracks: by Inquire.


Dieter Cromen - guitars; vocals
Robert Kohler - keyboards, bass pedals
Thomas Kohls - drums & percussion

Werner Weber - accordion (on 1)
Ursula Becker - some vocals (on a few tracks)
Narrators (on most tracks)

Produced by Carsten Steffens & INQUIRE.
Recorded & mixed at "Sofar", Solingen.
Mastered by Eroc.

Synopsis: In most of the Inquire-related reviews I've read the band's music is called Neo Progressive, which sounds strange - unless those reviewers regard Pink Floyd, Eloy, Camel, Rush, and Kansas as Neos, too, which, though, would be complete nonsense. In my honest opinion, the music of Inquire is on the whole even more intricate and intriguing than that on such classic albums by Yes as "Tormato" and "Drama". And by the way, the music of most, if not all, of the Neo bands is above all notable for the presence of distinct influences of one or another 'titanic' band of the seventies, and where do you see influences in the music of Inquire? Well, the first disc of the band's new album features ten tracks, precisely half of which are songs: Nausea, Der Autodidakt, The End of Sunday, The Museum, and The Chestnut Tree (2, 4, 5, 7, & 8), though two of them (4 & 8) feature literally two-three vocal lines. However, each of the remaining three songs is also much richer in purely instrumental arrangements than vocally instrumental ones, even though from time to time, they're accompanied by narration. All of the songs, and also two instrumentals: Bienvenue a Bouville and Melancholia, both of which are the 'boundary' tracks of the album, were created within the framework of a unified stylistics, which is Classic Symphonic Art-Rock with pronounced elements of Symphonic Space Rock and some of those of Prog-Metal and Classical Music (provided mostly by the piano passages). The first track contains in addition a few of the accordion solos done in the vein of the French chanson, and the second has flavors of the music of the East. On some of the other tracks are available even RIO-like arrangements with atonalities, seemingly awry out-of-time beats of drums, etc. The music is distinctly dramatic and is full of mystery and magic. All three of the parts of Anny (3, 6, & 9) are about a mellow, somewhat really melancholic Symphonic Art-Rock and, due to their brevity, are less intricate than the other compositions. Nevertheless, while not masterpieces, these are excellent tracks and they very well fit the overall atmosphere of Melancholia.

VM: November 27, 2003

Inquire - 2003 - "Melancholia: Welcome to My Rock & Roll" (Disc 2)
(19 min, Musea)


1.  Allegro Maestoso 3:26
2.  Cantilene 2:46
3.  Intermezzo 3:38
4.  Adagio 2:00
5.  Final 5:50

All tracks: by Inquire.


Dieter Cromen - guitars
Robert Kohler - keyboards, bass pedals
Thomas Kohls - drums & percussion

Produced by Inquire.
Engineered by C. Steffens at "So Far", Germany. 

Synopsis: "Welcome to My Rock & Roll" is the 'all-instrumental' part of the third Inquire studio album, "Melancholia". Speaking jokingly, this music is certainly the best and most unusual Rock & Roll I've heard in my life. In actual fact, "Welcome to My Rock & Roll" is an album of real Classical Music performed by dint of Symphonic Art-Rock either with elements of Prog-Metal or without them. To be more precise, only the first and the last pieces here: Allegro Maestoso and Final (1 & 5) contain heavy elements in their structures, while Cantilene (2) is the most symphonic and softest composition on the album. Overall however, all five of the tracks here differ from each other by only a few stylistic aspects and are just parts of the same monolithic concept, the name of which is nothing else but Contemporary Classical Music, which becomes obvious already after the initial listening to the album and regardless of the fact that it was performed by a Progressive Rock trio. All the contents of the album are highly intriguing and original, though I will dare to come out with a suggestion that the guys of Inquire are inspired by music of such classical (and Rock!) composers as Mussorgsky and Holst. The solos of Hammond organ and the clavier-like solos of synthesizer, lush passages of an ARP-like string ensemble and those of piano, all the parts of chamber and Rock instruments, each detail of the musical palette of the album, just everything that is featured here has a definite classical feel to it, and it's just impossible to mix it up with anything else. Raise all of it to the power of constant development of all the arrangements on the album, and you'll understand that this amazing 'Rock & Roll' was created especially for you (and you certainly know who you are).

Conclusion: While "Melancholy" is just a masterpiece:-), on "Welcome to My Rock & Roll" is presented the best Symphonic Progressive I've heard in the new millennium. Overall, the music is truly serious and very intriguing and will keep your attention from the first to the last note. Dear connoisseurs of the genre don't pass over this double masterwork, which, moreover, costs as a single CD!

VM: November 28, 2003

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