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Wurtemberg - Rock Fantasia Opus 9 CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.41 | 25 ratings

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2 stars These guys have been compared to groups like In Spe and After Crying, which is what got me interested in them. Also, multi- instrumentalist and ‘band’ leader Alan Carbonaire apparently makes his own instruments – also interesting.

But this album has a number of troublesome aspects to it that kept me from really being able to enjoy it much. True, the piano, keyboards and brass put them somewhat into the After Crying arena. But these guys have nowhere near the charisma or emotive appeal of that band. Also this is a really short album, and even with the additional snippets of Beethoven and Bach at the end still barely manages to exceed EP size. This is also not a real band as near as I can tell, since they appear to have been put together just to record this album, and when Carbonaire laid down the two bonus tracks a couple years later the lineup had changed.

Finally, despite the prominent featuring of psaltery, dulcimer and other instrumentation on the cover and artwork, the most predominant sounds on the album come mostly from piano and flute. Not really breaking any new ground there.

I have to say my first impression on listening to this album was that Mr. Carbonaire had packaged together a little sampler of music featuring the type of (if not the actual) instruments he produces, as some kind of promotional effort. After repeated playing my opinion on that hasn’t really changed much.

This was apparently some sort of cult hit in Japan in the early eighties, and more power to them I suppose. But I can’t imagine this music making too deep of inroads into the more traditional progressive music camps, and I have a hard time understanding why this is considered folk music as well. Seems that a piano, flute and occasional pretentious nod can get the folk label slapped on nearly anyone. In the case of this group and this album, it is not a warranted designation.

Technically this is a well-played album. If that’s all you look for in your music and are any kind of progressive music fan who isn’t limited to only metal or jazz or some other narrow genre, then you’ll more than likely enjoy this music. But if you listen for emotional commitment and connection, you won’t find it here. For those reasons I think two stars is the best this gets as a prog album, despite the considerable skills of the individual players. Not particularly recommended.


ClemofNazareth | 2/5 |


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