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Popol Ace / Popol Vuh - Stolen From Time CD (album) cover


Popol Ace / Popol Vuh


Crossover Prog

3.85 | 25 ratings

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5 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 on my way 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 is a few familiar notes, a certain melodic hook or just the use of a Mellotron!

This was the third out of the four Popol Ace albums and the first they released under the name Popol Ace. This occurred immediately after the band found out that another German band was baring the name Popol Vuh. The name change clearly brought out a new spark within the quintet, which is quite notable on Stolen From Time. Ambitions were set high not only in the songwriting and music arrangements but also in the long studio time that was demanded during the production of the album. Stolen From Time is a thematic piece of music where the nine different tracks are played out like nine chapters of the same story arc with smooth transitions between some of the sections.

The album features a wide range of sounds and direction, although this time it manages to keep the overall style distinguishable and unique, unlike the band's debut album which played a definite homage to blues rock of its time. Mr. Bigalow is probably the album's most eclectic piece of music with interesting guitar and keyboard arrangements but I wouldn't say that it's the most progressive moment that Stolen From Time has to offer. The opening three tracks is where the band shines the most while the rest of the material might take some time to get accustomed to. Still it's those exact compositions that make this album such a magical experience for me!

Sweet Tune is a gorgeous ballad that relies equally on Arne Schulze's guitar and Jahn Teigen's vocal arrangements, the result is beyond anything I can put into words! Sleepwalker is probably my least favorite of these compositions but it doesn't say much considering the high overall quality of this record. I Can See Tears is a haunting ballad which clearly was inspired by Genesis while the 8+ minute album closer Suicide mixes best qualities of ELP, Kansas and Focus all in one performance!

Stolen From Time is simply a gorgeous piece of Progressive Rock history that more people should take the time to experience! I'm honestly surprised by the current forgotten status of this album which makes me very sad. Stolen From Time gave me so much pleasure over the last year that I just have to return the favor!

***** star songs: Bury Me Dead (5:57) Today Another Day (5:39) Jester (3:58) Mr. Bigalow (4:13) Sweet Tune (5:02)

**** star songs: Soft Shoe Dancer (4:42) Sleepwalker (5:24) I Can See Tears (6:01) Suicide (8:20)

Rune2000 | 5/5 |


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