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Novalis - Sommerabend CD (album) cover

SOMMERABEND

Novalis

 

Symphonic Prog

3.74 | 139 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
4 stars If you are ever looking for a lush, sympho-prog album full of great music then look no further. German bands signed to the historic 'Brain' label are (almost) guarantee'd to deliver something special for your 'third eye'. Novalis churned out some really effective albums during the 70's, reaching a profound peak with this release, 'Sommerabend' (Summer Evening), their 3rd album. Closest comparisons could be with PINK FLOYD and ELOY from the same period (thanks to the 'deep' and 'spacey' atmospheres, but I did say, 'could' ). Opening with a lengthy instrumental, 'Aufbruch' (9:37), where all the desired ingredients are instantly blended to form a tasteful tune powerful enough to take you in for a 'romantic' journey. The strong Keyboard presence of Lutz Rahn mainly responsible for some mesmerising feelings (String Synth for the most part, tasteful Hammond Organ and Electric-Piano arpeggios - Mini-Moog for the lead synth solos elsewhere on the album) and proficient Lead-Guitar parts courtesy of Detlef Job. The Rhythm section is competent enough to serve as a solid foundation for the aforementioned soloists. The compositions here aren't particularly complex, but surely tasteful and lively enough to be taken notice of. 'Wunderschatze' is built around a quite 'Floydian' melody, which builds and mellows (or is it 'ebbs and flows' (??) throughout its 10:37 duration, the lyrics taken from German philosopher Freidrich von Hardenberg (yes, I had to refer to my Columbia Encyclopedia, Vol 16...) and is a wonderful track, guitarist Detelf Job singing beautifully, and Bassist Heino Schunzel sounding a fraction off-key (to these ears, anyway). Side 2 taken up by the intoxicating title-suite, Sommerabend, going through all the right moves, encompassing all that was 'hip' within the symphonic category of the era, basically featuring the same sound as side 1 but incorporated into an extended composition which travels along impeccably, transporting the listener into a dream-world of beauty. Within its 18:17 duration, the drifting flow is only broken up by an up-tempo section with some massed vocals. The acoustic-guitar sections are quite inspired. Fantastic record, me being a stubborn vinyl-head !!.
Tom Ozric | 4/5 |

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