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Amon Düül II - Phallus Dei CD (album) cover

PHALLUS DEI

Amon Düül II

 

Krautrock

4.03 | 305 ratings

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Progbear
Prog Reviewer
4 stars A striking debut. This was the musicianly faction of Münich's notorious Amon Düül commune (A cursory listen to PSYCHEDELIC UNDERGROUND, DISASTER, COLLAPSING or EXPERIMENTE should be more than enough to convince you that the "other" Amon Düül are NOT musicians!), and their provocatively-titled debut, while not perfect, was truly stunning.

Guitarist/violinist/singer Chris Karrer stands out on this album. He sings lead on nearly all the songs and his violin playing gives this an eerie feel. "Kanaan" immediately establishes a mood with haunting sitar-like guitar and operatic, wordless backing vocals from Renate. "Dem Guten, Schönen, Wahren" borders on the absurd, with unearthly falsetto vocals from Chris, but definitely sends chills up and down your spine with some memorable violin work. "Luzifers Ghilom" presages Damo Suzuki's singing style in Can with an expressionistic, gibberish-speak section in the middle. The twin guitar attack arrives with this track. The A-side of the original LP closes with "Henriette Krötenschwanz", a morbid musical description of a fatal car-accident with demi-operatic vocals from Renate.

It's the 20 minute title piece that sends this album into the stratosphere, though. A new and exciting model for structured improvisation, it moves from outer space to an intense, tribal middle section with layers of percussion over which the band members scream and wail expressionistically. The closing section, where Chris' singing voice and sawing electric violin enter, is truly striking. It leads you to realize what a TIGHT band this was, that they could make such unforgettable music more or less spontaneously shows that they were a true force to be reckoned with.

Progbear | 4/5 |

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