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Novalis - Banished Bridge CD (album) cover

BANISHED BRIDGE

Novalis

 

Symphonic Prog

3.58 | 70 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Progbear
Prog Reviewer
3 stars We all have to start somewhere, and so it is with Novalis' debut. Hardly a bad album, but odd in that it doesn't really sound like a Novalis album, in spite of having three members who were driving forces of the band for a large chunk of their career. Spotlight here is on keysman Lutz Rahn, who stamps proceedings with his authoritative keyboard work. His Hammond organ work and synthesizer playing (using one of Wolfgang Palm's experimental home-made synthesizers, no less) are particularly fine.

The thing that makes this stand out among Novalis' output is the guitarwork, or rather, the lack of it. Detlef Job's distinctive guitar playing was a fixture of Novalis' sound, and here the only guitar-playing is some folkish acoustic strumming from singer Jürgen Wenzel. Wenzel acquits himself well enough as a vocalist, but doesn't add a new dimension to the music or anything. He's merely adequate, neither bad nor especially memorable. The album would have been just as good as an instrumental. Better, in fact, as this is really one of the more laughable attempts at English lyrics by a non-English-speaking band. And the lyrics are printed in BIG BLOCK LETTERS on the back cover, no less.

Ludicrous lyrics aside, the 17-minute title suite is by far the highlight of the album. Rahn propels the music along, with his energetic organ and synth work driving the rhythm between the slower and exciting quicker sections. The balance of the album is more ordinary, with the lengthy "Laughing" standing out a bit with some nice arpeggiated Hammond chords.

Not Novalis' high point, BANISHED BRIDGE is still an interesting historical document of the roots of a rather iconic (in Germany anyway) prog-rock act, and is a must for big fans of this band.

Progbear | 3/5 |

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