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(79:37, Progressive Promotion Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Die Andere Seite 1 10:16 2. Hinaus 10:07 3. Kein Zurck 10:24 4. Die Andere Seite 2 7:07 5. Zwiespalt 7:26 6. Bleibe hier 6:53 7. Die Andere Seite 3 10:39 8. Zur Anderen Seite 4:08 9. The Secret 12:38 LINEUP: Alexander Weyland vocals keyboards, programming Tobias Hampl guitars, bass Hans Jorg Schmitz drums Jordan H. Gazall bass With: Sebastian Klein bass Jimmy Keegan drums
Prolusion. Please read here.
Analysis. The second album of the German band TRAUMHAUS continues pretty much where the first one left off, the band still exploring their way through a territory that includes atmospheric neo progressive rock, more expressive classic symphonic varieties of it as well as harder edged sections that come closer to progressive metal in scope. The distinct and pleasant lead vocals of Alexander Weyland convey the lyrics in an appropriate manner, that the lyrics are in German giving this part of the performance an identity of their own admittedly. Otherwise we're treated to songs that alternate between gentle, frail themes with plucked guitars or piano backed by careful rhythms and keyboards, often with the Mellotron applied too, and harder edged constructions sporting massive, dark toned guitar riffs with keyboards, organ and Mellotron liberally applied on top. Highly atmospheric music, but with keyboard motifs now and then of a more flamboyant and symphonic oriented nature. Well conceived and well performed, although I found drummer Schmitz to be a tad too expressive at times. He's an excellent drummer, as everyone that has listened to the albums he has released under the King Of Agogik moniker can testify too, but there are occasions that call for a more subtle approach too. This is a minor issue of course, and one that resides within the parameter of personal taste. Personally I found this album to belong quite safely within the solid category of productions, with my personal favorite being the more bombastic and metal-tinged Zwiespalt as the most intriguing composition amongst this collection of high quality material. The manner in which the title track is performed, in three different parts spread across this CD and all of them with more or less subtly different dominant styles, is just about as intriguing though. And the recurring chorus section of that song is a strong and memorable one to boot. The bonus tracks on this reissue are of the same excellent quality as the rest of the album. Zur Anderen Seite documents the strengths of the title track as performed in a limited vocals and piano setting, while The Secret and the English-language version of one of the songs from Traumhaus 2013 production Die Geheimnis, document that the English language versions of these compositions are just as compelling as the original German-language ones.
Conclusion. Like with their debut album, Traumhaus wanders through a landscape where they use elements from neo progressive and classic symphonic rock, with some metal oriented details added in. The end result is a compelling one, with frail passages and majestic sequences alternating in a smooth and logical manner. Fairly liberal use of the Mellotron is a strong mood provider, and a taste for that instrument will be needed, as will a certain affection for atmospheres bordering the melancholic and occasionally with a more ominous presence.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: September 25, 2014
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