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4 stars MINOTAURUS were an obscure 70's band from Germany, who recorded 2 albums with only one ever being released "Fly Away". Inspired by the story of the Mintaurus living in King Minos' Labyrinth on Crete this 6 piece band deliver an album full of organ roaring progressive rock. This album although essentially a symphonic mindmelt does also blend in psych and space dimensions into their sound. Their overall sound is quite rich with a good chunk of mellotron and deep bass lines. Vocals (Peter Scheu) are sung in English and fit the music quite well. Instrumentally this band were amazing with inspiring and pompous keyboard leads, mellotron atmospheres , great guitar , bass and drum interplay. Overall sound carries allusions to NOVALIS, MARILLION and ELOY.
Report this review (#31197)
Posted Friday, June 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars A suburb underated albun of a short lived german group. Away from the german krautrock, nearer to the classic english prog, an essential album. A must have.. Full of mellotron and melodic forms. Long tracks.... What else does a serious prog fun expect in order to come in touch with this albnum ....???
Report this review (#31198)
Posted Thursday, February 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Another lost gem from Germany, this music is extremelly well played, full of brakes, changes in tempo, organ, mellotrons and a very valid guitar work. Really five star music, I just don't like very much the singer's voice. Anyway, this is delicious symphonic music, in the vein of ELOY and SFF.
Report this review (#45137)
Posted Thursday, September 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
4 stars If you like Camel and early Eloy (Power and the Passion), Ramses, or Novalis (Banished Bridge), you might want to check out this superb one-shot. Great symphonic prog with a variety of shades makes for a pleasant listen with plenty to go back to and grow with on subsequent airings.

The album starts very strongly with "7117" first it sounds like we are getting a Hawkwind-ish sci fi piece as the intro grabs your attention before the song morphs into a less in your face and more subtle work, including inspired organ and vocal melodies. Nonetheless, some of this album, such as parts of the title cut, with its mellotron and rhythm guitars swirling about, returns to a sort of Hawkwind-lite approach, and is not diminished for it. "Your Dream" is definitely one of the highlights, a masterful song with a VERY catchy chorus driven by a clean guitar riff. Peter Scheu's vocals are worth highlighting. They are totally sympathetic to the music, like a rough cut gem that suits the amateurish prog fan feel of the whole album.

The rest of the album is of a similar high standard, except for the Jane III-style "Highway", just a boring rocker. The beautiful "The Day the Earth will die" closed out the original disk to which a bonus track was added in later releases, that I have not heard.

Minotaurus is one of many singletons from the thriving German symphonic prog scene of the 1970s, and it is definitely one of the better ones.

Report this review (#126242)
Posted Monday, June 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars I was rather eager to listen to this album when I saw all these high ratings. The first tilme I listened to it, I also succumbed. But after several hearings, I must say that I was not that enthusiast any longer. And here are the reasons why...

A composition like "7117" is very dynamic and at the same time it features some beautiful and melodic passages. The last section of this song sounds VERY much as the finale of "Saucerful Of Secrets" from whom you might know. One of my fave.

Minotaurus style reminds me very much this other German band "Ramses" at times. Although less accomplished, interesting. "Your Dream" is a perfect example of this. One of the weakest song of the album. Again, I am not impressed with the singer. Too monotonous, unimpressive. A great guitar moment will save the song "Lonely Seas" which otherwise would have been too dominated by some of the most boring vocals you can imagine. Actually, I would say typical German vocals, unfortunately.

"Highway" sounds as an old psychedelic song from the sixties. Not really convincing but thankfully short.

The second highlight of this album is the epic "Fly Away". Finally, twelve minutes of good symphonic music. It was about time ! Great bass and druming (although the rhythmic section has been strong throughout the album). Even the singer is not too bad. Nice mellotron as well, which will provide some nostalgic mood. Great and powerful guitar for the finale adds a very nice and pleasant touch to this song.

Minotaurus remains in the good territory with "The Day the Earth Will Die". Very catchy and dynamic song again. Bass is here extremely powerful. Great and complex tempo. The experimental and closing number won't raise the level of this album, I'm afraid.

I can't be as generous as my fellow reviewers. Three stars (and I am rating on the high-end here).

Report this review (#132316)
Posted Wednesday, August 8, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Released in 1978, Fly Away is the only released recording from the sextet known as Minotaurus: Michael Helsberg and Ludger "Lucky" Hofstetter on guitars, Ulli Poetschulat on drums, Bernd Maciej on bass, Peter Scheu on vocals, and Dietmar Barzen on keyboards. It's is a strong album,with super keyboards - organ, mellotron, note-rich guitar playing, and some theatrical vocals. Similar bands and recommended to fans of Tibet , Zomby Woof, even Genesis in places, Eloy, Dragonfly,etc. Many pieces has neo- prog feel, so i can say from the late '70 neo-prog starts to take wings for the next decade the '80. The racks are all great but the opening track 7117 and the title track Fly away are the best. In the end Fly Away is fairly decent album, and sure to be of interest to "neo-prog" fans. 4 stars, great album.
Report this review (#145375)
Posted Wednesday, October 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars 10/10 Masterpiece

"A masterpiece for some no-name, unknown band from Germany with one album and nothing else, HOW!?!?!" I'll tell you how...this album ROCKS. Period. This isn't their only album, also, although I can't speak much for their strangely un-official releases that I have no idea how to obtain (check their website). "Fly Away" on the other hand is THE Minotaurus album as far as I can tell, and it is a masterwork at that, and so late in the prog golden days (1978!?)...Kind of reminds me of how amazing Locanda Delle Fates masterpiece "Forse Le Lucciolle..." is and how that was released around the same time, also a stand-alone album with that line-up for that band.

Anyway! The music on here, fantastic! I first listened to this album while lying on my bed after having purchased a copy on eBay. Through my discman I was transported to the strangest planet with the strongest aura and most profound colors and moods. The guitar here, the synth, the vocals, insanely TIGHT and impressive, it is just awesome. I won't even look to see the musicians names, for the life of me I sadly just cannot remember any band members names from Minotaurus. This may be because no one I know cares for the band, let alone even most people on this website, and their names are hard to pronounce. But let me tell you they are all AMAZING!! Especially lead guitar, I love the guitar work here...this guy just KNOWS what to play to keep the mood strong, and building.

Best tracks: Your Dream, Highway, The Day the Earth Will Die, Fly Away...OK almost listed the whole album there had to stop. I would say my favorite is "The Day The Earth Will Die", this album just has so much nostalgic connection for me now because of it's strong powerful nature. It immediately attached itself to my time and place, and I will always remember that time in my life with this album, and especially this track. The rest of the songs on here and brilliant, rock driven powerful songs...alot of moods, strangely always happy but somehow sounding dark...never Comus dark at all, always just a GOOD vibe.

Anyway buy this album if you have any sleight interest because it could blow you away!

Report this review (#150826)
Posted Wednesday, November 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars Well the music is pleasantly tasteful even if the cover art isn't. For the love of God put on some underwear ! Actually the being on the cover is called a Minotaur. I must say I was expecting some Krautrock when i bought this, but this is rightfully put under Symphonic. Very enjoyable music though, almost spacey at times with lots of synths, and I love the tone of the guitars.

"7117" opens with synths and processed spoken words as drums come in.This spacey intro changes when a catchy melody comes in with organ and drums leading the way. Vocals and guitar 1 1/2 minutes in. Love the guitar. The tempo keeps shifting back and forth. Some aggressive guitar 4 minutes in. Nice. Some good drum work a minute later. String synths before 6 minutes sound great to end it. "Your Dream" has some good synth work, vocals and guitar to begin with. A calm with string synths and reserved vocals follow. Bass joins in at 2 minutes. It kicks back in with drums leading the way before 4 minutes. Then back to the intro- like section a minute later that i like so much. "Lonely Seas" opens with sounds building as reserved vocals come in. The tempo and sound picks up after 2 minutes. Great uptempo sound 3 minutes in with drums leading the way. Guitar joins in 3 1/2 minutes and it sounds fantastic. Beautiful sound.

"Highway" is a song I just can't get into. Fortunately it's the shortest track on the album. It opens with the sound of a car going by, then uptempo guitar, drums and vocals follow. It's ok I guess. "Fly Away" is the longest and my favourite. For 2 minutes we get synth washes as guitar and light drum sounds come and go. A guitar melody takes over 2 minutes in. Vocals and string synths before 3 minutes. Again the guitar is so beautiful sounding as it goes on and on. Synths join in after 5 minutes. Themes are repeated. A tasteful guitar solo before 10 minutes goes on and on to the end. Amazing tune. "The Day The Earth Will Die" has a Neo-Prog flavour to it. The vocals, string synths, drums and gentle guitar start us off. The tempo picks up a minute in. Prominant organ before 2 minutes. More pleasant guitar after 3 minutes. "Sunflowers" is a bonus track and an instrumental. This song sounds really good with prominant bass and guitar throughout. String synths before 3 1/2 minutes before we get an upbeat ending.

I like this a lot. I feel there's enough good music here to give it 4 stars.

Report this review (#169222)
Posted Wednesday, April 30, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Nice album for this band from Germany. All music instruments are very balanced, with a seventies sound with some psichedelic space rock parts and some jazz fusion parts that made a multisistem album when we discover some new parts after listen second, third, and more times. The traks have more instrumental importance in this album, because lirics are in English and is nothing special but musicaly this album are great. This is a album for those that like seventies progressive sound and a decade that this kind of music was made with pleasure, without comercial vein, when music are more important that money. This album was made with love and inspiration, but this band was a Germany obscure band and just few guys now. I recomended listen carefuly and with open mind to listen some very good music. I give 4 stars but 4,5 really
Report this review (#292845)
Posted Saturday, July 31, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars A late 1970s German symphonic prog album performed in a style not too dissimilar to that employed by Anyone's Daughter at the time. A mild Eloy influence is detectable in the guitar work, and whilst the album does not really do very much that's new when it comes to playing a somewhat more accessible version of Eloy's music, they certainly don't botch it either. Buyer beware, however, because the sound quality isn't exactly great. Worth it if you are particularly taken with the proto-neo-prog direction taken by some German bands at the close of the 1970s, but even then Aphrodite's Child's better albums are generally of a higher quality.
Report this review (#560571)
Posted Monday, October 31, 2011 | Review Permalink
Retired Admin
3 stars Fly me to the moon...

First of all a big thank you to the mellotron lord(John) for introducing me to this album. It is much appreciated, and I┤ve spent many a nights playing this whilst looking at the ceiling in amazement. I expect a lot of symph heads around here will relish this German 1978 release, as it combines some deliciously played songs with loads of analogue synths, mellotrons, emotional guitar solos and a serene feel to it, that during the following decade sadly was compromised by studio recordings that basked in Fisher Price plastics and an unholy hunt on "noise" and everything that pointed towards vitality and humanity in the sound quality of our most beloved art form.

Although this was made in the final chapter of the 70s, and the symphonic get together with verse-chorus-interlude-solo-verse-chorus-chorus-solo(s) had been done lord knows how many times, there┤s really no getting around just how fluid and vibrant this album feels. The musical history buff, could easily get away with accusing a fair deal of the Neo-prog performers to have robbed Minotaurus off their soundscapes, suave textures and tonal serenity. In fact I┤ll go out on a ledge and claim this particular record, along with Babylon┤s self-titled, as the first 2 proper releases of said "style". Well, even so - I really couldn┤t care less, because what matters, is not the shape of the Roman nose, but rather the green gooey substance it holds imprisoned.

Minotaurus were actually formed in 1972, and played together up until this album was recorded, when the group lost of its guitarists and silently withered away without so much as a tiny splash resonating in the vast musical oceans. So one album in 6 years as it turns out... What one should take away from this information is, that during what seems to be a somewhat longish embryonic state of being, Minotaurus obviously developed some remarkable chops - taught how to play together as a band - and first and foremost got to know the ins and outs of each member. This comes across, when you start listening to Fly Away almost immediately. All the pieces fit perfectly together, and there┤s a sense of professionalism in the craftsmanship, that you normally only get from bands who┤s been playing together for years on end. Debut? Surely not...

If any of you guys are into early Marillion, Novalis, Camel, Anyone┤s Daughter, Atlas and a handful of other melodic symphonic acts which frolic in sweet laden artistries, then you should probably be placing your order for this little gem right about now.

Fly Away contains some beautiful guitar solos, that sit quite comfortably at the table of those emotive string bending wizards such as David Gilmour, Andrew Latimer and Steve Rothery. Combined with a wide variety of hammond organs, mellotrons, synths and other keys that fertilize the ground on which these musical acrobatics take place - huge towering symphonic sun flowers continue to grow upwards reaching for whatever - and melody, verse and soul all put together amounts to a rather stunning venture into music with wings of eiderdown and German wool. The German wool here is procured by Peter Scheu and his slightly accented vocals, that in time will win over even the most recalcitrant fighter of "properly English sung music". I┤ve frequently thought of Eloy and Grobschnitt during my listens of Minotaurus, and not only because of the obvious Germanic shadings within the vocal delivery, but more so on account of the recurring psychedelic themes that open up in the music. It┤s a subtle thing though, and if you┤re not paying attention it will pass you by like the smell of a feminine bowel leakage. Underneath the melodies and structures, a decisively spacey expression oscillates and without any flamboyant gestures or bombastic use of semantics - slowly and comfortably continues to diffuse into the music. Either done with small snippets of percussive features like chimes, or the early Camel like elevator synths, that unlike elevator music doesn┤t come off as muzak, but rather sounds like big organic sweeps of bouncy leads that melt through the other instruments and create a wobbly and bubbly psychedelic atmosphere.

Are you a fan of any of the mentioned artists, and haven┤t spent all of your money on Christmas presents or indeed that brand new excavator that you┤ve been meaning to buy for the last 20 years, then I warmly suggest you go for this sweet and melodiously laden German affair. 3.5 stars.

Report this review (#592262)
Posted Tuesday, December 20, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars A true revelation. I have just given a listen to this obscure album by this practically unknown band (of self-taught musicians!) Minotaurus, and I am thrilled. Powerful orchestration with distinguishable instruments (especially the bass and guitar), engaging melodic and rhythmic lines, strong vocals with excellent delivery and a perfectly groovy sound! This is a German band but with English flavor in their sound. However, in some occasions, especially in the case of the song "The day the Earth will die" they strongly reminded me of their fellow countrymen, the more famous Grobschnitt, and more specifically some elements of their album Ballerman. I strongly suggest to give this album a listen.
Report this review (#1670320)
Posted Wednesday, December 21, 2016 | Review Permalink

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