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Novalis - Sommerabend CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.77 | 191 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
2 stars The idea of a lazy laid back summer evening as inspiration for a symphony of sorts is itself inspired, and Novalis possesses the dreamy atmospherics to fulfill the promise. The group exhibits a quality one can only describe as patience, in the way they build up melodic themes over long and languid passages. The blend of the Frippian acoustic guitars (think Epitaph) and keyboards seems to be the preferred mix, and it works on "Wunderschätze", bolstered in the vocal department with the confidence that comes with singing the lyrics of a renowned and long deceased German poet.

The trouble is that this subdued-to-the-point-of-comatose approach is ultimately boring. The buildups simply don't have enough climax, and by the time the pace is picked up near the end of the lengthy title track, it's really too little too late, and comes across as more absurd than anything else. Moreover, its vocal lineage is too closely related to that of "Wunderschätze" with considerably less charm. If you want genuine relaxation, go with an album by Nightnoise or Andreas Vollenweider.

Whatever impact this may have had at the time of release has now dissipated in fine columns of smoke wafting from some distant bonfire on the summer evening from whence it sprung. It is now just pretty, and pretty dull.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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