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Wallenstein - Blitzkrieg CD (album) cover

BLITZKRIEG

Wallenstein

 

Symphonic Prog

3.77 | 66 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
5 stars One of Germany's longer lasting bands had first started as Blitzkrieg (until they found out a British band used the name as well) and changed their name to Wallenstein and kept their former name for the album, gracing it with a war-themed gatefold cover. Produced by the unavoidable Dieter Dierks and released on the ultra collectible Pilz label in early 72, this debut album is stunning effort that transformed the 200 MPH speed notion into music. Keyboardist Jurgen Dollasse's very international group comprised of a Dutch bassist Berkers, an American guitarist Barone and fellow German drummer Grosskopf (big head), but clearly jurgen is the star of the show with his battery of keys, mainly piano, but harpsichord and mellotron, but surprisingly no organ.

Just four tracks on this corking red-hot album, all well above the 7-minutes, and not one weaker than the others. The 12-min instrumental Lunetic starts on harpsichord arpeggios, before the group is adopting a binary rhythm, until they break free of it and stroll on through constantly shifting patterns, with Barone pulling one or two solos over Dollasse's harpsichord. Less than halfway through the track, the track dies down, letting Dollasse (sole songwriter) slowly rebuild it back, but the man is taking his sweet time for our pure enchantment. What a performance, even if the track overstays its welcome by roughly one minute!! The 10-mins Theme is a no-less impressive slow starter, with Dollasse singing (3 minutes into the song) from behind his piano (but plays synth and mellotron as well), almost a one man show, but so well supported by Grosskopf's excellent drumming and Barone's discreet but efficient guitars. The track is a succession of seesaw moods that takes from exaltation to sadness to reflection inside the half-minute.

On the flipside, the 14-mins instrumental Manhattan Project is obviously the "pièce de resistance" (main course) in the Wallenstein menu; whatever they managed so wall on the A-side is here multiplied by four, the group shrewdly tearing spine chills and tears of joy from you, as it moves through the constantly evolving web of moods they spin around your dizzied brains. Closing the album is the almost 8-mins Audiences, Dollasse's singing (lacking the perfection of The Theme's vocals) giving way to a mellotron and the band picking their usual tricks and twists.

A stunning debut symphonic prog album, one of Germany's very best, Blitzkrieg is a must-belong in every proghead's collection, for fear that it wouldn't be worth a penny without it. What a corker this album is!!

Sean Trane | 5/5 |

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