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Flaming Bess - Wächter Des Lichts CD (album) cover


Flaming Bess


Symphonic Prog

3.19 | 13 ratings

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3 stars After the frozen wasteland of "Finisterre Sonne", I didn't expect much from FLAMING BESS for the duration. They had all but abandoned their symphonic roots and acoustic underpinnings in favour of percussive tech savvy. Instead of a standalone album with a story, it played out like an audio book for which the narrator's channel had gone silent for the most part, and the accompaniment was anything but free standing let alone free living. One would have then expected "Wachter des Lichts" to be dead on arrival. The patient is, thankfully, no longer on life support!

This is actually a somewhat entertaining disk in much the manner of most other FLAMING BESS output, even if the acoustic dimension remains suppressed and the narratives seem even more overwrought. The vocal work of Erika Naidenow is particularly compelling in a NINA HAGEN sort of way, even if she only appears on 2 tracks. Achim Wierschem's lead guitars express authoritative allure throughout. The rhythms do not overpower. "Der Verhüllte" is a mesmerizing blend of conventional keys, sound effects, and vocal ambushes by Rene Lentin, and the raucous instrumental "Der Dieb" is just as persuasive . "Ein Langer Weg" approximates the early CAMEL-esque sound for long time fans. "Erkenntnis" seems influenced by Leipzig based DICE specially in the synthesizers.

Apart from the overly industrious and metallic "Die Höhle Unter Dem Eis" and the narrative bits in general, most of the material here is enjoyable for what it is, and the group is to be commended not only for taking steps to right the ship but for simultaneously sidestepping categorization. 2.5 stars rounded up.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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