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Hedersleben - Die Neuen Welten CD (album) cover





4.14 | 12 ratings

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5 stars Out of all of Hedersleben's releases so far, I'd say that their 2nd album is their strongest and my personal favorite. Unlike their first album with the title track in 2 parts, "Die Neuen Welten" is structured like a classic Amon Duul II or Kraftwerk record, title track side-long epic and a few shorter, yet no-less-epic tracks behind it. While their music certainly calls back to the glory days of progressive rock, krautrock and psychedelia, unlike most of the bands of the last 2 decades that have been mining that territory, Hedersleben FINALLY has something new to say in those respective genres. Guitarist Nicky Garratt might be the central creative force behind the band, but the overall sound is a showcase for the talents of master drummer Jason Willer and keyboard goddess Kephera Moon. And nowhere is that more apparent than on the side-long epic that opens the album, "Zu Den Neuen Welten". For me, as a piece of music, it's right up there with the side-long epics of yesteryear (read: Phallus Dei, Autobahn, Echoes) and in my opinion, Hedersleben's masterpiece (or meisterwerk?). Anchored by Moon's repeated D dorian Farfisa riff that just grabs you by the brain stem and never lets you go, even as the piece goes through different iterations of that theme, from the opening drones to the Magma-ish piano chords that gradually fade in with Willer's pulsating Latin-esque beats and bassist Bryce Shelton's contrapuntal, yet complementary basslines. As the piece comes to it's thrilling climax of orchestral percussion, Mellotron and cooing space whispers it all comes to screeching halt and just when you think it's all over, we're greeted with a nice epilogue of the main keyboard riff again, this time on a solitary grand piano buoyed by the ocean, which closes side 1 perfectly. By extension, the other 4 pieces on the album continue the space-faring theme of exploring new worlds, yet never losing the focus that side 1 has already established. Side 2 opener "On The Ground (Safe 'n' Sound)" is suggestive of the Hawkwind influence (and playing with Nik Turner doesn't hurt either), whereas "Nomad Worlds" reminds this listener more of Mike Oldfield, and then "Xo5B" has a distinctly desert rock meets Phantasm soundtrack feel. The album closer, "Tiny Flowers/Little Moon" brings in the first real noticeable use of lyrics in a Hedersleben song, which would be greatly expanded upon in their 3rd album, The Fall of Chronopolis and the addition of vocalist Ariana Jade (who joined the band right after the release of this album). On earlier pieces from "Upgoer" and this album, if there were any lyrics, they really only served the song as much as any instrument or texture and not as a central focus. Here the words, sung by singer/lyricist Kati Knox, are a tad basic to some listeners, but actually serve the song well, complimented by Garratt's unique & tasteful guitar arrangements and paired with Moon's breathtaking piano coda, this song closes the album on a great bit of respite as perfectly as the closing coda of side 1 did. In short, while it may suggest listeners of the past, this is by no means a nostalgic or derivative work. This is a new, fresh take on music for a higher purpose, but my words don't do it justice. Go give all 3 of their albums a listen and then go experience Hedersleben live.
WizardHat87 | 5/5 |


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