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Astrid Proll - Astrid Pröll CD (album) cover

ASTRID PRÖLL

Astrid Proll

 

Eclectic Prog

3.79 | 8 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Man With Hat
4 stars The big album from the little island.

This is one of those albums you listen to and ask yourself, why aren't these guys well known. I really can't answer that. They have something for everyone on this album. Full on prog-rock, hard rock, post-rock, avant-prog, experimental, krautrock...this album leaves few musical avenues untouched. If I had to pick an album to represent the newly created eclectic category, it would be this one (and not only to get this some much deserved publicity). The brilliant thing about it is every genre is pulled off perfectly. Nothing ever sounds forced, contrived, or unskilled. These guys certainly know their way around their instruments. Yet this technical mastery is not the salient feature here. Sure, there are some excellent solos, but this music really blends together and supports all the instruments, in addition to bringing together many different kinds of music.

There are a few noticeable features that really standout for me. The first I alluded to previously. These guys do great things with conventional rock instruments (meaning guitar/bass/drums). I usually enjoy music that brings something different to the table (such as strings or woodwinds). But, Astrid Proll never bore. They always manage to do something different, or at least exciting. The second is the use of these other types of instruments, especially the tenor saxophone. Not to mention there are some wonderful guest stars that add to the music beautifully. Thirdly, this is a great example of heavy music that isn't metal (though I suppose there may be a few moments that could qualify).

I try to avoid track by track reviews (now-a-days) and stick mainly to the highlights, but this album has many. First and foremost, track one, Proll 1. Wonderful mix of spacey, droney, post-rock, rock sound. Then comes Catastrofe. The first example of the band showing off their rocking talents. Heavy, exciting, up-tempo...all good words to use. Later on they take it down a notch and create one of the most beautiful post rock songs I've heard in Resistencia. Top-notch layering and beautiful atmosphere are at the forefront here. Then, they take a hundred and eighty degree turn. 88Mhz. One of the more avant songs on the record, this 14 minute epic keeps pounding away through all its twists and turns. Every time you think you got it figured out, something else is thrown in your face. The bass and the sax really stand out and are played phenomenally. The drumming should also get a mention here as it takes many roles including pushing the song along and to create the tense atmosphere. Torso brings the ground shaking back to the forefront. One of the heaviest songs on the album, utilizing a great guitar riff followed by an awesome jazzy sax solo. The album ends on a bit of a mellow (at least compared to the rest of the album) and experimental note with Laboratorio Grotowsky. Also showing off their jazzy side again, with some very enjoyable sax work. It's the perfect way to end the album, keeping all of AP's elements firmly in tact and shown in a different light.

All in all, this album almost literally drips with modern progressive rock. Astrid Proll contains a little bit of everything prog rock should be and shows that modern prog can stand up next to the giants of the 'golden age'. Not to mention this is one of the most unique albums around. I believe everyone should at least listen to this album and any fan of any of the bands/styles above should really dig this. 4.5 stars. Extremely recommended!

Man With Hat | 4/5 |

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