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Grobschnitt - Ballermann CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.69 | 153 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars A glimpse into the future (at least on one song).

BALLERMANN is a unique prog experience right from the first seconds. The strange introduction is something I've never heard before on a prog album, and it's a clear sign that Grobschnitt are a group that doesn't take themselves too seriously. The theme they play around with on ''Sahara'' is rather light-hearted in nature and only gets better when sped up at the end.

The comic relief doesn't last long, and the fabric kind of tears a bit over the course of the next three songs. ''Nichel-Odeon'' (no Rugrats here), ''Drummer's Dream'' and ''Morning Song'' all might have nice symphonic prog-rock themes, but all tend to sag in terms of quality. ''Magic Train'' picks it back up again with a symphonic aura though. While the beginning sounds too borrowed from the ''Firth of Fifth'' piano solo, the rest of the song is a spellbinding arrangement. And let me say that this ''Magic Train'' almost sounds like if the Flower Kings existed in the 70's. I wouldn't be surprised if FK was influenced by this album. However, Grobschnitt's production isn't as strong, the band is not as well known, and only a few themes are used that are extended (traits that I find appealing).

The last bullet could be applied to the big ''Solar Music'' suite at the end. Much of the album revolves around a one-note drone pump, but the way Grobschnitt develop the song is amazing. The piece goes through several crescendos and decrescendos to keep the listener clinging to their chair by their pants (if they're sitting in a chair, of course). ''Solar Music'' takes the listener on a journey of sorts from the Tullesque beginning to the 8-bit Nintendo ending.

There are lots of good bits of symphonic rock, hard rock, psychedelia and a slight dose of jamming. I wouldn't call it symphonic Krautrock, but I will say that it's a very enjoyable album from on of the deeper sanctums of prog rock. The compositions are simply too tasteful to pass up.

Sinusoid | 4/5 |


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