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Amon Düül II - Phallus Dei CD (album) cover

PHALLUS DEI

Amon Düül II

 

Krautrock

4.03 | 306 ratings

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FruMp
Prog Reviewer
4 stars A groundbreaking, gritty, psychedelic record ahead of it's time.

'Phallus Dei' (literally god's penis) is one of the records that got me into kraut, it's quite a varied album with despairing moments of psychosis, powerful jamming and righteous riffing there is a lot to like here. The album opens with the worldy 'kanaan' conveying images of Indian slums and sheesha smoke hazes with a rich flowing sound, there are a lot of elements of late 60's psychedelia here too but taken to something of an extreme. The intensity gets dialed up on the next and my personal favourite song 'Dem Guten Schonen Wahren' with an opening riff straight out of a bad acid trip and fevered vocals speaking in tongues things look up a little with some psychedelic jamming before the next acid tab kicks in.

The album lightens up a bit with the upbeat 'Luzifers Ghilom' with some slightly more accessible material, there are some great riffs and moments here and some great jamming. Then after the filler track 'Henriette Krotenschwanz' we move onto the next side with the leviathan 20 minute title track (pretty well unheard of in those days) and we are subjected to a lot of avant-garde freakout noise for a few minutes before the bass kicks in and the song builds into a full blown jam lasting many minutes before a percussion respite followed by you guessed it - more jamming!, a pretty satisfying epic song in the end.

The musicianship on this album is fantastic, jamming and jamming well is hard, really hard and the key component to successful psychedelic jams is the drummer and as you'd expect from krautrock even very early krautrock the drumming is magnificent, very flowing and commanding, the percussion too as you'd expect from any decent kraut recording is amazing particularly in kanaan and Luzifers Ghilom. The guitar work is really good too, some great jam soloing and riffage to be had, I particularly like the clean diminished arpeggios in 'Dem Guten Schonen Wahren'. The bass is like all the other instruments is exemplary, it slots in nicely with the drums and guitar and is also nice and high in the mix which I always like. There is some great 'righteous triforce jamming' (as it has been so named by my band mates) between guitar, drums and bass where they all get into a groove yet are doing their own thing respectively - it just works. another thing I particularly like about this album is the organ and synth sounds, they add some great textures. The vocals would be my only major gripe when it comes to instrumentation, they can be a tad annoying at times with high pitched wailings and the like but for the most part the focus is on the instruments so it doesn't factor in an awful lot. Another thing I really enjoy the gritty 60's production of this album, it suits the music perfectly and enhances certain emotions and experiences.

Overall it's a great album worth 4 stars probably about 4.5, it just lacks a little direction in places and there are a lot of great things that aren't really repeated, well worth while for any fan of kraut or late 60's psychedelia.

FruMp | 4/5 |

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