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Embryo - Embryo's Rache CD (album) cover



Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
4 stars Embryo's second album is just as good and important in Germany's early prog history. Largely instrumental and constantly surprising , Rache is a very worthy follow-up to their groundbreaking debut. Those eastern influences meddled in their excellent jazz-rock makes want to create another sub-movement that I would call Folk-jazz-prog (just kidding) but the fac t that this is from 71 (the term Fusion did not exist back then ) is certainly of of the earliest examples of World-Fusion music.

The two extra tracks are not from that era (91) but do stay in the spirit of the album and do not disturb the newcomer as much as the old hippy that wore his vinyl to transparancy.

Well worth a spin!!!!!

Report this review (#30617)
Posted Tuesday, December 7, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Rache was the second album by Germany's Embryo and imho represents a pure classic album for fusion lovers! Rache shows a more progressive zone for Embryo than Opal (previous album) with tons of ethnic percussion, Hammond organ, clavinet, and some great Mellotron work tossed in. This album also featured a few member changes but still remains a Eastern infuzed fusion band. Rache is filled with some superb flute thanks to new member Hansi Fischer who was also known for his work with XHOL CARAVAN. Fans of Embryo will love this studio mix vs the Garden Of Delight's released of "BREMEN 1971". Same songs but done very differently. Fundamentally this is still very much Christian Burchard's musical vision which carries some huge parallels for me to the genius of Miles Davis. If you can find this little gem I would highly recommend it ......a huge album!
Report this review (#223790)
Posted Monday, June 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars I thought my first review under my new name should not only be a killer album but also have plenty of mellotron. EMBRYO's second album fits the bill perfectly. Jimi Jackson from AMON DULL II adds mellotron, organ and piano. Jimi likes to distort his keyboards so it all sounds so good. Ahh Krautrock. There is some Farfisa on here too that happened to be in Dieter Dierks studio where they recorded it in 1971. Love the picture of the four guys (which includes Jimi) in the liner notes. By the way I think this is a definite improvement over their debut.

"Tausendfussler" opens with vocals expressions, percussion and what sounds like congas. It kicks in around a minute with flute playing over top. Love the keyboards after 2 minutes, especially after 4 minutes. Just killer ! "Time" has an intense intro with violin, flute, drums and organ.Vocals join in.This sounds amazing. Sax is prominant late and what sounds like fuzzed out organ. "Revenge" opens with drums, congas and percussion. Distorted keys join in then sax before 1 1/2 minutes as they both come and go. Check out the percussion and drums 3 1/2 minutes in. Very SANTANA-like.

"Spain Yes, Franco Finished" has this incredible intro with mellotron. It's so spacey, atmospheric and powerful all at the same time. Sax joins in then drums. The tempo picks up 2 minutes in and check out the fuzz. Vocals after 2 1/2 minutes. He sings "Revolution it's the only way" over and over. I like the flute here. Violin arrives as it settles 7 1/2 minutes in. Mellotron too as it turns haunting. It kicks back in late. "Try To Be" is a short vocal,percussion and keyboard led tune. Mellotron rolls in quickly on "Change" with organ and piano. An interesting soundscape. It starts to pick up and build after 2 minutes as the drums join in. Great sound here and I like the flute too. Sax 4 1/2 minutes in.

It took me a long time to track this album down but it was worth the wait. 4.5 stars.

Report this review (#294489)
Posted Saturday, August 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Embryo's follow-up for Opal couldn't be more different from their debut. Except for drummer/band-leader Burchard and sax player Hofmann, the line-up has drastically changed and introduces Roman Burka, whose bass and guitar playing would keep making appearances on future Embryo albums.

Apart from the line-up, the first major difference with the debut is in the instrumentation. There's no guitar on this album and also the sax makes but a few sporadic appearances. Instead, the flutes and the keyboards (organs, Rhodes and mellotron) have taken over and engage in a battle for space against Burchard's percussive drums and Burka's groovy bass parts. The flutes add an early Jethro Tull vibe to it all.

Another big difference is that the band has made a shift from kraut to fusion, mainly due to the funky/jazzy bass grooves again. It's not full-blown fusion yet but it ends somewhere halfway between both styles, much like early Kraan actually. Also the world music influences that Embryo is known for start making an appearance here. They are still modest but undeniable. The African percussion intros of songs such as Tausendfufsler and Revenge reminds a lot of the opening of Hancock's Crossings of the ensuing year.

The psychedelic influences from the debut have largely disappeared and also the sound has made a complete turn, from typically clear and reverbed 60s acid-rock to a very dry, subdued and muffled 70s sound. The balance between the instruments isn't always very stable and the drums are put a bit too much to the back for me. The only remedy is to crank this one up with all treble that your amp can handle.

Another style, another sound. Very unique and rich, but not the easiest to get into. It never brought the band much commercial success but they are generally highly regarded by the few in the know. Amazing band, excellent album.

Report this review (#385709)
Posted Monday, January 24, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of Germany's premier experimental outfits, Embryo have carved out a long and colourful career out of blending psychedelic and jazz flavours into a whole world(literally) of ethnic styles and sounds, something they've been doing now for four decades. However, whilst their love of African, Indian and Asia music would come to characterise their later works, Embryo's earlier albums would prove to be some of most innovative examples of the burgeoning 'krautrock' movement that stretched across Germany during the heady days of the late-sixties and early-seventies. After the difficult, mysterious and, at times, rather inaccessible 'Opal' - the group's debut - came 'Embryo's Rache', a wonderful, hyper-kinetic mixture of jazz, afrobeat, avant-garde soundscapes and psychedelic rock, an album that has come to be regarded as one of the best representations of the outstanding Embryo ethos. Similar to the superb, cosmic fusion albums 'Steig Aus' and 'Rocksession', this 1971 album weaves a dense and intoxicating tapestry of exotic flutes, fuzzy organs, lysergic saxophone breaks and tribal percussion, almost as if someone had shoehorned the likes of Miles Davis, Fela Kuti and Amon Duul II into a smoky, incense-filled room for a never-ending jam. Those with an ear for free-form sounds should find a world of happiness here, the only real disappointment being that 'Embryo's Rache' has to, unfortunately, come to an end. An effortless, flowing collection of long, trippy and vibrant compositions filled with all sorts of strange instrumental detours, this is a wonderful album from a much underrated group. Fabulous late-night entertainment.


Report this review (#662597)
Posted Saturday, March 17, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Embryo were not only experts in changing their musical moods but also the record labels.By 1971 they left the Ohr label to move to United Artists Records and release their sophomore album ''Embryo's Rache''.The leading trio of Christian Burchard, Edgar Hofmann and Hans Fischer were now joined by legendary bassist/guitarist Roman Bunka, while the album features guest appearances by Jimmy Jackson and Hermann Breuer on keyboards as well as Franz Böntgen on voices.

Embryo's debut was challenging, innovative and powerful and ''Embryo's Rache'' marks no significant changes.The sound remains a highly energetic, loose and deeply jazzy Kraut Rock full of bizarre experiments, free improvisations but also very tight performances with the rock instrumentation constantly supported by tons of organ, sax, percussion, violins and flute solos.This time though things seems a bit more focused.The groovier parts with the pounding rhythm sections are accompanied more or less by excellent flute drives, dynamic and solid percussion rhythms and abstract sax solos, which deliver a unique atmosphere only Kraut Rock bands could create.On the other hand the improvised passages are covered by extreme keyboard workouts and the massive organ solos flirt often with the Canterbury school of Jazz- Rock.If you search though for one and only very tight composition in the album this would be certainly the 11-min. ''Espagna si, Franco no'' with its varied instrumentation and haunting moods, where Embryo surface from spacey themes to hypnotic rhythms and back, while the track offers plenty of great Mellotron, electric piano jams and some furious interplays.

Great Kraut/Jazz-Rock of high quality.Recommended to all fans of experimental, adventurous, intricate and trully progressive listenings.

Report this review (#875587)
Posted Friday, December 14, 2012 | Review Permalink

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