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Gurnemanz - No Rays Of Noise CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

2.79 | 12 ratings

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2 stars This isn’t a very interesting album really, although kudos to Garden of Delights for the effort they put into its reissue. The booklet detailing the band’s bio and the story behind the bonus tracks from their unreleased third album ‘Blue Moon’ make for interesting reading, but the music on this album is not much more than contemporary folk; there is little about it that’s progressive or innovative.

One thing that does distinguish the German band is the presence of English vocals on several tracks, as well as the cover of “John Barleycorn”. The band was clearly influenced by British folk singers of the late sixties, with nary a Krautrock characteristic on any track.

Vocalist Manuela Schmitz has one of those archetypal folk voices, not wide-ranging but rich in tone and one that fits this style of music quite well. She also contributes a number of reed and percussion sounds to the record.

The instrumentation is also pretty prototypical folk stuff: tin whistles, flute, kazoos, mandolin, bouzouki, banjo and acoustic guitar - but no drummer. Actually the band did add a drummer (and electric guitarist) late in their career, and both of them appear on the live bonus tracks. But the original twelve songs on the album are completely acoustic.

Nothing stands out here; like I said, this is really more contemporary folk than anything else. Some of the bonus tracks (and particularly the banjo and drum-laden “Another Morning” and “Among the Rice Fields”) show indications of some promise in the band’s development, but like I said that album never made it to release and the band ended up fading away around 1979.

This is clearly a two-star album. Nothing exceptional here at all, although fans of pastoral, acoustic and British-leaning folk may find it somewhat charming. Otherwise this one should be reserved for any fans the band may still have, although I suspect anyone falling into that category already has the record.


ClemofNazareth | 2/5 |


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