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Grobschnitt - Rockpommel's Land  CD (album) cover

ROCKPOMMEL'S LAND

Grobschnitt

 

Symphonic Prog

3.85 | 175 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Matti
4 stars Ah, I'm finally getting closer contact with vintage prog from continental Europe, namely Germany, France and Italy (after visiting Helsinki and its music library last week). My knowledge of German prog has been narrow (Tangerine Dream, krautrock, some fusion...), and GROBSCHNITT's classic fairy tale album is actually my first Symphonic Prog from Germany. Wow, it was a delight. A quick look at the previous reviews reveals very warm response while some more critical minds think this is *very* overrated. I can understand the latter opinion too. Right from the Roger Dean -style cover art one confronts strong influence from British prog greats, especially YES. The liner notes tell that the keyboard player was a big fan of Yes, and like Rick Wakeman, he had a fortress of various keyboards. And then there is the fact that it was 1977, which means that the majority of all great Symphonic Prog had been already made. But these things are not that relevant when judging an album personally, I think. They shouldn't prevent one from enjoying the music with an open heart.

This album is so loved because in a way it's a school example of Symphonic Prog work. All the hallmarks are there: theatrical feel, grandness of epic structure, lush keyboards, other-worldly concept - the story, which is quite naive but in a charming way, is about a little boy taken into a fantasy world; a helpful gigantic marabou, a magic feather, a dystopic city where everything is forbidden, a rescue quest, etc. - , even the English lyrics. Usually I like to see bands using their mother tongue, but on the other hand, German is not so beautiful language to my ears. Since this music isn't typically German to start with, English suits better.

The atmosphere is close to one of a fairy tale; quite accessible, melodic, mostly very mellow and pastoral. Only occasionally the overwhelming narrative level eats the music with silliness. But these faults are very minor in a very enjoyable entity. Rockpommel's Land is an excellent addition to anyone enjoying Symphonic Prog, despite the obvious lack of originality.

Matti | 4/5 |

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