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Novalis - Brandung CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.29 | 91 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam

NOVALIS will once again modify its line-up by adding a new singer, the Austrian FRED MUHLBOCK! Why, i don't know as ,for me, DETLEF JOB was doing a great job singing on SOOMERABEND. Not that MUHLBOCK is a bad singer, but i don't think he is an improvement over JOB at all. Detlef JOB sang with emotion and power, not the case with the new one. Also MUHLBOCK not only sing, but also write songs which are not exactly in the style from the earlier albums. So with parts of BRANDUNG being more mainstream rock than the magical odysseys we had with s/t NOVALIS and SOMMERABEND, we know it was the end of an era for NOVALIS.

Don't forget we are also in 1977, the year Prog music got stabbed and bands had to adapt to the changing times. And for NOVALIS, it was no different. The album starts with a ...sing along song that even became a hit in their native Germany''IRGENDWO, IRGENDWANN'' with of course a cheesy chorus, 6 years old kids would like!!! Not that it's entirely bad, as some old typical NOVALIS musical arrangements can still be heard throughout the song, but we are far away from WENN SCHMETTERLINGE LACHEN HORT, believe me!

The next 2 songs from the -then-side one are the 2 MUHLBOCK tunes, WENN NICHT MEHR ZAHLEN is a acoustic folk-kind song, not bad, not great ,ASTRALIS the other one is more in the classic NOVALIS vein, but the lush pastoral arrangements from the past have been simplified , i guess to sound more adapted to the times. Once again, it is a good song, but the magical side of NOVALIS is gone.

If you have read my reviews from the last 2 NOVALIS albums, you know that i think they are 2 of the very best prog symphonic albums i ever heard and will cherish all my life.A magical trip to a wonderful world that only a few albums are capable of, especially the self-titled NOVALIS which is a 6 stars in my book.

Thanks god, the magic is back with the suite SONNENWENDE which took all the second of the LP. Finally. we are back with a GRANDIOSE rock symphony, there are no other words to describe it; If you are looking for great symphonic prog, you have to listen to SONNEWENDE. Every time , i am listening to it, this is guaranteed goosebumps for me , especially during the build up at the end and even MUHLBOCK sounds very passionate and carries the tune to heights,only a few bands can reach. This is not as complex as the suites from the first 3 albums (hey; this is 1977) but, damn, this is beautiful.

Also the cover is one of the most beautiful cover, i have seen, perfect for the magnificent symphonic rock NOVALIS is playing. Sadly, it would be the last great album they will record; Things will never be the same afterwards.

A solid 4 stars for BRANDUNG


febus | 4/5 |


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