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Amon Düül II - Phallus Dei CD (album) cover

PHALLUS DEI

Amon Düül II

 

Krautrock

4.03 | 406 ratings

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Modrigue
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Weirdus Dei

3.5 stars

After the split of the German collective AMON DÜÜL, the musician ex-members reunited to form one of the craziest and most creative krautrock band ever, AMON DÜÜL II. Gorged with multiple western and eastern influences, "Phallus Dei" is their first opus, and also one of their most experimental, inventive and psychedelic records. Exotic and mystical sonorities are partly due to the presence of their fellow countrymen EMBRYO's Christian Burchard and POPOL VUH's Holger Trülzsch as guests, but the identity of the band is already strong. Since the first notes of "Kanaan", you know you're in for something special. The music sounds like an incantation ritual for a mythological god in an ancient temple. It also contains a slight Indian feel. Simply unreal! The freaky "Dem Guten, Schönen, Wahren" is quite haunting with its weird voices. "Luzifers Ghilom" displays an esoteric ambiance similar to "Kanaan", however rock-ier and more tribal. This nice piece incorporates Indian vocals and possesses an unique depressive finale. "Henriette Krötenschwanz" is the shortest track and not a very necessary passage too.

However, the longest and maybe also the weirdest composition of AMON DÜÜL II is the title track. Beginning with a nightmarish atmosphere and creepy voices, it continues on a long psychedelic journey into unknown lands. The violin and tribal bongos take you all around the world, you don't know where you are anymore. The finale is just mesmerizing. This 21 minutes mastodon can be a bit harsh to enter, the overall is not very accessible and lacks coherency. Nonetheless, it contains cool passages where the listener can catch up and is finally pleasant.

As one of the first krautrock albums, "Phallus Dei" unveils a novel and unique style, mixing mystical, rock, psychedelic, incantatory and eastern sonorities. Maybe this can be considered as one of the first records of the so-called "world music" genre, as it displays a long journey through different continents. The other important krautrockers strongly incorporating exotic influences to their compositions are EMBRYO and POPOL-VUH, who are represented in this disc by one invited member. A coincidence? I don't think so.

For a first release, "Phallus Dei" is really innovative and groundbreaking. Although not always accessible and still bathed in freak'n'roll jams of the late 60's, it's nice to hear this mixture of different musical landscapes. Not the best place to start with to discover AMON DÜÜL II, as this is their most experimental and weirdest efforts. But don't miss it if you want to hear something original. Essential for krautrock, psychedelic or mystical music fans.

Fortunately, the minor flaws will be quickly corrected for the next opus...

Modrigue | 3/5 |

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