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Amon Düül II - Pyragony X CD (album) cover


Amon Düül II


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2 stars I wanted to see how AMON DÜÜL II sounded later on, so I picked this album. To me, I think the band really lost it by this point. Here the band is trying for more conventional symphonic prog. I don't have any problem with that. This is 1976, after all, you don't get albums like ASH RA TEMPEL's "Seven Up", CAN's "Tago Mago", or AMON DÜÜL's "Tanz der Lemminge", for that matter, being released in 1976. Bands that survived this long turned either to electronic music (TANGERINE DREAM, for that matter ASH RA TEMPEL as they became ASHRA) or symphonic prog (ELOY, BIRTH CONTROL).

Unfortunately on "Pyrogany X", AMON DÜÜL II sounds totally clueless playing conventional symphonic prog. Most of the compositions are non-memorable, in fact a title like "Sally the Seducer" is more memorable for its title than the music. Then you have "Telly Vision", with lyrics referring to Ronald McDonald. For me, it's much better to stick with their early albums, like "Phallas Dei", "Yeti", "Tanz der Lemminge", perhaps "Carnival in Babylon" and "Wolf City" than this later offering.

Report this review (#27849)
Posted Tuesday, April 27, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars Again losing their way, with only Weinzierl, Karrer and Leopold offering links to the classic band. The group is filled out by Klaus Ebert (formerly of psych-pop act the Petards) and Stefan Zauner (later leader of teenypop act Münchener Freiheit). It's bad enough that Ebert and Zauner, who should have been relegated to sidemen, contributed material to the album, but their tedious and inane pop music actually dominated the songwriting.

High points include the group composition "Flower Of The Orient", with its lovely Near East textures, and Weinzierl's instrumental "Crystal Hexagram". Karrer's lone contribution, the lengthy "The Only Thing", sounds more like Southern rock than Krautrock, but it's a lot more vital than Ebert and Zauner's dopey bubblegum.

Report this review (#44660)
Posted Monday, August 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
Tom Ozric
3 stars Amon Duul II's 'Tenth' album. This one is not to be compared to ANY of their albums prior to this. When I listen to this LP, I actually enjoy it quite a bit. The band is down to a 5 piece here - only original members being guitar/sax/violin player Chris Karrer, guitarist John Weinzierl and Drummer Pete Leopold, with new members Stefan Zauner (Keyboards/vocals) and Klaus Ebert (Bass/vocals) providing a more stream-lined approach to composition and the tendency to head towards commercial territory. The opening tune, 'Flower Of The Orient' holds promise, really a pot-pouri of great sounds, lively colours and Eastern flavours, but by the time it actually 'takes off ', it fades with some wonderful violin lines. 'Merlin' rocks with little magic actually, but contains some Mellotron choirs (which is a positive), 'Crystal Hexagram' (nice title !) is a melodic instrumental with an excellent keyboard intro and a laid-back rhythm - not spectacular, but interesting. 'Lost In Space' starts out 'poppy', but ends quite spacey, with a very competent mini-moog solo.

'Sally The Seducer' and 'Telly Vision' are both short songs, incorporating great keys, amusing (some may say 'silly', but I like 'em) lyrics and odd time sigs. Karrer's 7 and a half minute 'The Only Thing' is a guitar-oriented track which chuggs along nicely, but not much in the way of technical instrumental display, and 'Capuccino' is a shorter pop-song. This direction the band has chosen, a mainstream prog sound with an inclination toward 'Pop', may not be to everyone's taste, but the album holds together fairly well, something of an 'excellent addition to your collection if you're a fan/collector'. 3.5 stars.

Report this review (#156499)
Posted Monday, December 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars Pyragony x[or 10] only with original members chris karrer,john weinzierl,peter leopold,and 2 new people called klaus ebert,stefan zauner,it starts with a brilliant song called flower of the orient which sounds a bit eastern sounding the acoustic guitars sound great and chris karrer sounds good here on vocals everything about this song i just love pyragony x is worth getting just for this song,next is merlin with john weinzierl on vocals and merlin aint a bad song to me weinzierl does sound a bit drawn but still sounds good,i have seen a video on youtube of this song merlin which was quite bad footage but nice to see it,cystal hexagram is an instrumental which aint to bad of a song the bass sounds and goes with the song well and the guitar sounds not bad also kind of a song you could put on quitly and relax to it just has that feel to me,lost in space is an ok song i wouldnt say its brilliant but ok its got a middle synthesizer bit which to me sounds ok but dated but still sounds ok and ends spacey,sally the seducer [nice name for a song]has sytnesizer in it which makes it a bit stupid in places but the gutars sound ok so so some people might like this better than me,telly vision starts nice with strings which sounds good then the song gets going and the vocals start and the lyrics are stupid to me about putting the tv on cause theres nothing else to do [come on anyone could write that,zauner and ebert messed this band up big time with there stupid voices and sound]this song just is a switch to next one,the only thing has chris karrer on vocals which at last has him on it but sounds kind of dull at the start but it sounds better as it gets going at the 4 min 50 mark it gets going well and sounds not bad so in the end its not a bad song after all,capuccino starts with acoustic guitar but sounds a bit dull[written by ebert]i wouldnt say this song is the best on the album as the vocals sound a bit they could of tryed better i think the music is ok and theres a bit of the guitar in the song which sound ok but not brilliant,i give this a 2.5 rating as its got flower of the orient on it which is a good song and if the other songs were as good as this it would of been a good album but as the album gets going it losers appeal so a 2 star.
Report this review (#204566)
Posted Friday, February 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Amon Duul II's worst album is still a good album.

Although ADII evolved quite a bit throughout their lifespan, I would not say that they ever progressed. They simply changed from psychadelic krautrock to accessible pop/rock with experimental and psychadelic tendencies...and the evolution is evident from album to album. While songs may differ largely in overall excellence, every track this band ever recorded is easily enjoyable, that is to say they never made a bad song or album. If Pyragony X were my introduction to ADII, I may have been more hesitant to immediately consume all they have to offer, but such was not the case.

As far as variety goes, Pyragony X holds its own. No two tracks mirror each other in the least, unlike earlier efforts that hold a similar sound throughout. The opening track-1)Flower Of The Orient-is easily the best on the album and is a 5 star song in my opinion. A luscious and trippy experience with an eastern feel. 2)Merlin is cheesy and fun, sounding like a hybrid of earlier ADII and 70's blues/rock, complete with overindulgent guitar solo. The instrumental 3)Crystal Hexagram pulls me into a slight trance with it's spacey goodness, another highlight of the album. 4)Lost In Space starts out ok, but quickly becomes simple and boring, and just as quickly pulls out of the lull for an excellent fading finish. 5) Sally The Seducer has some good interludes between verses, but thats about it. 6)Telly Vision is a quirky song with goofy lyrics, and always puts me in a good mood. Nothing exceptional, just one of those perfect Sunday afternoon songs. 7)The Only Thing starts with promise, but fails to deliver, seemingly repeating itself for close to 8 minutes. Not a bad song, not as good as it could have been either. Thankfully the album closes on a good note:8)Cappuccino. I will say this song, much like the one before it, does not live up to it's potential, but it is an extremely pleasant little number. The chorus has a delightful hook to it that could easily have been exercised into something more powerful and emotional. Regardless, Cappuccino is a short and sweet outro.

All in all, Pyragony X is an album of good songs, most of which could have been better. What the album lacks as a whole is emotion. However, a lethargic Amon Duul II song is usually better and more interesting than that of countless other groups. I love this band, and stand by everything they've released...none of it receiving lower than a C+, most of it getting straight A's.

3 curious stars.

Report this review (#210471)
Posted Sunday, April 5, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars A year or two ago, I came across Rolling Stone's list of the top 50 prog albums of all time and found at number 41 "Yeti" by Amon Düül II. I marked it down as an album to check out. When I finally did check out it on YouTube, I wasn't convinced. The singing was too discordant with people singing out of tune or not in tune with one another. However, I was still determined to find something decent from this krautrock band. After skipping through different albums and tracks, I thought that there were a couple on "Pyragony 10th" that might be okay and I ordered the album. Only after was I to learn the truth about the band.

Before reaching their tenth album, Amon Düül II had undergone multiple line-up changes and were searching for a new direction for their music. By "Pyragony 10th", few original members remained and the band were really uncertain of how to craft their new sound. The music here sounds very much like a band lacking confidence in recording what they must have felt strongly about when they wrote. The songs have been given attention and care in their construction but the final result is lackluster. One vocalist sounds like a punk singer who has been asked to attempt subtlety while singing along to softer semi-mainstream songs. When "Telly Vision" comes on, I feel like it's a cross between a psychedelic Beatles rip-off and The Toy Dolls.

The album does bravely attempt to tackle a variety of styles with the Oriental "Flower of the Orient", the early Nazareth ("Exercises" era) rock and roll of "Merlin", and the softer synthesizer-guided instrumental track "Crystal Hexagon". The only song that features a part that sounds prog is "The Only Thing" and that happens shortly before the three-minute mark.

The weak production of this album doesn't help. The acoustic guitar strumming has all the life sucked out of it, and when the music actually does bring a punch, the production softens the blow like a wall of tissue paper. But not just the production, as I stated above this seems to be an over-cautious band without confidence. The CD booklet includes this quote from Ingeborg Schober's book "Tanz der Lemminge":

"The mythical and charismatic Amon Düül II known from the sixties didn't exist anymore. Until today the band searched somewhat desperately and chaotically for a new musical identity which made them try the most different styles."

Band member Chris Karrer adds, "It had been the time when the band's music became more and more song-like and the once underground group descended to the songwriter's league." The CD booklet author also points out only half the songs as having any semblance to the old Amon Duul II with the other half being like creations of any mainstream band.

Were it not for the promise of "Yeti" being a much better representation of the band and a classic prog album to boot, I would have stopped my Amon Düül II experience here with this first purchase. But I am curious and I will see what the "Yeti" is keeping that is so special.

Report this review (#1718162)
Posted Saturday, May 6, 2017 | Review Permalink

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