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THERE

High Wheel

Symphonic Prog


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Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
2 stars Your typical neo album that younger progheads seem to enjoy but this is all lost on me. To me on this one , if my memories are correct , Marillion influence is a major character trait of yet another one of pre-fabricated and clichéed prog products. Of course this is not very respective of the artistic work and time invested into this but then again there is not much more that this music is saying to its listeners than I have to say to whoever will read this.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#3454)
Posted Thursday, March 11, 2004 | Review Permalink
lor68
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars To me this is their best album so far, finally a completely mature work, as well as a true identity for this German Band, which will participate at such North Carolina Art Rock Festival (NearFest 2003) for the first time!! Recommended, as a true promise, even though I'm not fond of this kind of progressive music!!

I don't get crazy for this style, but it is not too much derivative and you can add another half star at least!!

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Send comments to lor68 (BETA) | Report this review (#3455)
Posted Wednesday, March 31, 2004 | Review Permalink
Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars What's good? Here: a reasonnable amout of thinking made the story of this album a complete, no, very complete one. The twisted story of a guy who takes away his life and his adventures in the afterlife meeting strange creatures and knowing more what is there for him. Just by the name of the tunes you could describe pretty well what's gonna happen.

There some influences, but some good ones. Like Echolyn and Riverside. The singing is somewhat the same as Echolyn's and the heavy approach could be close to Riverside's Out of Myself, in some moments. Sometimes aggressive, sometimes gloomy but never boring at the point to turn it off. A good effort that never came in the big leagues.

What's not so good? Well, the story! For some it's a great attribute to have a deep plot, especially so well described in the booklet. But for me, it goes way too much in some beliefs that are not really my cup of tea. It's not the fact that they should talk about love like Elp, or environnement like Rush but what's tickling me is the suicide matter. Some people may find it tough to swallow, since the matter is edgy and emotional. Too much gloom could do ya no good. And to me, it's ruining the fun a lot. Just like when Rufus Wainright is singing about love, but you know it's the kind of lova 'that they dare not to speak it's name'. A last point would be more diversity in the style of the melodies and not sticking to 'soft metal' in the majority of the songs.

Overall, not the buzz I expected. This band used to be on so many people's mouth, and frankly, I'm disappointed. Not 'Threshold disappointed', but invest your money on Riverside instead. You'll have basically the same sound and style, but on much better ground.

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Send comments to Menswear (BETA) | Report this review (#3456)
Posted Saturday, January 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
hdfisch
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The album There is a very good, almost perfect work of this talented German band. Of course in such kind of music which is in fact retro prog puristic progheads will always find some pejorative derivative features. Listening to this album of course one can hear obvious influences by MARILLION, YES and as well GENTLE GIANT and so on. It's telling the 75 minutes long story of someone who committed suicide and has to suffer for his crime in his afterlife but gets something like a second chance... And High Wheel really managed to tell this story musically well by using a blend of retro prog elements, some neo prog (of the better sort) and a slight touch of metal prog.

The very dynamic opener Into Voyage alone is almost worth the money for the whole CD. It's probably the only track, one could also listen to "stand-alone". But since it's a concept album, it should be listened as a whole to get into it. The compositions which are mainly divided up in several subtitles are very intricate and with a high diversity, sometimes with surprises like the last part of Metamorphosis which reminds to URIAH HEEP. One slightly negative point are the vocal qualities of the lead singer although his vocals are fitting in some way to the rather dark and weird mood. Second thing is the low production quality keeping me off rating it with 4 stars, but I would add another half star!

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Send comments to hdfisch (BETA) | Report this review (#3457)
Posted Monday, February 07, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars VERY SERIOUS PROG ROCK FROM GERMANY,in the vein of RUSH,sometimes ECHOLYN,and with KING CRIMSON influences!This band has only the handicap not to be signed to a major ,but they are so serious and commited o their musical mission,and each audition of any albums of HIGH WHEEL is a pure delightment and enchant for any amateur of very good music made!Pure prog ,with very competent musicians,this third HIGH WHEEL album is their most ambitious to date.Very well defined musical direction and an only little minus,this German accent which may seem not very pleasant for everybody!Long tracks,elaborated passages and stunning instrumental parts,combined in a very pretentious and atrractive form!A concept album has the quality to be a strong and ambitious musical try,with a strong conception and great moments of unleashed imagination!And this is what THERE offers!More then 70 minutes of great German prog .THERE is the kind of album that is listenable from the first note to the last one,discovering a musical crescendo and developing ideas,passing from quite and calm moments to the ones thet are really furious,but with the passion of some young musicians to prove their ambitious musical ideas ina very elevate form!Good production,not so rich but competent technically speaking and some interesting ideas everywhere!4 WELL DESERVED STARS for an ambitious concept album!

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Send comments to Ovidiu (BETA) | Report this review (#258773)
Posted Friday, January 01, 2010 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars In two words - sheer brilliance

High Wheel is a progressive rock band from Germany releasing so far 4 studio albums and a live one in 2006 since then no one heared any new about this band. I was realy shocked to see how low rated this band is here, and aswell on another couple of sites. Man, I simply can,t belive what ratings and bad reviews has this band, is the world lost intrest in good prog music and become some comercial and fake listner of today. Their third album release in 1997 named simply There is a killer album in my opinion, is a concept piece with 20 tracks divided into 9 parts clocking in at just around 76 minutes, is about a troubled soul who commits suicide and his journey in purgatory meeting diffrent creatures and all that kind of stuff, pretty complex concept, realy, it took me more then 4 listnings to fully appreciated the album. About the music, is one of the most acomplished band I.ve heared in last years, even the album dated from 1997 is very actual and inventive in same time, never boring or unpleasent. The opening track Into Voyage , is an instrumenta killer track near 9 min in length, simply excellent, spacey atmosphere with brilliant song writting and musicicianship, top notch opener, realy solid piece. The title track, There, clocking around 20 min is a monstrous epic piece, one of the best I,ve heared in long time, top-notch progressive gem. Odd time signatures are punctuated by a heavy, complex bass lines. The complex progressive arrangenents flows from soft moments with flute combined with bombastic and heavy elements where the guitar realy shines. These are my fav pieces from the album, a real tought concept to swallow from first listning, but worth to be investigated for sure. Now, the voice of Wolfgang Hierl is the cherry on the cake, the second cherry if you like, the first being instrumental passages. What a fantastic singer, who fits like glove in this kind of music, brilliant performance, diffrent moods almost all the time in his voice make to be one of the most forgotten great singers from the ninetines. Helped in some parts by Kigler and Lobinger as backing vocals, this trio never stop to amze me, having some spectacular a cappella moments, very much like master Gentle Giant in good old times, fantastic church organ interluded with the voices, gives a very special atmosphere. To be short, otherwise this review will be formed from 2000 words or more, but is very hard to make one in just only 100 words, the complexity of the music and lyrics needs much more then that. One of the most underrated bands and specialy this album in the history of prog , realy to give less then at least 3 stars is preatty lame IMO. I can say that is an essential album to have and a prog rock album of the highest calibre, very unnoticed to larger public and very unfairly overlooked by most of serious prog listners. Highly recommended, realy, 4 stars easy, maybe 4.5

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#369299)
Posted Saturday, January 01, 2011 | Review Permalink

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