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Neuschwanstein - Alice In Wonderland CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.69 | 58 ratings

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3 stars Musea mentioned that the CD release (1992) of Neuschwanstein's Battlement was one of their best selling items. In the booklet of Battlement you can already read about the epic composition Alice In Wonderland (based on Lewis Caroll's famous book) that has been put on this CD: in 1974 it was premiered at a musical competition at the Saarbrucken playhouse and Neuschwanstein won the first prize. Later th band members were wearing monk suits during the performance of Alice In Wonderland, supported by an elaborate light-show and dry ice. Those were the progrock days but how about the music on Alice In Wonderland, finally on CD after more than 35 years.

Well, let me tell you that on one hand it's unfair to compare the highly acclaimed classic album Battlement (1979) with the concept story Alice In Wonderland (1974). But on the other hand I cannot avoid doing it, because I am sure that most progheads, including me, are expecting music like on Battlement, so high expectations!

Listening to Alice in Wonderland I notice that at some moments Neuschwanstein sound like 'an embryonal version of Battlment'. But in general it's more in the vein of Seventies Camel and Focus and less obvious mid-Genesis inspired. And the music is also less elaborate, more laidback and remarkably is the omnipresent flute play (reminding me of Camel, Jethro Tull and Solaris), often accompanied by sparkling Grand piano work. And coloured with very tasteful vintage keyboards, ranging from warm string-ensemble and powerful Hammond organ to fat synthesizer flights and swinging Fender Rhodes electric piano. This along some sensitive electric guitar in the vein of Steve Hackett. Most of the 8 tracks contain short German narration and even some German vocals, it's funny to hear words like 'Wer bist du denn?', it reminds me of other German bands like Novalis and Grobschnitt that also made albums in the German language.

My highlights on Alice In Wonderland are the long compositions Old Father's Song (varied and dynamic with lush vintage keyboards, swirling flute and beautiful interplay, very harmonic) and Palace Of Wonderland (again lush vintage keyboards, a wonderful Hackett-like guitar solo and lots of bombastic eruptions).

If I judge this album on its own merits (so no comparisons with Battlement), I conclude that Neuschwanstein has made a beautiful, very warm sounding album in the genuine symphonic rock tradition with a classical undertone (flute and Grand piano) and very pleasant vintage keyboards, the fans of Seventies Camel, Focus and Genesis will be pleased.

My rating: 3,5 star.

TenYearsAfter | 3/5 |


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