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Novalis - Novalis CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.78 | 173 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Novalis hit one out of the ballpark the second time round. Their original vocalist-Jürgen Wenzel-was now gone, but they brought in two very talented guitarists-Carlo Karges (ex-Tomorrow's Gift) and Detlef Job-in his stead. For the new conception of the band, they pioneer a "Romantic-Rock" style: classic German poetry (like that of their namesake Friedrich "Novalis" von Hardenberg) interpreted in a symphonic rock style, and original lyrics (e.g.: the classic "Wer Schmetterlinge lachen hört") in the same style.

With the electric spark created by Job's and Karges' interaction coupled with the band's new direction, the result was magic. The band immediately announce their presence in a big way with the instrumental "Sonnengeflecht", featuring one of keysman Lutz Rahn's most fiery and exciting synth leads. This leads into the aforementioned "Wer Schmetterlinge lachen hört", which pits a nature-inspired Hardenberg-style lyric against a twin-guitar duel that builds and builds in intensity. The tune became a concert favourite, and understandably so.

Another instrumental, "Dronsz", displays the band's ability for texture and nuance, as they go off on a spacier tangent. Rahn's highly effected organ and subtle, airy synth effects highlight the piece. "Impressionen", another instrumental, is the most classical-sounding piece on the album, inspired by a single string cascade from Anton Brückner's fifth symphony. The dynamics on the piece are superb, and it contains some of Rahn's finest organ work. The album closes out with "Es färbte sich die Wiese grün", the first tune to include a Hardenberg lyric, for which they became famous.

Seriously, one of the best German albums. Bassist Heino Schünzel sings, and while like Wenzel he's not a particularly inspiring vocalist, he does serve the music well. In fact, his voice seems well suited to singing poetic lyrics in German.

Progbear | 5/5 |


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