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Traumhaus - Traumhaus CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.87 | 22 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
3 stars Something happened to German prog in the 1990s, or perhaps I should say, nothing happened, which is the problem. Of course, there are exceptions - groups like Dice, Faun, Versus X, Inquire, Poor Genetic Material, Shades of Dawn and Sylvan have all had some impact, but compared to their counterparts from the 1970s and even the 1980s, Germany suffered a prog decline far greater than countries like Italy. Moreover, whereas bands like NOVALIS and ANYONE's DAUGHTER switched over to their native tongue as a vehicle for producing exciting new music, relatively few of the bigger names on the modern scene have taken this route. A notable exception is TRAUMHAUS, who released this debut in 2001 and nothing until an EP 4 years later.

While a flawed work, chiefly due to the excessively pounding nature of the drums and rhythm guitars, this album is likable enough, thanks to some deft guitar/key interchanges a la Anyone's Daughter, the group to which they seem most closely allied. Yet Traumhaus can be much heavier, the power chords chugging away or crashing down upon the listener in a style never plied by AD. Just listen to "Peter Und Der Wolf" to see what I mean. But "Zu Spat" is a more controlled affair and would suit those who are fans of the traditional 1970s/1980s bands, and "Wandler" is simply beautiful, dominated by effective vocals, acoustic guitar, and a plethora of keyboards including wonderfully retro organ. Its denouement involves a mix of heavy rhythms and creative leads to string them together. The suite, "Ausgeliefert", has many highlights but would probably be best appreciated by native speakers, as it tells the story of a sex abuse survivor. These tracks all grew on me as I came to appreciate the depth not readily apparent when I first listened to all the headbanging. The choice of singing in German was a wise one and enhances the quality of the release.

Not surprisingly, the formula burns out a bit by the last few, mostly because the melodies are a bit less impressive, and the heavy underpinnings start to sound similar to what we heard before. "Navanita" is pretty much a 5 minute jam and is interesting as such but not really what I ordered. Still, this is a pretty decent debut album and worth picking up if in your house you dream of German progressive symphonic with a bit of neo and metal woven in. 2.5 stars rounded up.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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