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Embryo - Embryo's Rache CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.06 | 89 ratings

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4 stars Embryo's follow-up for Opal couldn't be more different from their debut. Except for drummer/band-leader Burchard and sax player Hofmann, the line-up has drastically changed and introduces Roman Burka, whose bass and guitar playing would keep making appearances on future Embryo albums.

Apart from the line-up, the first major difference with the debut is in the instrumentation. There's no guitar on this album and also the sax makes but a few sporadic appearances. Instead, the flutes and the keyboards (organs, Rhodes and mellotron) have taken over and engage in a battle for space against Burchard's percussive drums and Burka's groovy bass parts. The flutes add an early Jethro Tull vibe to it all.

Another big difference is that the band has made a shift from kraut to fusion, mainly due to the funky/jazzy bass grooves again. It's not full-blown fusion yet but it ends somewhere halfway between both styles, much like early Kraan actually. Also the world music influences that Embryo is known for start making an appearance here. They are still modest but undeniable. The African percussion intros of songs such as Tausendfufsler and Revenge reminds a lot of the opening of Hancock's Crossings of the ensuing year.

The psychedelic influences from the debut have largely disappeared and also the sound has made a complete turn, from typically clear and reverbed 60s acid-rock to a very dry, subdued and muffled 70s sound. The balance between the instruments isn't always very stable and the drums are put a bit too much to the back for me. The only remedy is to crank this one up with all treble that your amp can handle.

Another style, another sound. Very unique and rich, but not the easiest to get into. It never brought the band much commercial success but they are generally highly regarded by the few in the know. Amazing band, excellent album.

Bonnek | 4/5 |


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