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Amon Düül II - Phallus Dei CD (album) cover

PHALLUS DEI

Amon Düül II

 

Krautrock

4.05 | 308 ratings

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febus
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
4 stars THE BIRTH OF GERMAN ''KRAUTROCK''

AMON DUUL 2!! AMON DUUL 2!! What a mysterious name! How more ''prog'' can you sound than ''AMON DUUL 2?? Tell me! I remember growing up in the beginning of the 70s with DEEP PURPLE,KC, YES and when i visited my favorite record store, there were those AMON DUUL LPs with their strange, psychedelic, stoned i should say, artcovers that told you you would not be getting any straight rock n roll from them. Instead you had a feeling those sublime covers were just a warning telling us: welcome to our world, enjoy your trip but only at your own risk!

My first AD2 purchase was the monumental YETI , their second album , a double LP full of psychedelic freak-out mayhem that remains one of the most essential recording of the prog scene. Only later did i buy PHALLUS DEI (!!!)-no need to translate, i hope.

PHALLUS DEI was AMON DUUL 2 first album, coming out in the musically burgeonning year of 1969 and remains a landmark not only in the AD2 catalog, not only in the Krautworld but is simply a must have to any decent prog collection. Beside its musical brillance, it was also an album that opened the doors to a new genre, inspiring plenty of new bands to produce psychedelic''kraut'' music in Germany and outside of Germany.

Sure, the Munich-based band were not the only ones at that time to introduce us to the German sound. TANGERINE DREAM with Edgar Froese and Klaus Schulze released ELECTRONIC MEDITATION , CAN came out with MONSTER MOVIE that same year, but PHALLUS DEI musically definitely stands above these other LPs.

As for the music, it goes from unstructured jams (you think, but it's not)l, bands like JEFFERSON AIRPLANE and the GRATEFUL DEAD made popular at the same time in the USA to weird singing parts, trippy ''world'' music with some African or Middle Eastern influences, haunting spacey backing vocals, a few good guitar riffs , a lot of violin soloing adding a lot of mystery to the music.

The main piece of meat is the 20mns title track that starts slow with tablas, bongos sounds, evolve in one of those jams before some structure appears with the keys and the great backing vocals from RENATE KNAUP, their female lead singer. Then follows some nice freaky violin parts and ''Phallus Dei''becomes a more structured song with vocals from Chris Karrer, their violin, second guitar and sax player.....A wonderful trippy entrance to the mysterious world of AMON DUUL 2!

The second side (I am talking about the good old LP here) is no letdown , believe me.If someone not aware of prog music would ask me for a good example to hear, KANAAN or DEM GUTEN SCHONEN WAHREN would be my choice....Spacey instrumentation, weird but great vocals, ethnic influences, numerous musical breaks.......everything a ''progger'' asks from this music!

The only downside of this album is the same problem plaguing a lot of German bands: the quality of the vocals or lack of it , i shoud say!! RENATE KNAUP even if she is not the best singer in the world does a great job and her voice fits very well with the music. However, the same cannot be said about CHRIS KARRER: a great composer, a great multi instrumentist but definitely a poor vocalist and the problem seems he doesn't even try like on LUZIFERS GHILOM. Thanks god , RENATE is superb when she comes back to close the album with the wonderful HENRIETTE KROTENSCHWANZ.

My new PHALLUS DEI CD includes 2 great bonus tracks ,the 10mns TOUCH MAPHAI and 10 more mns with I WANT THE SUN TO SHINE which fit very well with the original music....Just be ready for a very stoned hallucinating trip . You have heard nothing yet if you don't know this album!!

Close to a masterpiece, but not quite due of some poor vocals as LUZIFERS GROHM is the only track that fails to mesmerize me like the rest of PHALLUS DEI does.

An indispensable addition to ANY prog music collection,

4.5 STARS!!

febus | 4/5 |

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