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Neuschwanstein - Battlement CD (album) cover

BATTLEMENT

Neuschwanstein

Symphonic Prog


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loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This is one of those essential gems from the fine folks at Musea. NEUSCHWANSTEIN should appeal to all fans of early GENESIS (aka "Foxtrot" era). Although they borrow liberally from the fine output of GENESIS, they do not deliver a carbon copy by any stretch of the imagination. Sounds are deep and rich in texture with superb musicianship and song writing skills. The vocalist does sound a lot like young Peter GABRIEL at times and also has a great range. Speaker separation is quite dynamic and the fine folks at Musea have done an outstanding job and reproducing and re-mixing this music. This is very clever progressive rock deeply rooted in the underground 70's philosophy. Another essential purchase to show your mom and dad!

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#5085)
Posted Saturday, March 13, 2004 | Review Permalink
Steve Hegede
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars NEUSCHWANSTEIN were a 70s German symphonic progressive rock band that released one album back in 1979. "Battlement" is a rather well-known album among prog fans due to its striking similarities with early GENESIS. Singer Frederic Joos is an absolute dead-ringer for Peter GABRIEL. In fact, most of the CD sounds like music GENESIS could have released between 1975-1980 if Peter GABRIEL and Steve HACKETT had stayed in the band. Compared to early GENESIS, NEUSCHWANSTEIN's instrumentation and recording capabilities were considerably higher, yet this German band got rather close to writing music that was equally as good as those early GENESIS classics. Even their lyric writing skills were okay (although I have to mention that some people don't care for them). The only flaw that I can point out is that once in a while certain melodies, riffs, and rhythms remind you of certain sections in classic GENESIS songs. Nothing is too blantant, but most GENESIS fans will hear the similarities. In all, ENGLAND's "Garden Shed" is still considerably better than "Battlement", yet "Battlement" will easily impress fans of GENESIS-sounding prog groups from the 70s.

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Send comments to Steve Hegede (BETA) | Report this review (#5086)
Posted Sunday, March 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
joacim.ohlund
5 stars One of the best Musea releases ever in my opinion. The music on this album is very much in the style of early Genesis with flutes á la Jethro Tull. It can also be compared to Camel around "Moonmadness" and German colleagues Anyones Daughter or Grace ("Pulling Strings and Shiny Things") also come to mind. But early Genesis is undoubtedly the most obvious comparison. The tracks are very good and well played. The only slight drawback is that the sound quality could have been better, nevertheless this is - as the previous reviewers have already confirmed - a masterpiece.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#5087)
Posted Wednesday, August 25, 2004 | Review Permalink
Prognut
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars A Lost Gem of late 70's (1978), from Germany. Sang in English. The comparison with Genesis is clear, especially when you start digging into the singer. Whom I definitively agree with James sounds like young Peter Gabriel!

The music has a Genesis aftertaste (early period). However, do not expect a Genesis clone. No guitar or synths ala Hacket/Banks, but the acoustic parts sound pretty much on that realm. Also I have to agree that Camel influence were there.....and, since their influences are 2 of my all time favs bands, I have put this CD in a very handy and special place on my collection.

A real winner, that capture the 70's sound one more time and delivers a lot of that fantastic Mellotron with a special acoustic charm!!! 5 Solid stars!!!

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Send comments to Prognut (BETA) | Report this review (#5089)
Posted Saturday, September 11, 2004 | Review Permalink
Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Whoah. I think I feel what an archeologist feels when he founds a rare piece of history. Because that's exactly what to expect here. I NEVER heard of the existence of the work that band provided. I even never heard of them as a reference in anything related to music....and that's too bad. Because we get the feeling of a 'job well done' in almost every track.

2 types of approach: the happy one and the not so happy. Titles like Loafer Jack provides flute that approaches a convention of gay sheperds. Maybe too sweet for me.

But ahh, on the not so happy side, well, the rest of the album. Cool keyboard lines Camel- style on many occasions, good drumming, heavy sliding bass. The constructions of the songs are well crafted and suppose a lot of maturity. Lots of flute and acoustic guitar, but once again, this is not a Tull/ Camel clone. The song Battlement is strangely ressembling a song by The Eels titled Beautiful Freak. Nice el-piano, sparkled like gentle snow on a cold ground.

And OF COURSE, this record holds the title of best imitation of Peter Gabriel. Man, this is really a good impersonation! Strangely, you almost get more sympathy for the album JUST because you COULD think it's really him. In my little noggin', it's a lost record starring Peter in a voice that recalls the days of Trespass. ANyway, hurray for that, the level of attachement is just higher.

Without the shadow of a doubt, these guys could've been in the big german league with Nektar, Triumvirat, Novalis and...er...who's from Germany? Litlle help?

With Locanda Delle Fate, Roverscio della Medaglia and Novalis, I vote these as Best No- Name Brand. Give it a try if you find it.

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Send comments to Menswear (BETA) | Report this review (#5090)
Posted Wednesday, December 08, 2004 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars NEUSCHWANSTEIN (the name is derived from King Ludwig II his castle in the Bavarian Alps) is an acclaimed German one-shot-band that made one outstanding, GENESIS inspired album ('78) entitled "Battlement". In the early Eighties I bought this LP during a 'prog rock pilgrimage' in the famous music store "Saturn" in Cologne (Germany), also the city where the album was recorded. The seven very melodic and harmonic compositions on the original LP feature a warm sound, pleasant shifting moods, some sensational breaks and lush keyboards (piano, string-ensemble, Mellotron, Fender Rhodes electric piano, synthesizers and organ), beautiful flute, sensitive electric guitar, twanging acoustic guitar, a decent rhythm-section and good English vocals (including a charming German accent). The Musea CD-release (from '92) contains a splendid bonus track entitled "Midsummer Day" (strong acoustic rhythm-guitar and great synthesizer play). A must for any serious '70-'77' GENESIS fan!

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#5091)
Posted Tuesday, December 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
gldragonphoen
5 stars I bought this CD based on the recommendations here. I was afraid that I'd be disappointed, but... oh boy....

Just make sure you do NOT judge this amazing group on the first song. Loafer Jack is in itself a reasonable folk-influenced song, but it is nothing special. The rest though sounds like a fantastic blend of Genesis, Camel and Marillion. On most tracks the singer indeed sounds like a clone of Peter Gabriel, although in some tracks I'm reminded more of Fish (who came to prominence after this band recorded this album). Really exquisite flute playing (reminding me of Camel's Andy Latimer more than Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson), great keyboards, overall good amd some really outstanding compositions. I do not hand out 5 stars easily, but this is an album that every prog lover should at least listen to. And if you love Seventies' Genesis and Camel, you sure will love this.

PS: I was able to get mine very quickly from a Dutch internet shop for a reasonable 18.50 euro. Send me (Dragon Phoenix) a message if you want to know where I got it.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#5092)
Posted Wednesday, January 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Wonderful album. Very melodic, excellent musicians, but definately a Genesis clone or wannabe. Maybe a bit more keyboard oriented than Genesis, and lots of flute. A thoroughly enjoyable album. The only reason it doesn't get 5 stars, is because its too much like Genesis. While thats not a bad thing, and doesn't detract from its enjoyability, for me to give 5 stars the music at least must be original, not that it sounds just like someone else. Definately a worthwhile adition to any collection.

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Send comments to rjeffreyr (BETA) | Report this review (#5093)
Posted Thursday, January 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The lead singer has a voice between Peter Gabriel and Dave Cousins (The Strawbs). The tracks are very heroic, magic and beautiful. The omnipresent combination of electric, acoustic rhythmic guitar and many keyboards parts remind me the Gandalf's "Imaginary land" album. "Loafer Jack" and "Battlement" sound a bit like Canadian prog band FM (Black Noise). "Ice with Dwal" sounds a bit like prog band Iluvatar and Steve Hackett's "Voyage of the acolyte". "Intruders and the punishment" sounds like Camel of the 70's, especially the keyboards. "Zartlicher Abschied" sounds like Gryphon's Raindance and Steve Hacket's Voyage of the Acolyte. Some interseting flute parts give a pastoral touch to the whole. All the tracks are OUTSTANDING! Only one weak point: the sound could be more crystal clear

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Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#5094)
Posted Sunday, February 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Incredible masterpiece of 70's progressive epic-symphonic rock. This Genesis/Camel/Eloy style German band (on a French CD label - Musea) sings the lyrics in English. The singer sounds remarkably like Peter Gabriel with a German accent. The music is filled with beautiful lush Mellotron, acoustic and electric guitars, flute and tasteful moog synth work similar to Genesis and Camel. The energetic drumming and bass work however, sounds more German, similar to bands like Eloy and Epidaurus. Very nice music from this incredible band. Highly recommended!!

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Send comments to dalt99 (BETA) | Report this review (#5095)
Posted Saturday, February 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
Trotsky
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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I fell in love with this album from the moment I heard it. In fact, I consider it to be among the finest albums to ever come out of (the old West) Germany. There is however one major point that needs to be taken into account ... there are countless moments over the course of Battlement that are derivative of classic Genesis (and even though it's a late 70s album it bears a lot of the hallmarks of the sound that would eventually come to be known as neo-prog and thus ends up reminding me of Marillion, who of course came later). If you are one of those who resents "clone" bands, you are not going to be able to handle Neuschwanstein's liberal use of Genesis influences. As for me, the usage of synths alone make this a band worth listening to in its own right.

The opening piece Loafer Jack sees the vocalist chose a lot of Peter Gabriel-like melodies, but it is the keyboard playing that truly shines with some lovely melodic touches (I'm not sure who is responsible as Klaus Mayer was credited with flute/synthesizers and Thomas Neuroth was credited with keyboards for this album). When I first heard this piece I assumed the rest of the album couldn't match up ... but boy was I wrong!

Ice With Dwale, with its flute and acoustic guitar intro, sounds for all the world like a moment out of Genesis' most pastoral album Trespass. It also contains some delicate piano playing, and while I'm not all that enamoured of the guitar solo, the flute solo that follows is resplendent. Lyrically too this concept album is far from weak.

After the thundering crash of the intro of Intruders And The Punishment comes a segment that will remind hard-core Genesis fans of a passage from the group's classic The Cinema Show, and here passionate vocals atop the staccato rhythms again belong wholly in the Peter Gabriel/Fish tradition. The aggressive keys/guitar moment is one of my favourite segments of the whole album and the lengthy keyboard solo that follows will remind any casual listener of Tony Banks.

Beyond The Bugle is probably my favourite piece of all. It has a melancholic intro with fluttering flute, a lively vocal section and a glorious fiery battle section which kicks in around the 4 minute mark ... this segment really caught my ear not just because it's excellent but because it sounds really original too. The daring closing synth solo is simply the icing on the cake.

The urgent Battlement has a four minute opening instrumental section that sees some more top-notch playing although again I'm less into the guitar-work than the keyboard-playing. There's a vaguely Arabic theme that keeps cropping up from time to time in this one, and I'm not quite sure what time the drummer's playing in, but it sure sounds tricky. Then an ambient vocal segment takes over before erupting into some more superb keyboard-work.

Midsummer Day is another atmospheric piece that features a lovely vocal part over some terse emsemble playing. I particularly like the flute harmonies the second time the verse comes round and the keyboard solo over the high-energy acoustic guitar segment.

The concluding instrumental piece Zartlicher Abschied is suitably "post-battle", dominated by great acoustic guitar and flute with a glorious belated entry by the keyboards. It proves to be another highlight of a fantastic album.

I suppose Battlement is like a sinful pleasure. The derivative moments don't really hold up to close scrutiny and God knows I've lambasted enough other bands for similar "plagiarism". But somehow I suspect that anyone who really loves the sound of classic Genesis will be able to forgive this. I certainly did. ... 77% on the MPV scale

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Send comments to Trotsky (BETA) | Report this review (#5096)
Posted Monday, March 07, 2005 | Review Permalink
dr.h.-p.schwa
4 stars Dear friends,

I am so much surprised, reading so many good things about our album battlement - still after such a long time. Me - I am the drummer of Newschwanstein - and I got the information by my friend, Roger Weiler, who was playing the guitar, to have a look in this web site. I must agree with almost all of your assessments. Yes, in the late seventeenth, we have been oriented to Genesis, but we never had the intention, copying that excellent group. But when you like a certan kind of musik, you cannot avoid, beeing influened of that style.

One thing is very interresting. One of the reviewer have got the opinion, that our vocalist, Frederic Joost, sings good English vocals with a charming German Accent - but he is French -that is surprising.

To read all these nice things about our music, an idea is growing up. I wished, we could have a revival with Neuschwanstein, but I am afraid, it is not very realistic, because most of us are living somewhere in Germany and France. But who knows, somtimes strange things occure.

But there is one point left. Oour manager, Ulrich Reichert, who made all these things possible with his enthusiasm, conviction and last but not least with his money, is never mentioned. I do this hereby and say thank´s for all.

Many thanks for your good opinion, friends

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#5097)
Posted Tuesday, April 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Oh, how I love this album - Neuschwanstein's "Battlement" has got to be one of the most prominent German symphonic prog releases of the 70s, and definitely, it is one of my all-time German prog releases. This band started as an instrumental quintet in the mid 70s, under the heavy influence of early 70s Genesis and following a parallel trend to that of Novalis and Eloy (a recurrent tendency toward the display of ethereal keyboard layers ands ornaments), albeit developing a more complex repertoire and having some musicians exploring their own technical skills more proficiently. There are also noticeable influences from "Moon Madness"-era Camel and, to a smaller degree, Wakeman's early solo work. During their early years, the band had already written a prog suite based on the legendary literature classic "Alice in Wonderland", which only comes to show how deeply involved Neuschwanstein was with the artsy demands of prog. Keyboardist Neuroth and flutist Mayer founded the group and in many ways acted as the leading musicians, since their instruments are the most featured in the compositions, and eventually, their only recorded album. But let's not dismiss the other members: the rhythm duo of Zimmer and Schwarz proves to be very solid through the mood shifts and odd time signatures that appear in the repertoire; meanwhile, Weiler delivers lots of fine solos and textures on his electric lead guitar, appropriately complementing the synth and/or flute in many occasions. Vocalist/acoustic guitarist Frédéric Joos entered the band when it was decided that Neuschwanstein needed to emphasize the melodic aspect of their music, and with him on board, you can tell that the band effectively benefited from that: Joos' taste for folkish sounds and evocative vocal timber (something like Gabriel-meets-Bornemann) add a new element to join the somber ambiences and pompous orchestrations that are so crucial to the band's essential sound. 'Loafer Jack' kicks off the album with a minstrel-oriented high spirit (Hermann Rarebell guests on drum kit for this one) in a very catchy manner. 'Ice with Dwale' goes to more languid places, displaying a more introspective mood: the acoustic guitar chords and flute lines are this song's main anchors. In my opinion, it is from track 3 onwards that the band's musical genius is shown up and developed to its full potential. 'Intruders and the Punishment' and 'Beyond the Bugle' display a captivating epic sensitiveness without losing touch of the melodic richness. The band works as a perfectly oiled ensemble, full of majesty and energy in these two tracks and the namesake following one, which is, IMHO, the album's apex, with Neuroth serving as a most efficient master of ceremonies with his keyboard arsenal (Moog, string synth, grand and electric pianos, mellotron, organ). 'Battlement' comprises some of the most somber segments in the album, as well as some of the dreamiest passages, all of them matched together with immaculate fluency. The penultimate song is the bonus 'Midsummer Day', which brings back some of the romantic vibe of track 2, but with a slightly enhanced tension that is pretty much related to what we found in tracks 3-6. The guys of Musea were clever enough to leave the original closer 'Zärtlicher Abschied' as the CD's final track, since it works effectively as such. This is an amazingly beautiful instrumental that mixes the splendorous magnificence of standard symph prog and the joyful nuances of folk music: its celebratory spirit is undeniably irresistible, right from beginning until the ending fade-out. The delicious dialogues of flute and synth and the melodic elements occasionally provided by the lead guitar are perfectly sustained on the rhythm section and the harmonic basis laid by the acoustic guitar. Delicious!, really delicious! My overall rating for "Battlement" lies somewhere between 4 ˝ and 5 stars: that is, much more than just excellent and pretty much close to the masterpiece level, so I'll round it up to 5.

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#5098)
Posted Wednesday, April 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
hallhill4@net
4 stars Let's call it 4 3/4 stars! This is as close as any will come to listening to classic Genesis without Mr.'s Gabriel, Banks, Hackett et. al. A superb album that will take you back to 1972 on a most pleasant journey through colonies of slippermen, past the watcher of the skies, over the white mountain, into the twilight alehouse where supper is ready! If you ever wished for a Genesis studio album between Foxtrot and Selling England by the Pound, this is as close as you are likely to get. Enjoy.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#37290)
Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
chessman
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I have been reading about this cd on this site for over a year now, and been very interested in hearing it. Well, now I have purchased it, and have to say it is, indeed, very good. As I expected, there are Genesis influences here, (and they are my favourite all-time band) but maybe not quite so many as some people think. Frederic Joos does sound quite like Gabriel, especially on the first three tracks. 'Loafer Jack' is a bright, uptempo, flute driven song, catchy and melodic. One of my favourites. 'Ice With Dwale' sounds to me almost like something off 'From Genesis To Revelation', mainly because of the piano work, I think. Another excellent song. 'Intruders And The Punishment' is also very good. Nice keyboard work here, with urgent, hoarse vocals from Joos. Again, very Gabriel-like, although his German accent is more noticeable here. 'Beyond The Bugle' is a slower track, with some nice flute and acoustic guitar work. The flute, at times on this album, sounds more like Ian Anderson than Peter Gabriel. This is a good song, as is the next one, the title track, 'Battlement'. Bass player Reiner Zimmer takes the vocal duties on this, and does a respectable job, having a quiet but pleasant voice. Another slow track, and another nice one. 'Midsummer Day' is the bonus track, which is, for me, probably the weakest song on here. Nevertheless, it is not actually bad, but Joos does not sing this one so well, he strains a bit to reach the higher parts, and sounds less like Gabriel. Finally we have the only track with a German title, Zartlicher Abschied, which is, in fact, an instrumental, and one very much in the Genesis vein, especially from the 'Selling England/The Lamb' period. Nice keyboards again, some effective acoustic guitar strumming, and a simple but decent mid-tempo melody. A good ending to a strong album. Personally, I think it not so much like Genesis as, say, Citizen Cain, but it is definitely worth having on its own merits, and would be interesting even if Genesis had never existed. Gabriel-era fans will like it.

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Send comments to chessman (BETA) | Report this review (#62685)
Posted Sunday, January 01, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars To see how things are, while some people seems to love this record, I particularly think it's without personality, with good arrangements but not aggressive, not mind- blowing, nothing sounds new here. It seems a good release by Genesis, a good record to follow "Selling England By the Pound". Is funny as Phil Collins and etc. are able to imitate Peter Gabriel, and Neuchwanstein vocalist really does the job. It's a good and pleasant record, but if the vocalist had his own voice and singing I could give at best four stars, there's a lot of melodies from Selling England by the Pound. And surely they heard a lot "sommerabend" by Novalis, you know what I mean by the riff on six track. After listen this one, listen Triumvirat, then, StarCastle and look for a Jethro tull clone.

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Send comments to Rafael In Rio (BETA) | Report this review (#63929)
Posted Monday, January 09, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars This album should win an award. That being 'THE MOST OVERATED ALBUM IN THE HISTORY OF PROGRESSIVE ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!'.

I purchased this cd over 10 years ago because of all the praise and references to Genesis. I hear no Genesis influence at all, early or mid-period. It sounds like most 2nd tier obscure prog bands of the seventies.

It has beautiful melodies. It has a very fluid sound, very much unlike Genesis they have no dynamic. The production is fair. The package and booklet are great as are all Musea releases. The vocals are weak and often out of key.

Reading the reviews on this site the praise goes on. I have friends who also revere this album as a lost gem. Don't get me wrong, it is a beautiful progressive rock album, but no where near the classic folks claim it to be. I think I would enjoy it more if it were not so over hyped.

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Send comments to zx2781 (BETA) | Report this review (#70107)
Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It's probably the culmination of early Genesis music with more emphasis on classical music root. Take for example the opening track "Loafer Jack" it reminds me to the Gabriel's vocal quality with classical music through the sound of pan pipe like those used by Syrinx in Moraz - Syrinx collaborative work "Coexistence" (see my review of this album at this site). Of course this album would favor those who love early Genesis (Gabriel era) music as the style is similar. "Ice with Dwale" also reminds me to the music of Genesis with different textures especially on the use of flute / pan pipe and the way acoustic guitar is played as rhythm section.

Track 3 "Intruders and The Punishment" bring the music into a more complex composition with excellent keyboard work and mellotron-like sounds. The keyboard work takes a step further than those which was played by Tony Banks in Genesis. The vocal quality is rather similar to Cyrus of CITIZEN CAIN than Peter Gabriel even though both are similar. The keyboard solo is stunning. "Beyond The Bugle" has a very powerful opening with acoustic guitar fills combined with keyboard and flute-work. One might think that this is what Genesis would sound like if Gabriel did not quit the band after "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway". This track is very close with Genesis music even though it's much simpler than Genesis composition.

The intro part of "Battlement" reminds me to the music of Mike Oldfield especially on its long sustain keyboard solo at opening. Keyboard takes the largest contribution for this track. Vocal only appear at the ending part of the track. The other two tracks follow the style of previous tracks :"Midsummer Day" and "Zartlicher Abschied".

Overall, this is a good album in the vein of early Genesis music. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#73734)
Posted Saturday, April 01, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Attention fellow proggers! We have been dealt a severe injustice. And that is........

...THESE GUYS ONLY RELEASED ONE RECORD !

If, all these years ago, like me, you 'cut your teeth' on Genesis-type chops, then "Battlement" is going to blow you away. But no, this isn't simply a copy-cat effort of times gone by. Neuschwanstein have composed some of the most appealing and moving lush symphonic progressive sounds I have heard in a long while. So, let's indulge in some 70's nostalgia.

Shrouded in beautiful flute, piano ripples, and garnished with flowing Hackett-type guitar passages with mellotron in abundance, this is a very accomplished piece of work from a group of very talented musicians who've obviously put a great deal of thought and imagination into the well-written songs and music.

Meticulously structured with nothing out of place, the Gabrielle-sounding vocals (in faultless English) compliment throughout.

Every track's a gem, but if I were pushed, special mention would go to 'Midsummer Day' with it's driving theme, which, in the final two minutes, is brought to a stunning, all instruments blazing, explosive climax. A classic track!

A well deserved four-and-a-half stars, but, because of the emotionally interspersed 'lump in the throat' and heart-stopping moments of sheer pleasure.....5 stars!

Symphonic prog heaven!

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Send comments to Ewan (BETA) | Report this review (#80918)
Posted Sunday, June 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
el böthy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I love this album...and I love the fact it's the only album the band ever did...that always gives them a certain mystery, you know? From the reviews in PA I thought it was going to be good...but I was surprised!!! This music is just what I needed: SYMPHONIC THRUE AND THRUE!!!

It's really a shame when people talk about Neuschwanstein as another Genesis-clone-band... they are not! The fact is that the singer sounds so much like Gabriel that people puts them in that box immediately. What a pity, cause the music (although naturally influenced) does not sound like Genesis. The keys are more bombastic, the instrumental sections are more powerful and lyrics are not in the Gabriel fashion at all. All songs are great, and the bonus track, an instrumental, is also very good.

The stand outs in this album are Loafer Jack for its acoustic beauty and great flutes, Intruders and the punishment for its power, keys and execution, Beyond the bungle, Battlement and Midsummer day... hehehe I just named 5songs out of 6 (7 if you consider the bonus track part of the album)...

Extremely recommended to any symphonic fan!!! You can't miss this one!!!

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Send comments to el böthy (BETA) | Report this review (#82369)
Posted Saturday, July 01, 2006 | Review Permalink
johan.deseyn@
5 stars An excellent album. It sounds sometimes like the early Genesis, which - in my opinion - is very good, because I love the kind of music they made. It is a MUST for all those in favour of the early Genesis-period. I also dedected a small portion of Jethro Tull... after having listened several times to Battlement, I was very sad to come to the knowledge that is was the only (master)piece of work from a very capable band. To me - knowing this music was written and played in the mid-seventies (I was 16 then) - it truely is a masterpiece.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#94719)
Posted Monday, October 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
infandous@exc
3 stars 3 1/2 stars, really!

Okay, so this band and album REALLY sounds like PG Genesis. So what? They do a fantastic job with beautiful melodies and nice arrangements. Overall a quite good find of an album, though I would never call it a masterpiece. It is a shame this band was unable to continue on and find their own sound and create a masterpiece of their own. They certainly sound like they had it in them. In any case, don't expect something totally original and you won't be dissapointed, especially if you are a fan of groups that sound like a continuation of PG Genesis (what can I say? these types of bands are a guilty pleasure for me). I want to give it 4 stars, but feel that in the scope of this site I can only reallly give it 3 1/2. Since that score is not an option, I give it 3. But I think it could be considered essential if you love early Genesis and want to hear more music done well in that style.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#94723)
Posted Monday, October 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!!

In some ways this very anecdotic (if not historically insignificant) release is probably stylistically fairly important, because it links the late 70's symphonic rock to the mid-80's neo-prog. Artistically, Neuschwanstein's lone record is hardly a success, as they are more a clone of Genesis with a few borrowings to BJH and at times later 70's Strawbs (the singer's voice is cross of Gabriel style, Fish intonations and Dave Cousin's delivery), giving us a shameless ultra-symphonic prog that fits well what was done in those years in Continental Europe (France's Pulsar and Atoll, Germany's Epidaurus, Belgium's Nessie and Isopoda) and elsewhere (Quebec's Eden).

Not wanting to sound too harsh on the group because clearly the work involved and the playing are more than acceptable, but clearly this album is not looking to innovate but rather hoping to capitalize on already broken grounds. And these guys are unashamedly romantic, from their name (taken from a medieval castle) to their artwork (a castle ruin overlooking a grandiose solitary scenery) and their ultra symphonic sound (Mayer loads the album with his flute and when not, he overloads the strings synths), they are not afraid to lay it on thick, a bit like if the jam layer was thicker than the bread slice it lay upon. Oversweet? Certainly to this old dog, which would prefer to listen to something more offensive to the ears in order to stay awake and alert. Some have rumoured this album to be folky (as in medieval rather than Celtic, I guess), but I assure you that this Folk Prog Specialist heard NOTHING of the genre. This is strictly a symphonic beast, and not a rare and invaluable species either. And there are no major highlights on this album with all tracks of a relatively even quality (well the first two tracks, I found them limit-irritating, but that is colours and tastes) and good emphasis on the instrumental parts.

If this was not an obscure German record (well two members were most likely French, one from Alsace and the other of Flemish descent seeing their names >> Weiler and Joos) that sunk without much trace (given the era's musical context, but the album's overall relevance or innovation as well), you would swear that Marillion heard this record and were cloning Neuschwanstein and if you are into this form of music, chances are you love this one. So if you are a sweet music junkie, melt this one into syringe and shoot it intravenously and you should have your dose for the next year. Maybe the only prog record that comes with a doctor's ordinance. Pleasant nevertheless once every decade, but more than that, the overdose is bound to make you a diabetic proghead.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#110374)
Posted Friday, February 02, 2007 | Review Permalink
tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover Team
5 stars A riveting treasure that had vanished from the scene for more than 15 years , the meteoric CD phenomenon 's overhaul and the renewed worldwide interest in prog combined to resuscitate this one-shot wonder from total oblivion. What a thrill to rediscover this mythical recording , a symphonic meisterwerk that brings back the glory days of Genesis (with a good Gabriel clone ) and the sublime spirit of Camel (heavy doses of wondrous flute). When Musea's musical archeologists dug out this CD in 1992 , it was universally acclaimed from Argentina to Japan. "Battlement" is a timeless star, very non- German (certainly far from Kraut) featuring gushing eruptions of Mellotron, delicate acoustic guitar arpeggios blending with soaring flute flights , a relentless and busy rythm section , crowned by Frenchman Frederic Joos' fluid voice honoring the great Foxtroter. The songs are all quite brilliant and emit a heady sense of nostalgia (which is why we love prog in the first place), as this was recorded in 1978 when prog was being assassinated by the punk cynics. The track "Intruders & the Punishment" is a spinetingling treat, liberally sprinkled with Big G spices and overflowing with a shimmering mood that is quite intoxicating. So if you are looking for a unique one-shot wonder from the hallowed vaults , this is a surefire pick that deserves a place in any collection. 5 rhine castles

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Send comments to tszirmay (BETA) | Report this review (#119137)
Posted Friday, April 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars If you like GENESIS i'm sure you'll like this record. NEUSCHWANSTEIN's vocalist sounds very similar to Peter Gabriel and the use of flute, acoustic guitar and synths does bring to mind the early period of GENESIS. There's a beautiful picture on the back of the album cover of a Grecian lake in mist.

"Loafer Jack" is an upbeat song while my favourite tune on here is "Ice With Dwale". It opens with acoustic guitar and flute with drums and keys following to create a full sound. The guitar is good 3 minutes in. "Intruders And The Punishment" is uptempo with beautiful mellotron waves coming and going throughout. The keys and drums dominate. "Beyond The Bugle" has more great mellotron and a really nice full sound 3 minutes in. And check out the bass playing ! Nice.

"Battlement" features the bass player on vocals but he doesn't sing until 4 minutes in. "Midsummer Day" was recorded with these other songs, but never released with the original album because they felt it was too commercial sounding. This song is a bonus track on the edition I have. There is some JETHRO TULL-like flute melodies on this one. This is an excellent tune and it's quite uplifting 6 minutes in. "Zartlicher Abschied" is an instrumental with acoustic guitar, flute, drums and lots of keys.

As much as I enjoyed this record it really doesn't eclipse too many of my other GENESIS sounding albums that I own. Yes it's excellent but not essential in my opinion.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#119667)
Posted Wednesday, April 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I guess everyone agrees to say that "Neuschwanstein" plays Genesis-oriented music. When I discovered this lost album from the German prog scene I couldn't believe what I heard. Of course, this happened only three years ago and I was jsut hungry on some old Genesis sounds I guess. If you are in the same situation as I was, no doubt that you will be fully charmed by this album.

If you are amongst the hard and old school not tolerating any incursion in the repertoire of this great band then, just skip this album. You'll only be angry and bitter about it.

The comparision is absolutelly inevitable throughout the whole of this album.

The powerful keyboards during "Loafer Jack" and even more in "Intruders and the Punishment" will remind you the instrumental part of "Cinema Show". The latter is really fantastic. A clone maybe, but such a good one. I strongly recommend this song to ANY open-minded Genesis fan. A fantastic and emotional voyage, a song as "Ice with Dwale" has more of the Trespass mood. Almost acoustic and incredibly melodic. Very emotional vocals. Oh, yes. I forgot to tell you. The singer. He sounds almost as Peter. Would you believe ?

It might be of course a bit monotonous that their main source of inspiration is limited to "Cinema Show" like again in "Battlement". Althought this song includes some great guitar work, fabulous mellotron but the general mood is again the same. It is the third time so far on this album (out of five songs).

"Midsummer day" was unreleased and available as a bonus track. IMO, it should have remained unreleased although it features some nice flute moments.

The closing number "Zärtlicher Abschied" couln't have better named "Sweet Au Revoir". Indeed. A superb Trespass-esque song. Full of flute, acoustic guitar, and wonderful keyboards while the rhythm catches up. Do I need to tell which song it reminds me ? A great summary for this very good album.

This is a very pleasant record although not excessively original of course. A good sideway to remind the masters if you need it (and I do need it frequently). Superb keys all the way through and these vocals do have something ...poignant. This album is of course full of nostalgia, when you listen to it now. But remember that this record was released in 1978. It might well be the godfather of the neo-prog genre (if the definition available on PA is correct, but I think it is).

Four stars. Only because of the too obvious link. Do play it more than once in a decade, you won't suffer any overdose. Even if you are a diabetic proghead, like I am (unfortunately).

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#132330)
Posted Wednesday, August 08, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Definetively one of my symphonic prog favourite albums.

This was the first and last album of Neuschwanstein. With undeniable similarities with Genesis music of the early 70's the truth is that Neuschwanstein music can fly with their own wings! Mixing heavy prog parts with emphasys on keybaords and guitars with spacy sections leaded by flute and synthesizers, all the tracks are really gems, most of them mini epics with constant changes, crescendos and beautiful closing sections. From the folky and happy "Loafer Jack" to the powerful instrumental "Zärtlicher Abschied" the album sounds consistent and solid, with wonderful instrumental sections, good lyrics and the impressive "gabrielistic" vocals of Frederic Joos.

Even when all the tracks are really great, my favourites are the beautiful, sad and floating "Battlement" and the powerful and symphonic "Intruders and the Punishment" and "Beyond the Bugle", two excellent prog pieces full of complexity, little details and excellent instrumental and vocal sections.

Really, a masterpiece necessary in any prog collection...

4.8*

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Send comments to progadicto (BETA) | Report this review (#143744)
Posted Thursday, October 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog-Folk Team
2 stars I have heard from unofficial sources that this album is/was the best seller in the Musea catalog. When I listen I hear a failed Genesis clone from the Selling England/Lamb era, especially in the vocals and keyboards. Failed because, with a few exceptions, it does not approach the songwriting, colour and dynamics of the late PG era of Genesis.

An example of what Neuschwanstein was striving for can be discerned in "Intruders and the Punishment", which is a pastiche of "Cinema-Show styled motifs that is more absorption than inspiration, and it shows. "Beyond the Bugle" fuses those influences with kraut rock and does not improve upon the formula. Only in "Ice with Dwale", thanks to luscious flutes, acoustic guitars and electric guitars, and the similarly emotive bonus track "Midsummer Day", do they come close to expounding upon a melodic majestic mission. But I suspect this might be coincidental; otherwise the worthwhile material would total better than 2 tracks out of 7.

If you care mostly about Genesis style instrumentation and voice, you could do much worse than to grab this Musea reissue, but if you want to get the sense that a band can stand on its own both in style and substance, you may want to pick a battle meant more for your tastes.

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Send comments to kenethlevine (BETA) | Report this review (#147303)
Posted Friday, October 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
ExittheLemming
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars The State of Complete Bafflement v Neuschwanstein

The case for the defense

The musical soil in 1978 was not remotely fertile enough ground to support delicate blooms such as this German species 'Retroproggessiva Teutonica' and their short-lived tenure is testament to the ruthless pruning policy adopted by the punk movement towards progressive rock in general which came to resemble 'Year Zero' Maoist fervor.

All these guys can play, record and compose extremely complex and challenging music extraordinarily well but if their career timing had been as well honed as their musical one, things may have worked out very differently.

The case for the prosecution

Of all the Genesis wannabe bands I have heard, this lot really do take the proverbial biscuit in terms of sheer unashamed brazen duplicity. They even make Marillion sound innovative. It is not beyond the realms of probability that in a blindfold test, someone with even a respectable and detailed knowledge of the Genesis repertoire, would be hard pressed to tell the difference between Reiner Zimmer and Peter Gabriel. The impersonation really is quite uncanny, and assuming that Mr Gabriel has heard same, must give the latter a dose of the 'creeps' for sure.

To further compound their sins, Neuschwanstein's compositions are actually really good and do not, as far as I can tell, plagiarise the actual musical content of Genesis, which brings us to the burning questions:

1 - Why seven musicians as talented as this wasted a large portion of their youth and creative energy by painstakingly and slavishly mimicking their English heroes ?

2 - What did Neuschwanstein sound like when they were impersonating Neuschwanstein ?

I for one would love to have heard the results of number 2.

The greatest Genesis tribute band of all time who did all their own material.

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Send comments to ExittheLemming (BETA) | Report this review (#169839)
Posted Sunday, May 04, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars OK, So it looks like Neuschwanstein said, Let's make an album that sounds EXACTLY like classic Genesis, and then they did just that. Now, if you are like me, and you cannot get enough of Genesis from that era (Foxtrot, Nursery Cryme, Selling England by The Pound), then this is a GREAT thing. Because Neuschwanstein did an incredible job. Not only do the sound like Genesis in terms of instrumentation and song-writing, but the singer sounds freakishly like Peter Gabriel!

Some people cannot enjoy this album because it sounds so much like Genesis. But that is precisely why I love it. I don't care if it doesn't have an original personality. I'm the first to say they copied their sound. But they wrote entirely new songs, and the songs are great.

The way i look at it is like this. What this album lacks in originality, it more than makes up for with quality.

4 and a half stars.

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Send comments to peskypesky (BETA) | Report this review (#172915)
Posted Tuesday, June 03, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars This band is a copy (I avoid the word rip-off because of its derogatory connotations) of Peter Gabriel era Genesis, but in spite of this I don't think any Genesis fans would be disappointed by this album.

A lot of the songs or on par with those Genesis releases and it's as if suddenly we've been given the present of an undiscovered complete release, lost in the vaults somewhere perhaps.

This album was released in 1978, and what we have here is an album consisting of individual songs that sound as if they're meant to represent different eras of Genesis from Trespass through to Selling England, but with a distinct emphasis towards Trespass. I mean that positively, I enjoy Tresapss quite a lot more than some tracks on Foxtrott of Nursery Cryme.

We have a singer, who sounds uncannily like Peter Gabriel, during the time of Trespass, and I mean much more than Fish or others ever sounded. It's so much like the real thing except that there's a very slight hint of an accent. As this was a German band, I was surprised to learn that apparently the singer was French. Very strange, because I could have sworn that he's got a slight German accent. Really quite puzzling. But otherwise incredibly close. He actually seems to sound naturally like PG, not trying to copy him.

As for the Guitarist: It's amazing, but he sounds as if Hackett were already playing on Trespass, with lines flowing in and out of the themes just as Hackett used to do.

The keyboarder has one thing going in his favour: He creates a beautifully lush Tony Banks background without his obtrusiveness that came into evidence later, at the same time being able to put in a few fantastic solos and filling some spaces with flowing synthesizer passages.

The bass and drums are mixed into the background and fulfil their purpose there more than adequately, although I can hear that especially the drummer lacks some of the intricacies that Phil Collins managed to insert so well. But this is hardly noticeable.

But the thing that makes me relish this release so much is the production. It was 1978 after all, and production had improved greatly between then and what was possible during the early '70s, so what we have here is something akin to an early Genesis release with sound that would have been impossible at that time.

If you're put off by copyists, then stay away, but you'd be missing a lot, but is you do decide to have a listen, I'm sure you'd be in for a very pleasant ride.

I give this album four stars, without any hesitation at all.

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Send comments to npjnpj (BETA) | Report this review (#182258)
Posted Friday, September 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Well, how could I have missed this prog gem for so long? In fact, a few weeks ago I´d say I had never heard of them. Thanks to PA I got to know the band and bought this CD. Now I can say it´s truly a lost album that any 70´s prog fan should discover too. It is unfortunate that those guys released only one LP (and in 1979 - worst timing for a prog release ever!). But this interesting combo from Germany still managed to do a great job.

Ok, the first impression is the similarities they have from early Genesis, especially the opening track Loafer Jack. It could have come from Nursery Cryme! I was amazed by how french singer Frédéric Joos can sound exactly like Peter Gabriel: in fact, it could really be him! Good song, good interpretation, but also highly derivative. Fortunatly, the next tracks are quite different and show a band that obviously had a strong Genesis influence but also had a knack for writing good tunes and was developing a personality of its own. The title song, for exemple, owns it´s structure more to Jethro Tull than to Gabriel & co (thanks to the flute breaks and also to the bassist vocals on this track). All band members are of course very skilled and the production was perfect for this type of music. In fact, it was actually better than some of their idols albums! Great guitar and keyboards runs, nice acoustic breaks and a dynamic rhythm section are the trademarks of this tight band. The songs are varied, with lots of shifting moods, good vocals, strong hooks. No fillers anywhere.

The reissue includes the good track Midsmmer Day, that was recorded at the same time as the original LP, but it was not released. The remastering was very well done, I must say: you can hear every instrument and voice. Which, of course, enhances their outstanding musicanship even more. Musea did a fine job on the booklet too including liner notes, lyrics and a brief, but well written history of the group with some pictures. Of historical interest: Scorpions drummer at the time, Hermann Rarebell, played on one track.

If you´re into 70´s classic prog music in general - and early Genesis in particular - you should not miss this one. A great work of a band that surely could deliver much more, if only they had come out earlier (or much later). But Battlement is still an excellent addition to any prog music collection. 4 stars.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#182856)
Posted Friday, September 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Neuschwanstein second album to date from 1978, after their musical adaptation of Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland from 1974, entitled Battlement is a real joy to listen, from capo al fine. One of the true lost gems of german symphonic prog of the '70's. The music is like everybody observed Genesis meets Camel and even Eloy in places , specialy on vocal parts. But besides this influences this album is a good one in every way with a lots and fine keyboards arrangemets, synthesizers who sound very inteligent for such an unknown band. They've taken the name after King Ludwig castel from Bavarian Alps . The voice reminds me of Gabriel and even in places as I said with Eloy's voice Bohreman. Every single piece from here is a winner, from acustic instrumentation to explosive keys with guitar interplays, this album is a good aquire for every serious listner. The fact that some of the reviewers considered this a Genesis clone, that don't bother me at all, I'm realy impresset by this lost treasure of the late '70's. So all in all an excellent addition to every collection, a real surprise for me, in a good sense. Recommended.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#191610)
Posted Wednesday, December 03, 2008 | Review Permalink
Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars Anyone listening to Battlement for the first time cannot fail to notice the similarity between vocalist Frederic Joos and Peter Gabriel. The Genesis comparisons don't end there either; Neuschwantein musically also tread similar ground to the English symphonic prog legends in the Gabriel era, though less complex, particularly in the rhythm department. Hans-Peter Schwarz though no slouch holds a steadier beat most of the time compared to Phil Collins dextrous excursions. The use of Flute also adds to the Genesis comparisons.

Released in 1978, Battlement is the second album from this German Symphonic prog band and pretty good it is too. Loafer Jack however is not the most impressive of openers with its simple melody and structure for the most part, though a keyboard dominated instrumental break adds some interest. From here though things get more interesting with all the rest of the tracks being longer than Loafer Jack though no epics, most being around the 7 minute mark but long enough for the band to add some enjoyable instrumental sections. There's some nice use of acoustic guitar (Frederic Joos again) and enjoyable keyboard work in seventies tradition from Thomas Neuroth; a fine player indeed.

One of the best tracks is Intruders And The Punishment with its many changes, enjoyable melodies and long instrumental passages. Joos despite sounding like Gabriel does however lack his character and has a weaker voice, thus leading to the vocals being the weakest area not only here but elsewhere on the album. No such problem on title track Battlement with its long opening haunting instrumental section before vocal duties are passed to bassist Rainer Zimmer.

Overall then an enjoyable listen though I'm not blown away by it. A band that are worth checking out for fans of seventies symphonic prog, particularly if you like early Genesis.

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Send comments to Nightfly (BETA) | Report this review (#209504)
Posted Wednesday, April 01, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Thank you all for your enthusiasm in our music we made in 1978, naturally influenced by all these wonderful music during this period. Some people may say and said: "Hey, this CD sounds like Genesis." But the CD is not the original music, the musicians recorded on tape. The CD is a remix. Remixed by a nice producer and a Genesis fan. Without the intention, the charme and this unmistakable sound of the seventies. So, if you can, hear the vinyl. Only on vinyl "Battlement" is truthful.

And here are the news: In 2009, composer and keyboarder Thomas Neuroth and flutist Klaus Mayer revitalized the band. With a new lineup they are working on a new album, which will be released in spring 2010. Inspired by life and death, happiness and tragedy. Lyrical, rock, symphonic.

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Send comments to comp of nss (BETA) | Report this review (#243861)
Posted Friday, October 09, 2009 | Review Permalink
seventhsojourn
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5 stars Battlement (1978) by German band Neuschwanstein has drawn many comparisons with Genesis. I personally think such comparisons are a little unfair, although there can be little argument that main singer Frederic Joos sounds like Peter Gabriel. Uncannily so. Whether or not the Genesis comparisons are justified, the music here is of such quality that I'll happily overlook any similarities. Neuschwanstein includes twin keyboard players and guitarists, which ensures the sound is richly endowed with more tones, textures and timbres than I can do justice to in my descriptions. Throw in a whopping great dollop of woodwinds and an imaginative rhythm section and you've got all the ingredients for a classic '70s Prog album. Plus, of course, some great songs. There are seven in total here and all but one are in the 6- to 7-minute category.

The album opens with the rather jaunty Loafer Jack, a very commercial sounding little song with sing-along melody and catchy woodwind flourishes. As with much of the material here the synthesizer features prominently, although we also hear tasteful electric guitar and organ that seem to have Genesis written all over them. Now here's an example of where I'm often guilty of something. In my introduction I question whether so-and-so sounds like someone else, then I immediately go on to compare them to that very artist! However, I don't believe Neuschwanstein are clones of Genesis (or Marillion for that matter, who they pre-date in any case!). Anyway, it's another 'don't do' for my future reviews. Ice With Dwale begins in pastoral manner, again with flute and acoustic guitar. Fizzing electric guitar and rippling piano then pick up the baton to introduce the main part of the song. This is another very accessible tune, with vocalist Joos sounding so much like Gabriel it's kinda freaky. Mellotron and drums erupt at the start of Intruders And The Punishment, soon joined by berserk synthesizers (with Klaus Mayer playing like the man possessed!). Thanks to the presence of the two keyboard players the overall sound is very lush, with Mellotron and synthesizer pouring out of every orifice. Beyond The Bulge has a brooding intro that once again showcases Mayer's wonderful flute playing. This song is heavily laden with Mellotron- strings, but it's the all-too brief Mellotron-choir around midway that has me hitting the repeat button every time I listen. What an incredible sound, both scary and beautiful at the same time.

Bass player Rainer Zimmer does the singing on the title track, which is also the only song on the original disc not to feature Mellotron. Zimmer wrote the lyrics for this one, which is the reason he gets to sing them I guess. For the record, Weiler wrote the words on all other songs. Zimmer's voice is pleasant enough, subdued and certainly lacking the drama of Frederic Joos. However given the subject matter of the song it's entirely appropriate: 'The Duchesse of Kirkcaldy sings a song for the Scottish Queen, Who is dying on the scaffold, dying on the scaffold, Bagpipes singing a dead song over the battlement'. These lyrics refer to a fictional character taken from a song on The White Album. This song includes lashings more synthesizer, but it's the Thomas Neuroth electric piano and Roger Weiler electric guitar duet that dominate the track. The next song, Midsummer Day, is an example of that most uncommon of beasts, the worthwhile bonus track. I'll go as far as to say this is the best track on the album, so 'thank you' to whoever was responsible for the song's inclusion. Anyway, Midsummer Day is colossal. Guitar and synthesizer take the melody in turns and it claws at your guts, but in a beautiful way!! After a few minutes the song speeds up, with flute and bass exchanging phrases, before it fades out. After the briefest silence we hear something resembling a child's musical box, then the song reprises with some gusto! Frederic Joos spits in Paddy's eye with an aggressive vocal and the synth/guitar melody repeats to a finish. Awwwsumm! The final track could have been an anti-climax after this song, but it successfully manages to avoid falling into that trap. Zartlicher Abschied is an instrumental constructed around different tempos and moods and seems to feature every instrument in the Neuschwanstein armoury. You won't hear any complaints from me though. Sometimes more is more!

This is my favourite album to come out of Germany and it's also my favourite from the year 1978. The songs are all very approachable, carefully crafted and wonderfully orchestrated with a lush sound that contains lots of what my wife calls 'twiddly bits'. 5 stars.

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Send comments to seventhsojourn (BETA) | Report this review (#270960)
Posted Wednesday, March 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars A bit overrated late 70s german symphonic prog album. Stylistically its a bit in early 70s Genesis style, but with some marks typical for other mid and late 70s German groups like Novalis, Eloy or Anyones Daughter. Singer is pretending to be much Gabriel like, although with a bit cheesy german accent (but not so tragic like in case of Eloy) and sometimes is a bit out of key too. Another small flaw for me is the somehow sterile production, there is too much hall added in the mix and overall the dynamics is a bit lacking in the sound. Otherways the sound of the album is very bold and warm. But overall its a pleasant and melodic album to listen, with many nice moments, but not very intriguing and without originality like many other german symphonic progrock groups from this era. Especially the old analogue synths are very present everywhere, so keyboard afficionados will sure like this album. Other musicians dont stand very much out. Nice album, but only for folks who have all other more essential 70s symphonic rock albums. 3 stars...

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Send comments to Obersturmbannprogger (BETA) | Report this review (#827407)
Posted Monday, September 24, 2012 | Review Permalink

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