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Embryo - Opal CD (album) cover

OPAL

Embryo

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.77 | 39 ratings

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zravkapt
Special Collaborator
Post/Math Rock Team
3 stars Embryo are a German group who started out in the psychedelic/krautrock mold, but soon went into a jazzier and more world music oriented sound. This is their first album. The music here sometimes sounds similar to the debut album of Amon Duul II, Phallus Dei. Members of Embryo appear on that album. There is a violin sound on the album which is supposedly done on something called a motocello. Also some sax in addition to the drums and guitars. A little bit of organ can be heard as well. Although not as jazzy as later albums, there is still a jazz influence here.

The title track is a very late 1960s sounding psych rock song with violin. The repetative violin/motocello in the middle is hypnotic. After a free and loose beginning, "You Don't Know What's Happening" goes into a tom-tom dominated spacey part with echoed vocals. Then a psych rock chorus. The two parts alternate. "Revolution" is a very energenic and upbeat instrumental. Love the bass sound here. Great drumming. Skronking sax solo in the middle. Sax plays the main melody of the song. "Glockenspiel" does not feature a glockenspiel. The most jazzy song on the album, another instrumental. You hear what sounds like steel drums but I'm not exactly sure what they are. Very loose song, sounds almost improvised. Slightly spacey song as well.

I'm not sure if the "Call" here has anything to do with the "Call" on the latter album Steig Aus. This is kind of a cross between jazz-rock and psych rock. One of the better tracks which also an instrumental. Decent guitar solo. Some noticeable organ here. "End Of Soul" has more violin/motocello. Vocals again but no singing; the lyrics are spoken (in English). More jazz-rock meets psych rock. "People From Out The Space" is the stand out track. Starts very spacey. After a repeating bassline some catchy sax playing. Great drumming. A little bit of wordless vocals. Nice riff on the bass around 2 1/2 minutes as the guitar solos. The main sax melody is great and memorable.

Most CD versions have two bonus tracks. Drummer Christian Burchard will be the only member here to appear on all future Embryo albums. This would be of interest to Krautrock fans. I prefer the more jazzy and eclectic version of the band, particularly the period 1971-74. This is a good album but they would do better. 3 stars.

zravkapt | 3/5 |

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