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Rain For A Day - Elemental CD (album) cover


Rain For A Day

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4 stars This is actually the third cd of the 'band', which is in fact merely a sideproject of Sylvan- drummer Matthias Harder. On this cd he plays keyboards, and the music is much more singer-songwriter-influenced than his more known Sylvan-stuff. But the production is crisp clean, the songwriting is hauntingly beautiful and the voice of Miriam Schell is too good to be true. This band should be marketed better though, not as a mere sideproject of Sylvan. There's a lot of potential here, for fans of any female-lead music will adore this. Not just for Sylvan-fans, but also for fans of Paatos, The Gathering, Magenta, etc.

Surely recommended, but more people should know about this band.

Report this review (#42064)
Posted Monday, August 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I am blessed to have a good friend in Montreal, a wise man in terms of intellect and a suave prog fiend, with whom we bounce suggestions and ideas, making the hunt for the elusive jewel a team effort instead of some selfish solo venture. Jean 'the Cat' Roby has a fine palate for music and I trust him implicitly. He came out of left field with Rain for a Day, describing this 2004 one shot wonder from Germany as a pearl of grand proportions. Upon closer inspection, the hint was clearer, as this band is led by Matthias Harder, drummer of future prog giants Sylvan. The other major highlight is the voice of Miriam Schell, a stunning beauty who can sing like the wind, in that whispering style one minute and deeply emotional and warm the next. Harder handles the keyboards here, leaving the kit to Matt Zenrich, while composing dark and atmospheric soundscapes for the voice to establish its unmistakable magic. This is the third album for this Hamburg band and it's a crime that it did not get more exposure. I am guilty too as I had to wait 13 years to discover this gem.

Perhaps it's not to everyone's liking but if you are a fan of female singers, which I hate to repeat, vastly outperform the males in Progland, then, like me, you will find yourself seduced, mesmerized and quite satisfied. If you are a fan of Karnataka, Mostly Autumn, Iona, Cairo, Mantra Vega, Shine Dion, Panic Room, Harvest, Magenta, a many dozen more, then hunt this beauty down. The arrangements are extended platforms for the voice, as the buildup is deftly executed and built with progressive folk in mind, no 2 minute jobs here (Prog Ramones, LOL)! The album and band are placed in the Prog Related category which may be one of the reasons it has been misrepresented. In my opinion, it's a crossover/ folk masterpiece, not sounding anything remotely like the bands mentioned above. The accent here is on stark ambiances, piano playing the major part, but loaded up with vivid orchestrations and fascinating rhythmic developments (Zenrich is quite the stick man). There is a fragile, child-like quality at times, as if innocence has taken over the song craft, like on 'New Year's Eve', a very short one with voice and orchestra. Spellbinding! Throw in Portsihead-like tunes like 'Sharks'' or outright torch songs like the surreal 'Poetry's a Crime', your head will reel from all the pleasure and style displayed here. This latter track has an instrumental section that defines beauty. On the stirring 'La Sagrada', Miriam Schell really kicks it up a notch, to the point of shimmering pain. Or is it ecstasy?

All the songs are truly exceptional, especially the longer ones, 'So Real' (8.17), 'Tonight' (6.43), 'I Wish' (7.20) and the stellar title track (9.25). The album is a second away from an hour (59.59) proving once again that Germans can so disciplined when they concentrate on the details.

Shame on me for not getting this sooner. Shame on you if you don't listen to my advice. Merci Jean,

5 quotidian showers

Report this review (#1707726)
Posted Monday, April 3, 2017 | Review Permalink

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