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5 stars The first thing I noticed when I first heard Popol Vuh was the uniqueness of their style. This can also be heard on "Hosianna Mantra". It's actually a landmark album in their discography. The first two albums were more typical experimental electronica. "Hossiana Mantra" was a big change in style. Fricke stopped using electronic instruments. Instead his music started to focus more on the piano and acoustic instruments (oboe, violin, tambura). The only electrical instrument remained is the electric guitar which has a pleasant clean atmospheric tone. Overall, the music sounds very meditative and elegantly textured. A good listen before going to bed. The peaceful style can be described as a fusion of classical impressionism, Indian classical and krautrock. The only similar group I know is another German group BETWEEN. If you want to listen to some original and beatiful prog this album is a must!
Report this review (#31926)
Posted Sunday, January 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars After their first two experimental albums Popol Vuh (and Mainly Florian Fricke took a break , and engaged in different projects. Fricke found himself in Gila for their last album Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee and when that was over , He brought back Conny Veit with him for a new chapter in Popol Vuh's adventures. In the meantime, Fricke had found religion (both Hindu and Christiandom) and this will translate heavily into Popol 's music.

Hosianna is the blueprint for Popol's future albums for years to come although it does not reach the perfection of some of those . They reject totally the electronics of their first albums and Fricke concentrates on piano, and the music is very acoustic. the only link with previous albums would be the ethnic (mainly Indian) percussions. Actually, this album is a little too laced in spirituality and contemplative moods that I rarely(if ever) play it because I find it quite boring. There are real fine moments mixing the ethereal moments with the japanese sprano vocals but this stays relatively uneventful. Conny Veit will depart after this album but will still collaborate to the next one.

This third album is the start of the classic Popol Vuh, but there is much better to come in the next four albums.

Report this review (#31928)
Posted Wednesday, March 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I can only say that this album must be made in heaven! Here we have a cornerstone of the history of prog-rock music: universal masterpiece! The incredible thing is the uniqueness of their style. Unlike the first two releases Hosianna Mantra is played near completely with acoustic instruments. It can be described as an impressionistic work of heaven. Beautiful: a must!
Report this review (#31929)
Posted Tuesday, May 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 4,5 stars

"Hosianna mantra", released in 1972, is one of the very best Popol vuh albums, from their golden era. The most spiritual, ethereal, thanks to the guitar weaving delicate and hypnotic arabesques and of Djong Yun celestial vocals, helped by quiet meditative piano and peaceful oboe parts. The mood is cerebral and the music carries vibrations of spiritual harmony. A must have from this essential band.

Report this review (#76935)
Posted Tuesday, May 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This site recommends the utmost care in assigning five stars to any album, but this one... When I was eighteen I discovered Werner Herzog's mastery as a film-maker by watching on TV his amazing "Aguirre". Aside the beautiful images, the very good direction and the unforgettable performance by Klaus Kinski, I was struck also by the soundtrack, underlining the "Conquistadores' progress" into the rainforest with solemn chords of mellotron and ethereal moog sounds. Thus, I made my acquaintance also with Popol Vuh's music. "Hosianna Mantra" is their timeless masterpiece, a real work of the spirit. Electric Prunes, Spooky Tooth and Stryper (gasp!) should feel deeply ashamed of their attempt into "religious rock" after listening to this. The first part of the album is a sort of Mass, consisting of an instrumental introduction (in line with the use of composers such as Frescobaldi and Monteverdi), the "Kyrie" and a part of the "Sanctus". "Ah" is a very good opening, very atmospheric at the beginning, than moving to almost dancing indian influenced tunes, lead by piano and harpiscord. "Kyrie" is pure "kosmische Musik" without any need of synthesizers: in its first part the piano and the Tamboura form a sort of rhythmless "ocean", from which Veit's spacey guitar and Yun's ethereal voice emerge in pure beauty; then music gets a regular cadence, entering Eliscu's oboe lines, to became more solemn and, in the end, finishing like a sort of whisper... This track leaves me totally breathless! "Hosianna" is structured as a real Indian dance, with constantly evolving rhythm patterns and a more rocking feeling. Part two of the album consists in a series of quotes from the Bible. "Abschied" is pure classical, moving and visionary. The other tunes are very charming, and Popol Vuh becames more a small classical ensemble than a pop-rock (even if prog) band. Yun sings amazing tunes, while Fricke, Veit and Eliscu seem to run after each other in a loose counterpart, rich in impressive peaks. Yes, this is probably my "desert island" album.
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Posted Thursday, November 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This album has grown as one of the most affecting and memorable recordings I tend to listen. Its spiritual approach accepting all religions as different manifestations of the same search of sanctity fits to my own tolerant quest of acceptance, and the beauty of ambient textures from acoustic-emphasized instruments glorifies the yearning for tranquil ecstasy, carved firmly on the other side of the coin for political misuse of religions trough superstitious masses.

The sides of the LP form two musical entities, which movement's names are familiar from the Christian lexicon of classical European works, uniting here with global hippie philosophies of meditative musical idioms. "Hosianna - Mantra" starts gentle waves from piano, subtle guitar notes and oriental-toned tambura strings, this setting the scene of cross-cultural viewpoint and spiritual essence of the record clear from the start. Momently cascading piano streams of golden light stir movement to the sacred cycles of this musical prayer, which mostly lingers in the silent corridors of protective monasteries and nature's hideouts from man-created evil. The second movement "Kyrie" is really memorable moment of peace on the record, allowing Conny Veit's delicate guitar weeps and Djong Yun's ethereal singing unite as angelic whispers from tranquil eternity, culmination to ascending melodic progression of salvation. This sequence was also filmed to television, on my understanding as overdub, but however allowing interesting visions from the musicians at their creation environment. Florian Fricke's calm piano lingering reminds the lovely calmness of Bill Evans playing style, yet dissolving to ever more vastness of mental quietude. The main sequence of the three parts spin the mantra of faith residing in the lap of the gods, piano weaving the dynamics for the background movement, giving space for a lovely guitar and oboe solos, vocal adorations and incense-smelling shades from other supporting acoustic instruments. As an artistic creation this work really convinces with the capabilities of reaching sacral resolutions by combining traditional high cultural and modern underground methods. Possibly the purity of aims is more meaningful than the doctrines of expressional instruments.

The second side of the LP is named based on my understanding by the Deuteronomy of Moses. Even though the commandments of this scripture contain many strict codes, it also by my inferior interpretation deals with monotheistic idea of god's simultaneous existence everywhere. This aspect could be seen from broader objective perspective suiting to the acceptance of global deistic panorama of these charming musicians gathered at 1970's Munich playgrounds. From the movements, "Abschied" follows the paths of a tender hymn lead by oboe and guitar, illuminated by enigmatic tambura chords. Very operatic vision, which melody dramatics flow in vein of 17th century European music. "Segnung" blends to these motives more trance-oriented long vision to the horizon, focusing for both lovely soprano voice and guitar notes on this broad view, decorated by myriad oriental tonal ornaments creating most enlightening musical scenery. On the later parts the melodic themes are studied with broader instrumentation and joyful pace creates more solid form trough the rhythm. Surrounded by meditative sound carpets of "Andacht", "Nicht hoch im Himmel" continues with passive straits resembling classical music emulating third stream jazz, which I got familiar from ECM record's, shimmering this emotion-affecting void. Piano and emphasis on guitar gains strength in the later moments, which give me also associations from holy emptiness of Giya Kancheli's "Exil" work, also released through the prolific German record mentioned. "Ave Maria" concludes the album by summing the album's melodic potential for beautifulness, classical music forms contrasted with table-drums and strengthened with a violin. As a whole both sides create a personal culmination point of sacred art music which I would recommend for anybody as a masterpiece of spiritual music sensation, not being difficult to follow, nor lacking artistic content.

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Posted Saturday, March 31, 2007 | Review Permalink
Tom Ozric
4 stars 'Hosianna Mantra' was the first release to feature a change of direction for Popol Vuh. Keyboardist Florian Fricke dispensed with his Moog Modular synthesizer, and concentrated on composing softer, dreamier and more spiritual music based around piano and harpsichord, and designed to be performed with (mainly) non-electric instruments, save for some nimble playing from guitarist Conny Veit. To top off this 'new direction', Fricke added the mesmerising voice of one Djong Yun. The overall feel is one that's closer to 'new age' (way before the term was actually coined) and only the trance-like qualities of 'Krautrock' remain. This is a highly enjoyable album, and a pleasant change of pace from the 'heavy-weights' within the prog world. On a curious note, this is yet another record to feature different cover-art from release to release.
Report this review (#153488)
Posted Sunday, December 2, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Of all the albums I own, this is probably my favorite. Not best, but favorite. Florian Fricke is trully one of the best composers of our time. This album, from 1972, marked their transition from electronic-moog music to more cerebral ambient music. While their first two albums are great, there seemed be something missing, especially on Affenstunde. This album takes you on a journey through your own consciousness. I have never listened to an album and became as entranced and hypnotized as with Hosianna Mantra. The piano work or Florian Fricke, space guitar rock of Conny Veit, and the amazing voice of Djong Yun all work together so well. Its hard to believe this music was recorded in a few days! Every track is awesome, but the title track is probably the best compositionally speaking. While listed under krautrock, this album is more so space-rock to me. The delayed-wah-wah guitar soloing of Veit has more in common with Pink Floyd than Amon Duul II or Can. I own about 7 Popol Vuh albums, and so far this is the milestone. If you havent heard this album, please do yourself a favor! Turn off the lights, put on some good headphones or a nice stereo system and sit back in awe! It really is that good progarchives!
Report this review (#161394)
Posted Saturday, February 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars This is probably POPOL VUH's most well known album, and my second favourite after the next one "Seligpreisung". I really feel that Conny Veit adds so much with his guitar playing on those two albums. I don't think Djong Yun sounds any better than she does on this album, her shining moment I guess you could say.

"Ah!" opens with some beautiful piano melodies and then it calms right down 2 minutes in. Piano and a fuller sound returns before another calm arrives 3 1/2 minutes in. Piano is back to end it. "Kyrie" features electric guitar and piano early and the Djong comes in like an angel before a minute. It's so moving 1 1/2 minutes in until it settles at the 3 minute mark. Guitar is back before 4 minutes. Nice.The vocals are fantastic !

"Hosianna Mantra" takes a while to get going and then the piano, guitar and vocals become prominant. Aboe after 3 minutes then guitar.This is gorgeous ! Words do little to express the emotion and beauty right here. Just listen. "Abschied" is led by aboe on this another moving song. "Segnung" is mellow with vocals. A brighter sound with piano and guitar takes over before 4 minutes. Vocals return. "Andacht" is a very short guitar tune. "Nicht Hoch Im Himmel" features vocals and piano early. Her vocals are so dreamy. Guitar comes in after 3 minutes. It's so peaceful 5 1/2 minutes in. "Andacht" like the earlier tune of the same name is short with guitar. This one has some atmosphere to it.

Simply a must have if you like spiritual contemplative music.

Report this review (#200327)
Posted Friday, January 23, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Popol Vuh might have had originality not to feel the influence by other music at first of the debut too much. These flows might originate the fact that there were not so many elements of straight Rock in the part of a nucleus musical Florian Fricke.

Part of opening sound natural as one of expressions of existence of Popol Vuh for Florian Fricke and music character exactly. The expression to which an electronic element at first of the debut is taken might have started making those natural elements recur by introducing an electronic sound. The introduction of an electronic sound might have given a futuristic impression in a musical situation of Germany at that time.

Various bands that took the introduction of an electronic sound might have stared at space and the area involved to the directionality of the created expression. To describe an exactly Popol Vuh natural part and a philosophical part, music might have been created by original directionality.

The part of the description, the expression, and the flow of the theme might have had an often philosophical element and a religious expression. The flow of the band that started the recurrence to acoustic with this album would be groping and, of course, be an act of nature. Getting rid of from the introduction of an electronic sound might have had the impression of the restriction for the band. The introduction of the philosophical theme seen as a guess since this album might have expanded the width of the directionality of the band oppositely. It might be advanced with one space meaning already.

The expression and the element of various sounds appear in themes of them seen since this album. However, the band might have tried to create the description and the space of nature by acoustic exceeding the religion and the philosophy. It is said that Florian Fricke referred to the book into which the sutra of Mayas is translated as one of the creations to the start of the band. The part that had been done as a description of the music since this album might already have exactly stared at nature and space.

The introduction of the stringed instrument that gives the impression of a beautiful piano melody and the fantasy of "Ah" might be splendid. The part of Chord of the chromatic scale decides the fantasy silence.

Fantastic guitar and beautiful piano Chord of "Kyrie" is impressive. They remarkably exactly show the expression from the introduction by acoustic in continuing fantasy and silence.

"Hosianna Mantra" expresses the melody with a beautiful guitar and piano. The impression of the solemnity continues. The melody of the song to get on the space that flows incessantly is a melody of admiration. Continuation by majors Chord will call impression from the transposition of Chord.

The feature in "Abschied" is that an original melody and Chord flows by the guitar and Oboe. The impression of the solemnity that flows consistently is an expression for them.

The piano and the guitar completely express nature and space in "Segnung" because of the sound. The sound of Oboe and the decoration to get on the progress of beautiful Chord is complete.

"Andacht Devotion 1" might express the part of the connection of the album. The impression of the solemnity has been decided.

The song and the melody of "Nicht Hoch Im Himmel" with a transparent feeling are impressive. The piano and the song that continues silence and a transparent feeling have the action of purification. The sound of the guitar with the anacatesthesia also contributes to the tune.

"Andacht Devotion 2" continues the sound processed by the effect and progresses. The theme of the album continues.

These albums of men who take the revolution and evolution to the music character of Popol Vuh are important when talking about the history of Popol Vuh.

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Posted Wednesday, February 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After two first Popol Vuh very electronic albums, band's keyboardist sold his first ever Moog in whole Germany to Klaus Schulze and returned to acoustic piano sound. Atmospheric, almost chamber, neo-classical piano sound in combination with Korean soprano Djong Yun's haunting voice built a basic for their third album.

That doesn't mean that band abandoned their psychedelic/krautrock field. Just sound was changed radically. Besides of piano and operatic voice, there are electric guitars, violin and brass. Down tempo, almost meditation music, still strongly based on European roots. With addition of ethnic fusion though. Ambient soundscapes are combined with almost classic piano, electric guitar plays it's jazz fusion influenced line. No traces of electronic world of two previous works.

Very elegant, dreamy and fragile music, I really like it!

Report this review (#283407)
Posted Tuesday, May 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars After two dense and experimental electronic albums, Florian Fricke found religion and turned his music into more introspective directions. The inspiration from various religious traditions and ethnic sources proved to be a fertile source, but I believe it took him a couple of albums to perfect his new sound.

The first nu-Popol album is stunning in places. The opener for instance is so delightful, subtle and rich. If Florian Fricke tried to find pure beauty then he found it in all its dazzling splendor here. Also Kyrie and the first part of the title track are strong. The instrumentation is very acoustic, with piano and clean electric guitar picking. Delicate female vocals and a small chamber music ensemble round out the sound.

At times it can get a bit too mellow and romantic for my taste, as in the second half of the title track and the ensuing Departure, that makes me feel as though I'm listening to Christmas carols. But the album restores the magic in its last 15 minutes that are filled with beautiful fragile music, especially the sparse and jazzy Not High in Heaven is brilliant.

The album is a strong start in Popol Vuh's second life with some really superb material. 3.5 for sure, 4 if I'm in a mellow mood.

Report this review (#307984)
Posted Tuesday, November 2, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After seeing this and several other Popol Vuh albums on the Krautrock top 20 in my early days as a member of ProgArchives, I decided to check them out. It took me until last year to finally order anything by the group, though. This album was my first experience with the group, and I must say it's sufficiently impressive.

On this album, using almost exclusively acoustic instrumentation (the only exception being Conny Veit's guitar), Fricke and company set out to mix East and West, and to create some very beautiful music. They largely succeed, especially on the second point. The album has an airy, almost angelic sound throughout, in large part due to Fricke's piano playing and the beautiful, serene vocals courtesy of Djong Yun. It is surely spiritual without being very religious, and listening to it always brings me serenity.

It's albums like this one that prove not all prog is over the top or pretentious - on the contrary, this one is very introspective and elegant. Forget outer space - this is music which travels to inner space and explores around a bit. It's definitely a good starting point for Popol Vuh's brand of Krautrock, as it's got me hungry for more of their kind of music. I don't think it's a great starting point for the Krautrock genre as a whole though, as the band's sound is pretty far removed here from other bands under the same umbrella. Still, if you want an album which exemplifies quiet serenity, keep Florian's music in mind - he seems to have been a master of the style. Four (and a half) stars from me for this one.

Report this review (#312660)
Posted Thursday, November 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars The best album in discography of Popol Vuh and unique one in the history of art/prog rock. Spititual music for the 21 century. "Hosianna Mantra" is close to European chamber music of the 19th-early 20th centuries. Soprano vocal by Djong Yun, acoustical instruments by other members of Popol Vuh, meditative, spiritual, relaxing, lyrical ballads. Where's rock? Don't worry - you would hear electric guitar by Conny Veit in this sound tapestry. Rare record could achive such emotional deepness as "Hosianna Mantra". It's good point to start your journey into world of Popol Vuh, but prepare to intersting openings and dissilusions. Popol Vuh was a concept by its leader - Florian Fricke and this concept constantly changed.
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Posted Monday, May 9, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars A truly exceptional album in Popol Vuh's discography, not least because of the ethereal, haunting vocal contributions by Djong Yun, creating a sound that was at least a decade ahead of its time - I actually find the combination of ghostly female vocals and shimmering, delicate musical performances reminiscent of some of the work produced by Dead Can Dance or the Cocteau Twins in the 1980s. Whilst many other of the leading lights in the Krautrock genre were exploring synthesiser-dominated ambient drone works, Florian Fricke and his guest musicians apply a greater instrumental variety and let loose some exceptional performances, Conny Veit's guitar work being particularly noteworthy. A jewel in Popol Vuh's crown.
Report this review (#498676)
Posted Saturday, August 6, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is a bit of a tough cookie, but this cookie tastes really good. 4.0 stars. If you want virtuosity on one dish and sparse and rich textures on another dish with some sitar and oboe notes sprinkled on them, get this album.

Side one is almost full of delight. It opens with a slightly annoying and yet at the same time mad and memorable 'Ah!', followed by a miraculous 'Kyrie' where the Japanese soprano singer Djong Yun reaches an unbelievable height of musical aesthetics. After that here comes the epic title track, where Yun repeats her impressive vocal effort and the band focuses on minimalism in a few slightly different musical ideas. But it's the synergy of all parts, not just the parts alone, that really define the high quality of this masterwork.

The rest of the album took some time to grow on me. 'Segnung' will demand some patience before you can walk through some of the filler on it. Other than that, it has some pretty neat, melodic ideas. 'Nicht Hoch im Himmel' is even harder to get into, but if your brain does mature enough for the stuff to be emotionally tangible, the experience is really rewarding.

Ratings/comments (if you have to ask):

1. 'Ah!' - ****

2. 'Kyrie' - *****

3. 'Hosianna Mantra' - *****

4. 'Abschied' - **

5. 'Segnung' - ***

6. 'Andacht' - * (To be honest with you, I don't feel any kind of rapture or hear any kind of prayer there, as the title suggests.)

7. 'Nicht Hoch im Himmel' - ****

8. 'Andacht'' - *

Stamp: "I like it."

Report this review (#613985)
Posted Friday, January 20, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars 4.5 stars. The third album in Popol Vuh's discography is a sudden left turn compared to the previous two albums, Affenstunde & In Den Gärten Pharaos. For Hosianna Mantra, band leader Florian Fricke decided to ditch the synthesizers that made up their previous albums and move to more natural instruments. What made him do this is still unknown, yet it's a welcome change.

Instead of being electronic, Hosianna Mantra is more like twentieth century chamber music. It is made modern by its use of electric guitar. Conny Veit from the band Gila provides twelve-string and electric guitar, and his playing is very impressive, especially on the title track (it is because of this album that I listened to Gila's first record). Of course Florian is as great as ever, opening the album with the energetic piano piece, "Ah!". From this first track, it is obvious that the album will be taking on a classical influence. "Kyrie" introduces the soprano vocalist, Djong Yun, who has an ethereal voice. She unfortunately only sang on a few albums with Popol Vuh and only one single release of her own. After that, very little is known about her. It's a shame because she is immensely talented.

Next is the title track, a 10-minute journey. Here is where Mr. Veit's guitar shines, with accompanying vocals, piano, and oboe. The song ends similarly to how it begins, with a solo played on cembalo. These first three tracks make up side one of the album, known as "Hosianna-Mantra." If listened to on Vinyl, you would flip over to side two, titled "Das V. Buch Mose." Here the mood is more meditative. "Abschied" starts the medley with guitar and oboe. It is a very beautiful piece that evokes morning when the sun is rising. It is as much a morning song as Edvard Grieg's "Morning Mood." The next track, "Segnung" opens with a short motif that is repeated later on as "Andacht." After this intro, the track soon resembles side one, with its instrumentation. There is not much I can say about "Andacht" other than it serves as an interlude between songs.

Next is "Nicht Hoch Im Himmel", with a ghostly lead voice and piano. Here is where Djong Yun is really able to show what her voice can do. This song is less eventful in comparison, and is also quieter. By this time, the album has slowed down. I can appreciate the atmospheric quality, but I find myself not returning to it as much. The reprise of "Andacht" ends the original album, however, there is another track that I think is essential to this album. The single release of Djong Yun contained "Du Sollst Lieben" & "Ave Maria." The latter is included on the 2004 CD reissue, and is an amazing piece of music. This song brings the album to a spiritual high-point that "Andacht" just can't do.

I know I have written an essay on this album so far, but it must be done. This music is meditative without being sappy. Spiritual without being preachy. The only downside I can think of is that you kind of need to be in the right mood for something as "New Age" as this. If you're a lover of Ambient music, that shouldn't be a problem. I won't say Hosianna Mantra is essential, since it is for a niche audience. It is however, a highly recommendable recording of music for fans of Ambient, Classical, or even World music.

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Posted Sunday, October 11, 2015 | Review Permalink
5 stars Hosianna Mantra marked a significant shift both in structure and melody for Popol Vuh. The material that followed this masterpiece was more or less based on the blueprint created here. The spiritual nature of this record and the use of exotic instruments combined with classical ones placed Popol Vuh at the forefront of the New Age and contemporary World Music genres that would develop over the years. this album is an amazing, yet overlooked record which gives so much from its rather sparse structure, it's no wonder it influenced so many bands to come. It is a must listen for fans of New Age and World Music, but also for any avid music fan.
Report this review (#1824453)
Posted Saturday, November 18, 2017 | Review Permalink
3 stars Floaty and serene like a cloud: 7/10

This soothing and borderline meditative release by krautrockers POPOL VUH back in 1972 harnessed widespread acclaim for its new-ageish approach to music. Featuring two short and two long songs and clocking around 37 minutes, HOSIANNA MANTRA is mostly ambient music with heavy influences of neoclassical compositions and style. The record's characteristic is the ethereal atmosphere created by gentle guitar sweeps accompanied by constant piano playing and occasional soprano female vocals (by occasional I mean half of the time).

Now, for all its innovativeness and creative approach to ambient music by using (progressive) rock instruments and even so making minimalistic compositions, it's rather troubling that HOSIANNA MANTRA feels like a 37-minute-long act rather than an album with four allegedly distinct tracks. The quartet sounds too similar, with very little to differ among themselves, and eventually the repetitiveness - a la drone, as aforementioned - gets dragging and dull. It doesn't go as far as becoming unbearable, it just stops feeling enjoyable to listen to after a while.

Still, POPOL VUH's masterpiece is digestible if correctly approached (and by that I mean digested in more than one listen) and is open to revisits that might be often even. What won't matter is which track to check, after all, they're the same.

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Posted Monday, February 19, 2018 | Review Permalink
4 stars Florian designed this album as a mass for the soul, The beauty and elegance stuns the listener at first and then wraps around them like a favourite blanket. Conny Veit adds exceptional color to the proceedings with his clear toned and humble guitar. Djong Yun lends here gorgeous voice wherever it's needed, truly sounding like the jewel in the lotus. Frank Zappa once said progressive rock is, in general, "rock that doesn't sound like anything else". I'm not sure this is rock but it surely doesn't sound like anything else I've heard in the popular music fields. Prog indeed.

The only hangup I have with this album and Popol Vuh in general is they make me feel guilty for not practicing my faith more consistently 4.5 stars

Report this review (#1988745)
Posted Tuesday, August 21, 2018 | Review Permalink
4 stars "Hosianna - Mantra" is a sacred fusion between West and East: Hosianna (Christian hymn) and Mantra (Hindu and Buddhist ritual).

This music isn't rock: is sacred classical music with modern occidental arrangement. Florian Fricke's piano and harpsichord lead the orchestra formed by the violin and the oboe flanked by instruments typical of western pop-rock: acoustic and electric guitar, played in a classical way by the guitarist Conny Veitt. The eastern part of the sound is entrusted to the Klaus Wiese tambura and the celestial soprano voice, the Korean Djong Yun.

The original album (1972) is composed in two parts: the side A called "Hosianna Mantra", and the side B called "Das V. Buch Mose". "Ah!" is an instrumental piece where the piano repeats hypnotically some ascending and descending stairs. It is an interlocutory piece, which has a certain nervousness. Vote 7,5.

"Kyrie": in this song, embellished by the angelic voice of the singer, you hear more the almost psychedelic phrasing of the electric guitar, which allows you to reach meditative ecstasy. Vote 8.

In "Hosianna - Mantra" (ten minutes, vote 8,5/9) the Christ's ascension into Heaven is accompanied at the beginning by Yun's voice and a crescendo of electric guitar and piano that wants to reach mystical ecstasy. After a slowdown and a pause, the hypnotic cadence of the piece begins again and the cresendo of the song declaiming "Hosianna" is wonderful. The sacred touch is reached by the atmosphere created by the voice and the oboe (played by Robert Eliscu). Great masterpiece.

Side B, "Das V Buch Mose", is inspired by the biblical narratives of the fifth book of Moses. "Abschied" is an instrumental piece driven by the oboe, which gives it melancholy. Vote 7 +. "Segnung" (six minutes) is an atmospheric piece where you hear the harpsichord in the background and Yun's voice is more ethereal than ever. When it seems to go towards fading, the phrasing of the piano returns to make the piece lively. Vote 8+. Masterpiece. "Andacht" are 40 seconds of celestial atmosphere.

"Nicht hoch im Himmel" (again 6 minutes) is the most unpredictable and hybrid piece between meditative tone (the singing) and moments of restlessness (always left to the piano). Not easy to be listened. Vote 7,5/8. "Andacht II" are 35 seconds of final tail.

Hosianna Mantra, year 1972, is an album full of celestial songs, but too homogeneous, that towards the end requires a certain motivation to be listened. The music is not so much a mixture between east and west because the orchestration is typically western, but the meditative and ethereal tone, worthy of a yoga session, make it suitable for the east. Hosianna Mantra anticipates ambient and new Age music.

Medium quality of the songs: 7,92. Vote Album: 8,5. Rating: Four Stars.

Report this review (#2115626)
Posted Sunday, January 6, 2019 | Review Permalink

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