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Jane - Between Heaven And Hell CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.43 | 77 ratings

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5 stars Between Heaven and Hell is far and away the crowning achievement of German hard rock band Jane. From a progressive perspective only "Earth Air Fire and Water" comes close, but it suffers from much weaker material.

Needless to say, the dominant piece on this album is the "side-long" title cut, a very dark piece of music indeed, with some nods to Pink Floyd's echoes especially in the main vocal theme which is introduced in the 7th minute and reprised near the end. But the epic really comes into its own in between, starting with monk-like chants and followed by trademark Jane minimalism built on a backdrop of mellotron and plodding rhythm section, upon which initially gentle and later searing yet melodic lead guitar is built. The monks return one final time to bracket this breathtakingly beautiful section.

The following two songs are both uniformly excellent. "Twilight" is like a miniature version of the suite, with a harder rock vocal section followed by yet another inspired buildup on a simple theme. No one could stick with a motif as doggedly as Jane and yet leave me asking for more when they finally give it up. In fact, could one not consider this as progressive music by definition? "Voice in the Wind" is more mellow and features slightly humourous if sad accented lyrics. For all intents and purposes the album should have ended here, with "Your Circle" being a very typical hard rock song. Since it is the closer, it can simply be programmed out without loss of continuity. Since the rest is so devilishly and angelically brilliant, I have no choice but to render a five star rating.

kenethlevine | 5/5 |


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