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Werwolf (Werewolf Art Rock) - Creation CD (album) cover

CREATION

Werwolf (Werewolf Art Rock)

 

Prog Folk

3.17 | 39 ratings

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ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars This is a pretty decent album from a band that hung around for about a decade but released only this record in that time. Werwolf are typically grouped in with psych acts of the early eighties not progressive folk bands, but the pleasant occasional acoustic guitar and Gitta Loewenstein’s lovely vocals (not unlike those of Annie Haslam, although these guys don’t sound much like Renaissance), along with sometimes fanciful lyrics put them just inside of passable as prog folk.

Besides Ms. Loewenstein’s vocals, the highlights of the album all come from Gerd Heuel’s wailing guitar work and prototypical symphonic rock keyboards from Wolfgang Unthan (Jürgen Göckler also provides a rich organ solo on “Way to Paradise”). This is also one of those bands with a singing drummer (Peter Besting), and while he doesn't have much range or even a very distinctive vocal character I applaud any drummer who can manage to belt out vocals while keeping up a song's rhythm, so kudos to him for that. Bassist Burkhard Huckstein isn't very original, but his instrument is quite noticeably prominent throughout which is a bit unusual for either prog folk or psych bands of that era.

These are longer songs, all well-developed and full of interesting shifts and twists which tend to give them a feel of being more like mid-seventies tunes rather than music from the early eighties. The band first formed in 1972, and I believe a lot of these songs were written much earlier in their career than when they were recorded, which might account for the somewhat dated sound. “The Journey to the Land of the Flying Pigs” and the instrumental “Daydream” in particular would have been quite in character circa 1973 or 74.

The Garden of Delights CD remastered version (which is best and easiest version to find) contains three bonus tracks, all quite progressive and considerably more rocking than the original studio release. The thundering “My Story” features heavy vocals from Ms. Loewenstein and quite a few tempo shifts, although the middle section becomes a bit tedious and plodding at times. “The Dreamer” suffers a bit as well, this one from too much echo on the vocals and again a lackluster middle section featuring some unambitious drumming and some rather New Wave-ish keyboards. But the additional tracks make for an interesting historical snapshot of the band, and their inclusion doesn't really detract from the overall package.

These guys weren't anything special, but they weren't too bad either. Don't expect to uncover a lost progressive gem if you decide to pick this one up, but the guitar, keyboards and vocals are pretty tight throughout and the album as a whole is quite good though not exceptional. Easily three stars though, and recommended to hardcore prog rock fans looking for another conversation piece to add to their collection.

peace

ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |

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