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Andreas Vollenweider - Caverna Magica CD (album) cover


Andreas Vollenweider


Crossover Prog

3.22 | 17 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars With his unique pedal driven modified harp, Andreas Vollenweider has carved his own unique niche in the new age genre, while managing to avoid the bland and plastic soulless dreck usually associated with that tag. By also beautifully fusing elements of progressive rock, classical, ambient, electronic and even jazz, he creates a highly original and very dramatic vision all his own.

On their second album `Caverna Magica', Vollenweider and his band present a collection of understated shorter pieces that form two continuous pieces of music. In amongst the predominantly instrumental and infrequent (wordless) vocal sections, he merges his tasteful blend of ethnic and worldly elements with some distinct Santana band styled moments -Think along the lines of the quieter and spiritual parts of their albums like `Caravanserai'.

As the album title track begins, we hear a gentle water-drop dripping throughout a cave, and before long it forms into a looped beat, backed by marching drums to add some drama. Vollenweider's harp and gentle synths enter, creating a haunting and mysterious, yet upbeat ambience. Wordless and restrained tribal vocals dance through the music, joined by warm Latin style percussion. There's that slight Santana band influence here, with a restrained and clean electric guitar solo. A darker Oriental flavour comes in, with a very catchy harp melody enhanced by the low-key presence of a female singer and live drums, backed to gentle winds and eventually lovely synth and melodic guitar solos before a fade out. `Caverna Magica's side A is a truly wonderful piece of music. Side B `Belladonna' opens with the album's softest and most romantic theme, the sort that has become a trademark on every album by Vollenweider. It soon kicks into a samba influenced wordless male/female piece, with some almost groovy playing by the artist! After a mandolin driven ambient section, we get a very bizarre yet strangely effective steel drum percussion piece, backed by the harp and synths. It's almost psychedelic, sounding like nothing else on the rest of the album, taking it in an off-beat and oddly darker direction! This drama continues into the sitar, tabla and chant driven `Con Chiglia', with an oppressive classical theme showing up near the end. It's thankfully relieved by the uplifting harp and synth piece `Geastrum Coronatum', perhaps the most melodic and tasteful moment on the album. There's an incredible energy and passion to this piece, that finishes the album in a suitably grand manner.

Take notice of deceptively simple album cover, which is actually rich with hidden secrets and striking details. Check out a vinyl copy to truly appreciate how clever and effective it is!

If you've enjoyed any of Vollenwieder's other albums, you'll be more than comfortable with the music on this one. His music seems to exist completely out of time, and he truly has created an intricate and spiritual musical world all his own that we're privileged enough to be able to visit. Relaxing and vibrant, with some appreciated drama in the second half, `Caverna Magica' will likely work it's magic on you if you take the time to listen and appreciate.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 3/5 |


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