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4 stars One of the great works of art from one of the greatest prog acts of all time! "Illegal" delivers a nice rich prog landscape for the listener to journey into. I love every track deeply on this recording and it is pure magic through and through. It was very hard picking my favorite GROBSCHNITT recording to include here, but "Illegal" is one of those albums that I keep on coming back to time and time again. "Illegal" is filled with the unmistakable sound of classic GROBSCHNITT....flowing guitars and keyboards mixed with very strong German vocals (in english) of Wildstein put to some great prog moments. Their music is much more accessible than many of the underground prog acts of this time period. All songs are very well constructed and represent some of GROBSCHNITT's most complete and acclaimed work ever.
Report this review (#19601)
Posted Friday, March 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
3 stars NOT BAD FOR 1981!

ILLEGAL was released in 1981, hardly a year associated with good prog music. I don't know if GROBSCHNITT were living in their own world but they came back with a rather pleasant album , not a sure guarantee back then. Of course, the sound has been updated on some tracks as LUPO the guitarist is not afraid now to play some good hard rock guitar here and there. Also a new bassist joined the band:MILLA KAPOLKE taking over ''POPO'' and curiously hasn't been assigned a nickname like everybody else.

The symphonic sound has been forgotten for a more mainstream sound, more rock but the quality of the songwriting remains.THE SNIFFER and MARY GREEN are still songs with nice melodies and great prog arrangements. Lupo still proves he knows how to bring life out of this guitar. Sure there is some 80s synth sounding in some parts, but we expected that and anyway it's not too overwhelming enough to detroy a song.

SILENT MOVIE is a cute acoustic instrumental lullaby with mellotron, nice melodic guitar,very sweet.SPACE RIDER is GROBSCHNITT first attempt at hard rock, not necessarily a home run, but not bad either.JOKER is an average GENESIS like-ABACAB period with some cheesy synth sounds in some places, but the rest especially the ending is good.The title track brought us back to ''funny'' Grobschnitt with strong comic German accents to start before some heavy hard rock riffs launch the song going into an hypnotic rythm accompanied by psychedelic sounds and vocals for quite a few minutes before the heavy guitar reappears to end the song.

But this ILLEGAL track would sound better in a live environment like on the excellent THE GROBSCHNITT STORY-VOL 1, 10mns of full madness. SIMPLE DIMPLE is a little mid-tempo rocker that would be played live each night for years to come and RAINTIME the last track of the album sounds like a hippie acoustic ballad, a ....californian band of the sixties or DONOVAN could have played back then.

ILLEGAL sure won't please anyone, even some old fans of the band might be turned off by GROBSCHNITT 1981; This is not DIE SYMPHONIE, this is not ROCKPOMMELS ISLAND either and definitely nothing to compare with SOLAR FIRE but ILLEGAL is still a pleasant album to my ears; at least one person is happy!!

ILLEGAL is not sell-out music; this is still GROBSCHNITT, maybe a more modern GROBSCHNITT, but GROBSCHNITT is the name. This is not where to start with the band, but i am happy to own this CD.


Report this review (#144547)
Posted Sunday, October 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
1 stars My opinion of this band is that after the excellent "Solar Music", they should have called it quit. But the fall down in the abyss started earlier than this album to be honest.

This album sounds as rubbish as "Merry Go Round" but there won't be any song of the calibre of "Du Schaffst Das Nicht" to save this work. One of the very few good song is the opening "The Sniffer" : fine melodic work as I like. But this is an exception amongst an ocean of poor offerings.

After "The Sniffer", the press next game can fully take place. Some AOR and poor music during "Space-Rider", a disco- oriented "Mary Green" which is just an over eight minutes musical nightmare (OK, there is a good guitar solo).

Another pleasant song is the melancholic instrumental "Silent Movie". Just some fresh air to be able to survive the second part of this poor album during which I can start my favourite game again.

Because there aren't any good reason to suffer over eight minutes of the "Illegal "treatment. Unbearable. Press next, once more to escape these awful experimental "sounds" and hectic "music".

Don't expect that the last two numbers will be any better. Just the same and boring stuff, unfortunately. And the folk Raintime won't bring you to heaven, that's a given.

Forget this extremely poor Grobschnitt album. No reason for me to rate it higher than one star.

Report this review (#157848)
Posted Saturday, January 5, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars Where has all the woodpeckers gone ?

After some good albums in the 1970s, Grobschnitt releases this album. And the phrase album is very suitable here. In-between the pictures of auntie Agathe's new caravan in Hamburg, you get weirdo pictures of elephants in the Sahara Desert. A strange incoherent album in other words.

.... And not a good one. The attempted symphonic prog songs here are OK. The AOR stuff is best forgotten. The heavy metal stuff on Space-Rider is half-baked. The more weirdo stuff falls flat on it's face. The title track is an attempt of sounding hilarious. It is not amusing on an album. The only saving grace here is the track Mary Green, which sounds like this band once was a good band. That song is a cross off AOR and space rock...... which works. That track is the only good track here. The rest is trash.

2 stars.

Report this review (#188892)
Posted Wednesday, November 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Although post 'Solar Music Live'-era Grobschnitt doesn't quite match up to the group's classic 1970's offerings, there are still occasional nuggets to be unearthed by those who take the chance. Issued in 1981, 'Illegal' pretty much marks the end of Grobschnitt as a 'progressive outfit', though despite the hardening of the group's overall sound, this still features some crackers in the form of both the awe-inspiring 'Mary Green' and the effects- stuffed title-track, two tracks that swap the symphonic grandeur of 'Rockpommel's Land' and 'Jumbo' for a meatier, rockier and sharper metal-flecked sound that really does leap from the speakers thanks to a supremely-slick production sheen. Fans of 1970's-era Grobschnitt may find it all a bit aggressive at first, though thankfully relief is offered up in the form of the gently-lilting 'Silent Movie' and, in very un-Grobschnitt style, the pretty acoustics of the charming closer 'Raintime'. In fact, give 'Illegal' several listens and it really does grow on you, showcasing the musicians skilful chops and a confident new streak perfectly suited to the new decade. It may not scale the lofty heights of their very best material, though in the grand scheme of things 'Illegal' does prove a rather nice surprise. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2013
Report this review (#912857)
Posted Tuesday, February 12, 2013 | Review Permalink

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