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(77:51, Progressive Promotion Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Aufwarts 4:36 2. Ausgeliefert 17:39 3. Zu Spot 6:05 4. Peter Und Der Wolf 5:05 5. Wandler 8:42 6. Das Neue 5:37 7. Navanita 5:20 8. Am Abgrund 6:54 9. Die Reise 8:05 10. Die andere Seite 9:48 LINEUP: Alexander Weyland – vocals; keyboards Frank Woidich – keyboards; vocals Bernhard Selbach – guitars; vocals Michael Dorniak – drums; bass, guitars; vocals With: Tobias Hampl – guitars Kuno Wagner – guitars Nina Weyland – vocals
Prolusion. The German band TRAUMHAUS was formed back in 1994 with vocalist and keyboardist Alexander Weyland as its central member. They released their self-titled debut album back in 2001, on the now defunct Angular Records label. Seven years later they released their second album "Die Andere Seite", this time on Saustark Records. When they reappeared in 2013 with their third full length album it was released through the German label Progressive Promotion Records. They have subsequently reissued the first two Traumhaus albums, adding bonus cuts to the new versions and also opted to rename the band's debut album to "Ausgeliefert".
Analysis. Of the ten songs on this CD, the first eight are parts of the original CD. Which is worth taking a note of, as the opening and concluding compositions are somewhat different from the rest. Melodic and atmospheroc in nature, with what I suspect most would describe as a neo progressive sound to them. The fairly light spirited Aufworts in particular begs to be mentioned in a neo progressive context, and one that explores an 80's sounding rather than 90's and onwards variety of this branch of progressive rock. The songs in between are rather different in nature. Many of them do have a touch of the neo progressive to them, but they are generally darker in mood and spirit. The guitars used are grittier, at times touching upon a progressive metal expression, and backed by keyboards that do create a mood and an atmosphere fans of progressive metal will recognize. And while the keyboards do have their atmospheric function alongside soloing duties, it's also clear that quite a few of these songs also have a symphonic progressive touch to them. If I should summarize, this production comes across as a blend of neo progressive and classic symphonic progressive rock, with detours into metal-oriented landscapes as well as forays into a style I suspect many would call progressive hard rock, the latter most strikingly a part of Zu Spot, alongside a gentler and more neo progressive oriented expression. It is a well made album through and through, as long as you enjoy some stylistic variation along the way, and presumably it is the title track Ausgeliefert that will make most of an initial impact on many listeners. An alomst 20 minutes long composition, that from a relatively careful opening shifts guises to become a dark and almost grimy creation of twisted atmospheric textures in ominous constellations, shifting towards a more progressive metal oriented expression at some point and then alternating between a metal oriented harder edged sound and a softer, more delicate neo progressive one. Personally I regard Peter & the Wolf as the clear highlight though, a spirited and joyful instrumental creation with a more playful, classical music inspired overall style. The bonus tracks are interesting additions, one section of a song that would end up on their next album and an initial recording of a full song from their second album, both of them recorded in 2004.
Conclusion. "Ausgeliefert" documents the skills of a promising band that tries to explore a fairly diverse musical landscape that ranges from atmospheric neo progressive rock to a tight and accessible variety of progressive metal, with several indications along the way that this is a band that is well aware of their classic symphonic progressive rock as well. While it is rather different in execution, I'd suggest that those who found the British band Galahad's 2007 album "Empires Never Last" to be an enjoyable effort, will also give this CD a spin, alongside those who find the notion of a band wandering between the aforementioned variations of progressive rock to be an interesting one.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: September 22, 2014
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