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Wallenstein - Stories, Songs & Symphonies CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.22 | 53 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
3 stars This time around, German proggers Wallenstein took their classically inspired music to the extreme - even milking the sub-label for themselves as a 'Symphonic Rock Orchestra' for all it's worth - in rather large lettering on the cover. The compositions do have strong classical leanings whether they promote the fact or not, especially in Jurgen Dollase's Piano playing and Joachim Reiser's Violin. Piano is the lead instrument throughout the album, with some faint Mellotron touches and Synthesizer effects. 'The Priestess' is a rather pompous little track, featuring some brief twists and turns within its 4 min duration. Dollase's vocals are soft and polite, though he is a better keyboardist than singer (kind of re-iterates what another reviewer has stated but it's an obvious fact). The title song, 'Stories, Songs and Symphonies' is the choice track off the record, it lasts nearly 10 mins and features an excellent instrumental passage, driven along with a mid-tempo groove that's topped-off with some tasty piano work and guitarist Bill Barone gets to shine with some searing licks. 'The Banner' kind of passes by, quite forgettable really.

The long piece, 'Your Lunar Friends', starts out with a mysterious and spacey atmosphere, some pretty piano lines and bubbling Synth effects backed with a cool Bass groove, Reiser's ever-present violin adding the classical ingredient that goes hand-in-hand with their 'Sympho-Rock Orchestra' tag. The bulk of the song tends to meander a little, with subtle dramatics here and there. 'Sympathy for Bela Bartok' is a 3-part track (lasting just over 5 mins) and actually show-cases some quite complex interplay between piano and violin during part 1, part 2 is a slow, sombre section which merges into the uptempo 3rd part where Reiser's violin takes the spotlight again. Sadly they couldn't follow-up the fantastic 'Cosmic Century' with another, equally exciting release, though. 3 stars.

Interesting to note that the somewhat twee, pastel coloured cover-art was done by the drummer, Harald Grosskopf, who ended up joining Manuel Gottsching in his later ASHRA projects, with stops along the way to help out electronica whizz KLAUS SCHULZE.

Tom Ozric | 3/5 |


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