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Grobschnitt - Rockpommel's Land  CD (album) cover

ROCKPOMMEL'S LAND

Grobschnitt

 

Symphonic Prog

3.85 | 168 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album signals the apex of Grobschnitt's symphonic prog side, a trend the band set up to explore consciously after their multi-faceted "Ballerman" album. It is a concept- album revolving around a clever boy's journey through a magic land and ultimately finding some sort of wisdom about human nature as well as piece of mind. The storyline is so deliberately naive - and let's consider that this album was recorded in the latter half of the 70s - that all you can do about it is keep in mind that Grobschnitt was always keen on humor (remember the intro speech for the "Ballerman" opener?). And look at the cover... it all reeks of parody. But the music doesn't: it is ostensibly the result of a serious work at writing, arranging and performing. The overall repertoire feels closely related to Nektar's "Remember the Future" - the storyline developed by the guys of Grobschnitt is quite similar, in fact - with hints to Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" and a less fusion-esque Yes's "Tales", as well as some additional hints to the symphonic prog with a notable spacey edge that their fellow country band Eloy was creating by that time ("Dawn", "Ocean"). The result is a richly ornamented sequence of well outlined melodic lines performed with ease and refinement by the interaction of lead guitar and synth layers/orchestrations/solos, smoothly sustained by the rhythm section: the long songs (3 out of 4) go flowing on through the listener's ears in a most fluid manner, never getting oppressive nor exhausting. The complexity is mostly derived to the level of subtlety, although there's also a healthy dose of pyrotechnics in some places, which, by the way, don't interrupt the general spirit but provide some interesting variations. 'Ernie's Reise' pretty much serves as an accurate taster for the album's main musical focus, while the follower 'Severity Town' conveys a more complex sonic spectrum - its harder passages feel a bit somber, although not getting really sinister. The acoustic ballad 'Anywhere' brings the most relaxing moments of the album, which is a proper relief before the emergence of the namesake sidelong suite. The 21- minute 'Rockpommel's Land' is mostly an extended recapitulation of the ambiences portrayed in tracks 1 & 2, albeit elaborated in a more pompous way: the interplaying between guitar and synth for the soloing sections is well accomplished, while the keyboard layers stage the path for the other instruments almost all the time. The languid climatic ending is one of the most beautiful musical ideas in Grobschnitt history.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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