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5 stars If you compare the composition with the lyrics and the artwork, you realize, that this must be a concept album. (or lets say a concept ep because of it's length of about 27min) The lyrics are from the peom 'Urworte orphisch' by the German poet Goethe that's (said in a few words) about the different states of life. You can find art about 'the circle of life' all over the world, so it's something that really bothers us. The first that you see is a nice artwork by a Russian artist 'Alexandra Arshanskaya', a wheel that is well connected to the music. The first track (Prolog) starts with a collage of industrial sounds with lyrics made of quotes of Mary Shelley's novel 'Frankstein'. They are spoken by a robotlike voice, something not human. With the words 'the creation of the world...' the song builds up to a powerfull industrial-rock-song so 'Prolog' can be interpretated to be the beginning of all. The whole CD is without any silence between the tracks. Only the first and the last song includes industrial elements, the others are very eclectic and include psychodelic, jazz, symphonic, metal...just were it fits. Every song goes directly into the next and gives you the feeling to listen to one complete work. The songs followed by 'Prolog' are like different aspects or states of life and every song puts me in a different mood. By the way my favourite is "Das Zufällige" with a very long quiet and warm sounding part that explodes into a powerful final part that gives me the creeps. The whole CD ends with a song called 'Epilog' that uses the musical material of 'Prolog' but in a more powerful way. In the end it goes down and back to an industrial 'beat' like in the beginning of the first song. If you connect the topic of this ep with the music, that is obviously composed like a circle as well as the lyrics are and the artwork is you come to the conclusion that 'Geysir' put a lot of material for interpretation into this ep. However the music can be interpretated but it's also great to just to listen to it. And one good thing about circles is, the start is the same point than the end so if the last song ends you can just start with the first again...and the first time I listened to this ep I did this, because I wanted to listen to it again....
Report this review (#706533)
Posted Tuesday, April 3, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is "Geysir"s first album, not counting the self-titled EP, and they aim high: The lyrics are by Goethe, arguably th most celebrated German poet of all time. Each of the five stanzas from his poem "Urworte orphisch" is set to music, plus an intro and outro. And, whats more, they don't have to aim any lower, as their music is more than a match to Goethes famous words.

Geysirs Prog Rock is hard to define into one of the numerous sub-categories people like to make up, so I won't try to. For one thing, here's a band doing fine without any synthesizers or even keyboards except for an acoustic piano, and still delivering a broad rock sound. Also, they lost the electronic sounds that can be found on the debut EP (except for the quite impressive prologue). At some points, their very agile and yet direct sound reminds of Spock's Beard.

Right from the start, it's an album of contrasts, mostly between heavy Rock and melodious passages, showcasing the enormous ability of the band and the composer Frank Brempel to switch between moods and colours. Every piece has its own atmosphere, according to the underlying poem, without ever being too obvious in the treatment of the lyrics. (My favourite: "Das Zufällige", "The Coincidental", rising to greatness out of a single violin melody.) Still, the tracks work as a whole; only the finale could be a bit more pronounced for my taste.

The albums sound is very direct and crisp, mastered with an ear for details. Most prominent is the violin, whose sound never gets corny, but always remains precise and clear, inspiredly casting aside all cliches about the instrument. The guitar serves as pure rock, in parts maybe a bit too metal, but in surprising harmony with the violin and in nice contrast to the versatile, intricate and precise work on drums and bass. (Listen to "Nötigung" for almost jazzy counterpoint!) The singer treats Goethes lyrics with respect without reserve; her sound is as flexible as the whole groups, adding a lot of expression to the text (some spoken passages are especially intense).

The only serious flaw of this album is its length. At around half an hour, the suite is clearly complete, and it would have been a bad decision to merely fill up the CD with less intense music - but one doubts that this band would create anything really inferior. Still, there's hope for a new album, and even more hope for ths band taking off and getting a few more gigs.

Report this review (#920384)
Posted Wednesday, February 27, 2013 | Review Permalink

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