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Popol Ace / Popol Vuh - Popol Vuh CD (album) cover


Popol Ace / Popol Vuh


Crossover Prog

3.75 | 45 ratings

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Prog Metal Team
4 stars Unlike my previous nostalgic reviews, like those of City Boy or Chase, Popol Ace is actually a rather recent addition to my album collection. I was introduced to this wonderful treasure of early Norwegian Prog while traveling to the Oslo Prog two day festival, exactly a year ago. Still, it's really difficult for me to talk about this band's music without somehow feeling highly nostalgic about their sound. I guess that nostalgia can come in many different shapes and forms without necessarily being nostalgic to begin with! Sometimes all it takes are a few familiar notes, a certain melodic hook or just the use of a Mellotron!

This was the the band's debut release under the name Popol Vuh. Released by Polydor in 1972, the album became a minor hit in Norway but that was as far as the popularity of the band spread. Quite unfair considering the great album that it actually was! Yes, the music can sometimes get into a blues sounding jam and the huge versatility between the different compositions does make this release sound highly uneven as a whole. Still, there's really no denying that Popol Vuh were at the right time, but unfortunately not in the right place with their musical ambitions. Compositions like For Eternity and Medicine bear a clear resemblance to Foxtrot, which was released by Genesis during that same year. Unfortunately this was before the time of globalization and Internet was around, meaning that the word of mouth had to carry the band's music to different regions in order for it to be acknowledged by a wider audiences and that just never happened for Popol Ace.

Tracks like Joy And Pleasure and Sucklin' Pig rely on groovy instrumental arrangements which some people will consider to be the most progressive moments of this album. I, on the other hand, consider the two ballads All We Have Is The Past and For Eternity performed beautifully by Jahn Teigen, to carry the magnitude that is required to be called prog. It's a pity that his voice is not exhibitioned in all of its glory throughout the rest of the album, but this would change over time.

A great debut album by one of the forgotten heroes of Progressive Rock-era of the '70s that should not be missed out on!

***** star songs: All We Have Is The Past (4:29) For Eternity (5:36)

**** star songs: Hunchback (4:08) Joy And Pleasure (3:32) Sucklin' Pig (4:22) Medicine (8:02)

** star songs: Leavin' Chicago (3:53)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |


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