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Amenophis - Amenophis CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.92 | 118 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Some friends at the ProgBrasil forum talked about this obscure German band raving about their come back, but I had never heard of them until then. Itīs hard to believe any artist, in Germany or elsewhere, releasing a symphonic prog album in 1983. So I thought it must be pretty damn good to do so. And when I finally got the CD, my feelings were mixed. Nothing original, although no copycat either. Strong Camel influences, of course (thereīs even a few bars that comes close to The Snowgoose on The Last Requiem), but there is more than just that, with classical, flamenco and jazz overtones all around.

I guess it could have been a lot better if they released a completely instrumental album or at least had the trouble to get a decent singer. Vocals are weak and with a strong accent, making those sung parts the least enjoyable moments of the album. It seems they knew that, for the vocals are put too low in the mix. However, the songwriting is pretty good overall. The massive 24 minute epic The Last Requiem have several excellent sections, but it has a few boring ones too. I guess they tried to bite more than could chew at the time. I specially liked the very fine guitar parts (acoustic and electric) and the Bardens-like atmospheric keyboards. The rhythm section is good, if not too outstanding. Production is also only adequate (wonder if they had a better producer and a top studio...). Some flute semes to be added on a couple of tracks but the player was not credited.

My CD has five short bonus tracks, strangely all bearing french titles, and has little to do with the original LP, being acoustic guitar/keyboards instrumentals with a new age feel on them. I wonder when, why or how they were recorded. Nice, ok, but they donīt add nothing to the (very good) groupīs debut work.

Rating: something between 3.5 and 4 stars. I found this album to be more promising than really excellent, although some parts are, really. A little disjoined bits and the poor vocals mar the overall greatness of it, but not much. If youīre into early Camel, however, you canīt miss this one. Iīll round up to four however, because at the time it was released it was great compared to what was being produced. Certainly it was a bold move that didnīt pay off (at least commercially) and they deserved to be more appreciated by the prog community.

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |


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