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4 stars Rather underrated (probably because it's so obscure) symphonic rock album from Germany. Sirius picked up the torch for bands like Novalis and Grobschnitt, who were rather abandoning the symphonic style for more commercial realms. But Sirius' sound is altogether more English. Genesis seems the dominant influence. The instrumental sound is dominated by keyboards, which should come as no surprise considering there are two keyboardists in the band: Stefan Neubauer (also the lead singer) and Stefan Papsthorst.

I'd compare them stylistically to England and their classic GARDEN SHED album, if only because I get the same vibe from them as far as sunny attitude and curiously antiquated lyrical content. Neubauer's chirpy voice adds to the effect. The sound is something of a bridge between the classic 70's sounds and upcoming 80's sounds, with Hammond organ, string-synth and Wurlitzer electric piano side-by-side with more modern (for 1982) Prophets and other synthesizers. The result is something that sounds classic, yet up-to-date. But it's the extravagant, classically-styled acoustic piano work that ties it all together. Guest players on violin ("The Fiddler of Dooney") and flute add to the proceedings.

All in all, a very charming release. Fans of the likes of Flame Dream, Amenophis, Anyone's Daughter, Dragonfly, Machiavel and the like will find much to enjoy here.

Report this review (#42675)
Posted Saturday, August 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is one of the albums that stengthens the phrase ''anything that doesn't kill you,just makes you stronger''.And,since prog wasn't exactly dead meat in the 80's,we can find rare little gems in this decade.One of them is the debut album of SIRIUS,a german band of early 80's with a strong 70's sound (at least in this album).The band's major figures were keyboardist/vocalist/pianist Stefan Neubauer and keyboardist/harpsichordist/string-synthesist Stefan Papshorst.This is also a strong example of a band that is influenced by another band,that is influenced by another band.So,SIRIUS are very similar to ENGLAND,who are very similar to YES (and in a lesser extend to GENESIS

The opening track is a masterpiece.Led by the piano of Neubauer,the band delivers excellent piano- driven melodic prog very close to ENGLAND.''The fiddler of Dooney'' is the surprise of the album with additional violin strings and flute,a very good work.''Why should...'' has a very YES-related sound with masterful starting vocal harmonies,while the eponymous track goes as much close as it gets to ENGLAND and YES,but it's one of the strongest tracks of the album with beautiful keyboards,nice flutes and superb vocals for one more time.''September 1913'' delivers again melodic symph prog with great guitars by Martin Vogel similar to STEVE HACKETT's style of playing,excellent piano and amazing vocal sections.''From mountain...'' comes next and it is one of my favourites of the album,very YES-oriented and very keyboard-driven with beautiful interplays between all instruments and again the vocals are amazing and do have a leading role.''Cocooning inside'' is a romantic piano-driven instrumental piece of music,while ''The happy townland'' is a great closer,with fast guitar solos,amazing vocal harmonies and thrilling piano-guitar interplays!

Another obsure band from the 80's,SIRIUS proove that they were excellent musicians and composed some of the most insired music in 80's prog.The truth is I can't find any reason why this album can't be considered a masterpiece,hardly I can find a weak point through the album.However,due to the lack of originality it would be more fair to give this work a 4 star rating,but add a half star more cause' I'm very sensible with bands from the 80's that tried to pur progressive music.So,my final rating is 4.5 stars...Very close to a masterpice and absolutely essential!

Report this review (#192575)
Posted Wednesday, December 10, 2008 | Review Permalink

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