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DRUCKFARBEN

Druckfarben

Symphonic Prog


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3 stars A new band from Toronto, Canada.

Although a new band, Druckfarben consists of several veterans from the local Toronto scene. A scene that also includes the likes of Rush, Saga and Triumph.

But there is an English band that mostly springs to mind during the opening minutes of this album. When evaluating this band, we accepted them into the symph prog genre as another Yes clone. I am happy to report that this is partly wrong. Although Phil Naro at his best sings like Jon Anderson, the album does also include a lot of influences from the likes of Saga and Rush too. Not to mention a good portion of AOR too. The sound is pretty much all out AOR too.

It is pretty obvious that this band is here to have fun as it consists of members with a lot of life experience. The fun factor is a big part of this album. The quality of the material is good throughout. I am most happy when the band goes into Yes mode, not being a fan of AOR at all. This album is missing a true great killer track. But by all means, this is a good album which should get a lot of fans among fans of melodic prog rock. But Yes clones, they are not.

This is a good debut album from a band with a lot of potential.

3 stars

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Send comments to toroddfuglesteg (BETA) | Report this review (#556865)
Posted Tuesday, October 25, 2011 | Review Permalink
Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions
3 stars Here we have the debut from a relatively new Canadian band (first gig March 2008) - DRUCKFARBEN is a German expression by the way, and is the equivalent for printing ink. This quintet consists of professional musicians from the local Toronto scene who found together in order to exercise their love for progressive rock in general. They have put a collection of songs together which is, besides others, evidently oriented at YES and SAGA. Phil Naro's voice is great and gets blatantly close to Jon Anderson here and there, Ed Bernard is influenced by Steve Howe, there's no mistaking. Even so - they surely have more to offer than a simple copy-cat combo.

So it all starts with some dramatic opulent organ input - as for that the song title ELPO probably makes sense, however it continues fusion coloured surprisingly where the band immediately sets the bar very high. Influenza comes very energetic and catchy, freely adapted from the YES era with Trevor Rabin aboard, I would say. The tricky Smaller Wooden Frog leaves me puzzled every time when listening - yes, they invoke a SAGA feel here, but overall this composition is way more complex. Starting with Walk Away the songs are more AOR oriented then. Where Sons Of Anakim raises some crimson-esque sentiment the ballad Nonchalant closes with nice folk impressions, Ed Barnard contributes violin and mandolin here.

While obviously oriented at some paragons and drifting into AOR territories over the course this DRUCKFARBEN debut is lacking of originality a bit. Nonetheless it's a really enjoyable one, technically flawless, provided with excellent melodies, catchy moments, variety and joy of playing definitely - thus basically of interest for fans of those aforementioned bands - 3.5 stars.

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Send comments to Rivertree (BETA) | Report this review (#560691)
Posted Monday, October 31, 2011 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Druckfarben is a young progressive rock band from Canada, releasing this year their first opus selftitled. I must tell from the beggining that when I heared first piece of the album ELPO (with a clear direction to the masters) I was imediatly hooked. One of the best and freshest albums I've heared in last period in prog rock scene. The album graced by an excellent cover art in tone with the music offered, Druckfarben realy take me by surprise. Very promising debute , with catchy , tight arrangements, very intelligent composotions with a wide palette of sounds and influences, from masters Yes mainly on vocal department special on Nat Nayah , Gentele Giant quirky complex passages like on Sons Of Anakim or Smaller Wooden Frog , Alan Holdsworth on jazzy guitar arrangements, ELP on keybords but only sporadicaly and with Tiles or Rush, so, even the band take influences from these bands, the result is very good, very fresh and with captivating moments. I can easely tell that is one of the most original bands I've heared and come across in last couple of years. Heavy prog is the main word and ingredient here with excellent keybords and great jazz fusion guitar, but not a fusion album for sure. All tracks are killer to me, from the first note to last, to the great voice of Phil Naro who reminds me of Yes heyday period, Druckfarben realy done it. Is a shining star in today prog scene, to much time with overly produced and lame productions. 4 stars easy and warmly recommended, they worth it.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#563327)
Posted Sunday, November 06, 2011 | Review Permalink
Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars Druckfarben's debut offers a variety of sounds and complex musical passages, most of which are hurried and fine for it. With high and clear vocals and obvious nods to Yes and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, this album should have a wide appeal among progressive rock fans. A number of influences shine through, and this makes Duckfarben's eponymous debut something of a musical jigsaw, one that's pieces don't all fit. It will be refreshing to hear what happens next should this extremely capable Canadian quintet settle into their own coherent sound.

"ELPO" As its name might suggest, this is an ELP-inspired romp with grandiose percussive flourishes and organ gymnastics. Unless I'm mistaken, that additional vowel in the title may indicate the rapid electric guitar riffs.

"Influenza" Coalescing Steve Howe's countrified rock (guitar tone included) with a heavy funk rock, the first song of the album introduces the singer's rich and strong tenor, as well as some dazzling keyboard excursions and some dynamic bass work.

"Smaller Wooden Frog" The long instrumental introduction is quite similar to latter output from The Flower Kings, with dizzying rhythmic changes and a grandiose, colorful variety of sounds.

"Dead Play Awake" This song has some similarities to Blue Oyster Cult, although the vocals remind me of John Wetton in the late 1970s. Delicate piano embellishments decorate the middle section.

"Walk Away" A more straightforward arena rocker, I might compare this to Trevor Rabin-led Yes or "All on a Sunday" by Spock's Beard.

"Seems So Real" This piece initially evokes Gentle Giant, using a variety of keyboards and the bass in a quirky manner before becoming another uncomplicated rock song.

"Nat Nayah" Sprightly clean guitar, piano, and strings dance around in the beginning. This song sounds like it came right from Yes's 1991 album Talk.

"Sons Of Anakim" Easily the worst thing to be heard here, this punchy affair has a vocal melody that grates against the raucous backing riff. Even with some interesting instrumental bits, it's flashy clutter.

"Nonchalant" An excellent, predominantly acoustic closer features mandolin, violin, and a memorable refrain.

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Send comments to Epignosis (BETA) | Report this review (#589938)
Posted Saturday, December 17, 2011 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'Druckfarben' - Druckfarben (7/10)

Following in the footsteps of some classic progressive acts that have emerged from the city in earlier years, Druckfarben is a Canadian band based out of Toronto. Although they are a fairly new act, their sound recalls a different time in the history of rock music. For all sake, Druckfarben executes their upbeat brand of vintage prog quite well, but much like far too many new bands these days, they default upon emulation, rather than innovation.

Druckfarben is music made between old friends, and their sound does reflect this to an extent. The musicianship is admirable, a mix of harder rock and symphonic prog tendencies. It comes together sounding like a crossroads between Yes, Rush, and Kansas. William Hare's grasp of the rock organ is impressive, and Ed Bernhard's work with the guitars demonstrates a versatility, tackling both technical passages and solos with feeling. Musically speaking, no one could speak ill of any band members' skill. Each member plays their part nicely, and there's even a tight blanket of warm production to give the performance that extra shine. Druckfarben's sound is not their own, but there is no question that they are able to pull it off.

Although Yes is the primary influence I am hearing in Druckfarben's sound, what Toronto prog band could be complete without a helping of Rush? 'Walk Away' enjoys guitar work that sounds plucked out of 'Hemispheres'. The vocals are higher register, but do not sound like Geddy Lee at all. Instead, his vocals will more likely draw comparisons with Jon Anderson's (of Yes), but- of course- they are graced with that lovable Canadian accent. His voice works well with the upbeat feel of the band's music. In short, despite their lack of originality and innovation, Druckfarben execute their sound well, even in terms of the composition. Although none of these songs instantly locks itself in my head after a few listens, there is a strong arrangement that lets each band member strut their skills. It will be interesting to see where Druckfarben go with their music; they certainly have the ear for it, but right now, that ear is a little too filled with the sounds of others.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#599167)
Posted Thursday, December 29, 2011 | Review Permalink
Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The Canadian band DRUCKFARBEN has a history going back 25 or so years, when a handful of schoolmates with a deeper than average interest in music promised each other that at some point in time they should form a band, and that the mysterious word Druckfarben they had seen on some barrels was to be the band name. Fast forward to 2008 and the friends have all become seasoned musicians. They form their band, decide that their main desire with this project is to write and perform their own music and get going from there. And in the fall of 2011 they have their self-titled debut album ready for launch.

Retro-oriented progressive rock and hard rock with a firm base in the 70's is what Druckfarben presentsand explores on their self-titled debut album, a disc filled with a multitude of references, but perhaps dominated more than anything else with a Yes coloration due to the distinct lead vocals and vocal arrangements in general. A fine disc to be sought out by those who have the opinion that the best music was made in the 1970's, and a production that merits an inspection by those who generally find music from this decade to be charming in general and in particular by those who have a strong affection for the music of Yes and Jon Anderson.

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Send comments to Windhawk (BETA) | Report this review (#838752)
Posted Monday, October 15, 2012 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover Team
5 stars If you're a proghead and you don't own this album then you need to correct that immediately and with due haste. 'Nuff said. Oh rats, I probably need to write more than that. Okay, the band with a very strange name are not German at all but are Canadian, and this is their debut album. They have all known each other for a long period of time and finally got a band together four years ago and at their debut live show their first number was 'Close To The Edge'. Yep, it's a given that these guys can play. I mean they can really play. What they have done here is taken the classic influences (Gentle Giant, Yes, King Crimson, ELP and have brought in Colosseum, Allan Holdsworth, Hatfield & The North among others) and have then just had a blast.

The first number is "ELPO" and is a keyboard-led instrumental. I mean, given that this a band that had a great singer who does even opens an album like that? I was send this as a download so hadn't read the booklet so when I started playing it I just presumed that it was an instrumental act. We move through the influences mentioned, plus more, as Druckfarben take us on a journey that contains great vocals and stunning musicianship. The only real question I have is how can I convince more people to investigate this? They are already recording their second album and are working on a live DVD release to boot. This is a brilliant album, well worth five stars, and one that I already love immensely. You need to visit their website and play some songs and then decide if you feel the same way. www.druckfarben.ca

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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#859696)
Posted Friday, November 16, 2012 | Review Permalink

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