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Amon Düül II - Yeti CD (album) cover


Amon Düül II



4.11 | 443 ratings

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4 stars Superficially, Amon Düül II can be linked to countrymen Can and Faust (and a few others I haven't heard, I'll bet). After all, all three German groups were children of the 60s, who locked themselves up, dosed on psychedelics and improvised music accordingly. But as far I'm concerned the similarity ends there, for while I dislike Can intensely and have not exactly taken to Faust, I've been bowled over by Amon Düül II.

Yeti may contain a little too much improvisation for its own good, and thus is probably not as strong as its successor Tanz Der Lemminge, but it's still among my favourite German prog albums of all time! I don't know why Can with its dull interminable electronic twiddling has the loftier reputation, cos Amon Düül II is superior in every department.

The opening track, the four part Soap Shop Rock is probably the highlight of this album. It's got heavy riffs aplenty, an Arabic-tinged jam with some dazzling violin work from Chris Karrer with atonal, heavily accented, and slightly fanatical lead vocals as well as a mock opera section. She Came Through The Chimney is a delicate instrumental with what sounds like a distorted violin solo-ing over acoustic guitar and tablas. Archangel Thunderbird is pure stomping hard rock with an incredible raging vocal performance from Renate Knaup (whose vocals were definitely underused by this group). I still can't put my finger on whose blues rock jamming Amon Duul reminds me off ... is it Hendrix, Cream, Quicksilver Messenger Service, early Zep or even early Sabbath? I suppose QMS is the best bet as Amon Düül often have two duelling leads. Anyway, it's great stuff!

Cerberus is an intoxicating folky tune (in the Comus vein) with duelling acoustic guitars and tablas, even if it does overstay its welcome a bit. The Return Of Ruebezahl is a brief Eastern influence heavy rocking instrumental that leads into Eye-Shaking King which is more psychedelic bluesy jamming. Pale Gallery is a brief instrumental powered by drums and a barely audible ominous bassline, loads of feedback and volume swells on top but no real melodies to speak of.

Where this album might be a real challenge is in the last three tracks (which made up the whole second album of the original double LP) Yeti, Yeti Talks To Yogi and Sandoz In The Rain, all of which are group improvisations. Yeti Talks To Yogi narrowly pips Yogi in terms of accessibility (perhaps because it is significantly shorter!), although both are fuzzy stoner space rock explorations that should appeal to fans of Pink Floyd, Hawkwind and even the Grateful Dead. On the other hand, Sandoz In The Rain is one of those delectable flute/acoustic guitar/violin/tabla ragas with improvised vocals. It calls to mind the Incredible String Band and Quintessence ... and the dawn of time.

Absolutely essential for proggers who enjoy their psychedelic rock as well! ... 74% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 4/5 |


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