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Haggard - Eppur Si Muove CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.33 | 29 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars After a break of four years and a successful South-America tour Haggard released their third full-length studio album. Not much has changed in their music since "Awakening The Centuries", still a highly appealing (at least to the prone listener) blend of renaissance/baroque-era classical music and gothic/death metal. "Eppur Si Muove" is again a historical concept album and as the title ("And yet it does move") and cover suggests about the life and work of Galileo Galilei, who lived from 1564 bis 1642. As far as my knowledge allows, the band managed quite well to reflect the music of this era. I think it's noteworthy that most of the compositions are written by members of the band. "Larghetto / Epilogo Adagio" is by pianist/organist Hans Wolf, the two short classical interludes "Menuetto In Fa-Minore" and "Gavotta In Si-Minore" are composed by Robert von Greding who was playing clarinet in previous records but left the band meanwhile. "Herr Mannelig" is a traditional song coming originally from Norway and the rest of the tracks had been written by guitarist and front man Asis Nasseri (the one with the grunts). The vocal section, especially the one for soprano had been much enforced here compared to previous albums and they have been placed more to the foreground. One might argue that they started to use a bit too much the genre-typical "beauty and the beast-scheme" as sounding most obvious on "Per Aspera Ad Astra". But unlike with many gothic metal bands it doesn't sound at all overblown and as trying to cover some musical incapability by placing an attractive female vocalist with a pleasant voice in front. The female voices, all presented by classically trained sopranos by the way are as well not suffocated by a wall of keyboard sounds like it's sometimes the case with other bands. The contrasts between beautiful classical sections and aggressive metal ones might be here even more blatant than ever before but still everything's fits together very nicely. Finally I'd like to put a few notes, Asis mentioned in an interview I've read concerning the song "Herr Mannelig" which is lyrically not related to the concept of this album. Obviously he likes a lot this song which has been arranged already by several bands but in his view never in the right way. Originally he was planning to re-arrange it to fit into the concept but then he was afraid it would lose a lot of its identity and he decided just to translate the lyrics into Italian language. Since it's a very precious and atmospheric song in his opinion he chose consciously a mostly acoustic arrangement using only clear vocals without any grunts. It has been placed even in two different versions on the album which might look on first view that this has been done to fill up the CD. They've done this in fact since they've been asked by airplay stations if they would have a shorter track to serve as an introduction to their music. Usually they don't compose their tracks with commercial interests in mind, thus this has been a nice opportunity for them. And I think it's well forgiven if this way some more people find access to the quite adventurous kind of music they're doing.

Actually I don't see any reason to give this work an inferior rating than their first two full-length ones though one might blame them for some stagnancy in their style. But on the other hand they became even better, both in playing skills of the metal section and in having tighter compositions. Nonetheless I'd like to emphasize that this is not essential Prog in a general and conventional way but honestly I'm not aware of any other band doing such an unique combination in a better way than Haggard does. And finally I'd like to mention that I bought this CD soon after it came out and it still appeals to me nowadays (which isn't the case with CD's from other bands, i.e. Nightwish or Rhapsody I bought at the same time). I think that's a good prove, that Haggard's music passes the test of time.

hdfisch | 4/5 |


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