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Hoelderlin - Hoelderlin CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.03 | 79 ratings

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4 stars At the end of 1973 Nanny de Ruig left Hoelderlin, but the band had already a major success with over 80 concerts in Germany, that continued the next year with a more 50 tour dates along the country.Hoelderlin even appeared in few occasions on TV programs and at the fall of 74' they signed a new contract with Spiegelei.Guitarist Joachim Käseberg (brother of Peter Käseberg) joins the band, which starts to work on texts by Bertolt Brecht, Erich Fried, and H.C. Artmann.The new album, entitled simply ''Hoelderlin'' and indicating a fresh start for the band, was recorded at Conny Planck's Studio in early 75' with guest appearances by Zeus B. Held on sax, Conny Planck on additional vocals and synths and Norbert Jacobsen of Release Music Orchestra fame on clarinet.It was released eventually during the spring of the same year.

This second effort shows the band shifting towards more British-styled Prog realms in a very attractive mix with hints from the Kraut Rock scene.The opening instrumental ''Schwebebahn'' shows clear KING CRIMSON influences, led by the dramatic violin exercises of Noppeney and the huge Mellotron washes of Grumbcow, delivered alongside Ethnic percussions and a quasi-improvised groove.''I love my dog'' shows touches of early GENESIS with acoustic guitars and flutes in evidence.The lyrics are now delivered exclusively in English, while the track ends in a Space/Fusion way with a great sax solo by Zeus B. Held and powerful, spacey synths and vocals.''Honeypot'' sounds like a mix of the opening tracks.Lots of acoustic guitars, improvised rhythmic passages, Classical influences on piano and violins and light Mellotron moves combine for another good composition.

The flipside opens with an almost ripoff of GENESIS tunes, the short but beautiful ''Nürnberg'', based on the PETER GABRIEL-esque vocals of Grumbcow, his lovely piano themes and the acoustic crescendo of his brother Christian.The 17-min. opus ''Deathwatchbeetle'' is not only the longest but also the best composition of the album.Split between Classic British Prog and Teutonic Prog Folk ala compatriots EDEN, it offers the listener series of beautiful moments.From the mournful violin textures to the great dual piano/organ runs, this piece follows delicate symphonic arrangements with Grumbcow singing again with a GABRIEL-esque color and the music alternating between obcure Kraut Rock groovy themes with soaring violins and synths and melodic, Classical interludes with evident GENESIS and RENAISSANCE touches, full of acoustic tunes and elegant piano, Mellotron and organ textures.The powerful closing with the grandiose orchestral mood is simply amazing.

Smart move by the Germans.They made their sound richer, incorpopating Classical, Folk and Psych inspirations in a very tight wat.After all, it is very hard to mix succesfully GENESIS delicate music with nods from Kraut Rock and the frenetic performances of KING CRIMSON.Absolutely satisfying and highly recommended.

apps79 | 4/5 |


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