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(56:23, Progressive Promotion Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Chance of a Lifetime 5:17 2. Evening Odds 6:45 3. Turn the Stone 10:54 4. In Love for a Day 6:30 5. Beyond the Edge 9:15 6. Healing Earth 6:02 7. The Promise 11:40 LINEUP: Robert Gozon – vocals; keyboards Thomas Klarmann – bass; flutes Robert Stein-Holzheim – drums Michael Hahn – guitars
Prolusion. The German band SUPERDRAMA was formed back in 2004, its members sharing a passion to create music in the spirit of 70's greats such as Genesis, Yes and King Crimson. "The Promise" is their debut album, and was released through Progressive Promotion Records in 2014.
Analysis. Those with a deep knowledge about German progressive rock may well be aware of this band from before, through the history of another band that shares some members with Superdrama, namely Argos. Half the members of Superdrama are also members of Argos, and as often will be the case in circumstances such as this there are some striking similarities between these two bands. That both bands desire to make music from if not the same then at least related historical movements obviously makes this a fairly logical end result. On the opening two compositions on this CD, the aforementioned Genesis reference is an easily calling card. Vintage sounding progressive rock, with guitar and organ in the limelight, and lead vocals of a kind that will be familiar to anyone who know their Genesis. I will stress that Superdrama doesn't replicate their sound though, but they use many of the same elements to create songs of a comparable nature. In this case these come across as well worked out and executed ones too I might add, where there are stronger stylistic similarities to the aforementioned Argos in sound than to the British giants. But the basis of this sound is one that does draw upon the legacy of band of the kind where Genesis were the main exponent. As the CD unfolds, the songs become quirkier, less reliant on the organ and guitar combination, and the overall mood and atmosphere become ever so slightly more whimsical, drawing in occasional folk-music details and jazzy touches. This done in a manner that makes it natural to reference the Canterbury movement, which incidentally is also one of the central keywords used to describe Argos. In the case of Superdrama the inclusion of these details isn't as purebred however, but these characteristic-sounding elements are rather seamlessly blended in with their distinct vintage symphonic progressive rock oriented core sound. That there are occasional touches of neo progressive rock as well further cements Superdrama's sound as one very much of their own creation rather than one that seeks to replicate or duplicate more well known bands. The title track that concludes this production represents a third subtle shift in the sound of this band, retaining the Genesis and Canterbury touches, but in this case with more of a neo progressive touch dominating the proceedings. A creation with a softer and more delicate touch, with a stronger emphasis on mood and atmosphere. Those fond of the neo bands that use the Mellotron as the main provider of frail moods will enjoy how this has been done in this song, while those who enjoy their vintage progressive rock and Canterbury oriented material should find it intriguing how certain elements of those are very much in place also on this composition, albeit with more of a secondary role than elsewhere.
Conclusion. Superdrama has created a strong and distinct album with their debut production "The Promise", a high quality CD that deserves attention. If you have a soft spot for vintage sounding symphonic progressive rock you should give this one a spin, especially if you also tend to enjoy a bit of neo progressive rock on occasion, as well as the rather different, whimsical music made by the bands from the Canterbury scene.
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