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Rachel's Birthday - An Invitation To Rachel's Birthday CD (album) cover

AN INVITATION TO RACHEL'S BIRTHDAY

Rachel's Birthday

 

Eclectic Prog

3.55 | 14 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
4 stars Back in 1996 Rachel's Birthday released their only album on the German label Music Is Intelligence, yet although it had critical success both it and the record company had gone within a few years. There were some great prog acts released through WMMS/M.I.I. yet with the folding of the label many of them just simply disappeared. Keyboard player and main songwriter Alfred Mueller started a new one man project called Soniq Theater, releasing his first album under that name in 2000, and producing one a year since then. All of these have been made available just on CD-R as they are a hobby, and as part of this Alfred has also released this one on CD-R.

I was lucky enough to review this back in the day, but it has been years since I have actually played it so when Alfred sent me every album he had released but I had yet to write about, it was an opportunity to revisit it. Soniq Theater is very much a one man keyboard outfit, but Rachel's Birthday was a full band with Alfred joined by Michael Six (bass), Jürgen Hägele (drums), Bernd Mueller (guitars) and Ralf Glasbrenner (vocals). I had forgotten just how good this was, with these guys coming across as a melodic Twelfth Night mixing it up with classic Marillion and Citizen Cain. With one song nearly 25 minutes long, and another at more than 15, these guys have given them enough time to explore their music yet incredibly the longest "Waves" contains some passages that would fit in a melodic rock album, while at others it has hints of "The Collector". I'm not aware of any other releases by Ralf Glasbrenner which is a crying shame as he had a great vocal presence, not too dissimilar to Geoff Mann or Peter Nicholls.

Classic prog, symphonic prog, neo-prog, they all make an appearance on this album, which still stands up today. This is a band that managed to make little impact on the prog scene in the 90's, yet have left behind an album that is well worth investigation. www.soniqtheater.de

kev rowland | 4/5 |

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