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Wallenstein - Blitzkrieg CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.80 | 137 ratings

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3 stars Born in October 1971,WALLENSTEIN started their career as ''Blitzkrieg'',before finding out about the English rock band with the same name,under the forces of keyboardist Jürgen Dollase,drummer Harald Grosskopf,Dutch bassist Jerry Berkers and American guitarist Bill Barone.In just two months time the quartet managed to compose four long pieces in Studio Dierks in Stommeln, near Cologne ,which meant to be the band's first full length album.This came out soon after (early 1972) on the Pilz label.

STYLE: This is somewhat complex keyboard-driven Progressive Rock with numerous tempo changes and a frenetic jammy atmosphere in the air.''Lunetic'' is an unbelievably schizophenic all-instrumental opening piece of Classic keyboard-based Progressive Rock with tons of harpsichord battling with a fast and furious rhytm section for no less 11 minutes.''The theme'' is a complete song in all its aspects.While starting with some sort of psychedelic guitars,grandiose mellotron and calm vocals by Jerry Berkers,it later turns into a massive Classic Rock piece supported by fast piano and close again in the opening way with cymbals,flutes and piano on the front.The long ''Manhatten Project'' follows a slow tempo with psych overtones,a dark atmosphere and a heavy amount of piano and mellotron,before things lighten up with the band showing again its jamming side until the mellow ending.''Audiences'' will start in a ballad way,soon to become an ELP/TRIUMVIRAT number with nice bass work and a growing tempo.The track will end the way it started.

INFLUENCES/SOUNDS LIKE: ELP had to have been a great influence for the band along with KING CRIMSON.Add some doses of NOVALIS in the quieter parts,but definitely WALLENSTEIN had their own identity as a band.

PLUS: Excellent individual performances and a good dose of interplays to satisfy the demanding prog listener.Very good news comes from the varied and consistent keyboard work.A very rich album in sounds and styles,ranging from Psych and Classic Rock to Symphonic Rock with Classical leanings.

MINUS: The longer pieces are too jammy for my tastes,especially the first one,without overcoming the band's nice performance.Pianos are somewhat over-used at moments,from the most bombastic to the softer parts.Vocals are rather mediocre.

WILL APPEAL TO:...certainly the Symphonic/Classic Prog audience,but the sight and sounds in ''Blitzkrieg'' are changing so fast,that even a Fusion fan will find something to like in here.

CONCLUSION: The album has so plenty to offer,that musically it's a bit of a mess with something constantly going on.A more focused style would possibly make me like it more...but again this is a very strong release...3.5 stars.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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