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Os Mundi - Latin Mass  CD (album) cover

LATIN MASS

Os Mundi

 

Eclectic Prog

3.75 | 19 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Out of the chaos of Berlin, but spared by the wall ignominy, a bunch of local high school kids were playing in rock or beat bands. Soon enough a loose aggregation formed from two of these group. Sometimes playing up to 12, and sometimes down to a quartet, this unit became a few years later Os Mundi (we are the world) and recorded two albums in the very early 70's, but featuring a sextet, even if two of them were credited as guest. OM was more of a project of Udo Arndt (organ, guitar, vocals and main songwriter) with the help of drummer Chris Busse (drums and lyrics) and their first album is somewhat of a masterstroke, pulling the equivalent of The Electric Prunes, Mass In E Minor, with the same psych tendencies, although darker and with Latin lyrics. The album came in 70 on the Metronome label and presented a candlelight artwork

OM managed to sound very professional, even if the album's production is not always so, often reminiscent of Vanilla Fudge with David Byron (UH) vocals, but in the opening Overture sound very Purple-like (as in Black Night meeting Fireball), but overall, OM have their own sound. Plenty of lengthy instrumental interplay of complex rhythms makes this album a gem, but as mentioned before, the raw-atmosphered production can be discouraging a few. But the album ultra psyched and dark is very much still 60's like in terms of vocal filters and other sound effect, and often, we are drawn to think of Vanilla Fudge most often, except that the Latin vocals are not well recorded, especially in Gloria, which cumulates the error of having a double drum solo (good in itself, but out of context), the often-excellent lengthy Credo is evening things out, especially in the Saucerful-era Floyd passage nd Udo's ensuing soaring guitar solo >> easy dramatics, but effective.

The second Credo is obviously taking from where the first part ended, but strikes even more the good cords. The 9-mins Sanctum is upping the ante even more with Markgraf switching from sax to a delicious flute, and this song is evidently close to having us believe in their mysticism, but the improv is taking things a bit far for a successful mass. Too bad the closing anus Dei is the weaker track on anotherwise strong album, though.

While their second album would sound quite different, developing a jazz-rock ala Kraan, early Chicago and Colosseum, Latin mass is certainly a good example of Germany's multi-faceted music scene, and as recommended as it could be, I'm not sure it deserves the essential mention, but it's definitely worth your while should you choose to make the detour by OM's two albums.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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