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REVELATION

Virus

Heavy Prog


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Virus Revelation album cover
3.62 | 46 ratings | 3 reviews | 30% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Revelation (12:14)
2. Endless Game (12:17)
3. Burning Candle (5:27)
4. Hungry Loser (10:30)
5. Nur noch zwei Lichtjahre (7:50)
6. Confusion (Bonustrack CD-Reissue) (3:18)
7. Facts Of Death (Bonustrack CD-Reissue) (3:38)

Total Time: 55:14

Line-up / Musicians

- Reinhold Spiegelfeld / bass
- Bernd Hohman / flute, vocals
- Jörg-Dieter Krahe / keybpards
- Wolfgang Rieke / drums
- Werner Monka / rhythm guitar

Releases information

1970 BASF ORC 15/CD: Spalax 14510
CD-Reissue 1997, Second Battle

Thanks to avestin for the addition
and to silly puppy for the last updates
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VIRUS Revelation ratings distribution


3.62
(46 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
30%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
33%
Good, but non-essential (30%)
30%
Collectors/fans only (4%)
4%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

VIRUS Revelation reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars eally!!!

In the early 90's race to release rare German from the early 70's, three labels raged on: Repertoire (with their big means, they managed most of Phillips and subsidiary Vertigo and much more outside the country), Ohrwaschl (who released the legendary Ohr label as well as the other legendary label Kuckuck) and Second Battle, who always seemed to get the second choice material (getting stuck with Light Of Darkness, King Ping Meh and Gift. Lately of course, Garden Of Delights have been taking most of the cake, serving us a bunch of goodies (a few less ripe though), but when comparing labels specializing into German re-issues, Second Battle always seems to get the lesser ones.

This quintet recorded just two albums, this debut by excellent producer Konrad Plank in Munich - where so much of Germany's "spacier" rock was being recorded. You might want to think of a cross of Floyd (for the heavy freak-out bouts) with some early 70's UK heavy progressive between Purple (Jon Lord for the organs) and early Sabbath (Geezer Butler on bass), or Raw Material.

The lenghty opener is a good 12-min+ improvisation based on the Stones' Paint It Black (a fave of mine and of many progheads as this was one of their most covered tracks), but this is maybe one of the best homage ever done to the track (along with metalheads Anvil and fellow early proggers Jody Grind). Endless Game (also above the 12-min mark) starts very slowly with great organs underlined by a superb and delicate guitar, being replaced gradually by a flute and bass riffs and then heavy freaking passages not far away from Floyd (around atom Heart Mother), simply great if not completely original, though!! Burning Candle is however a much shorter and harder track and can be thought of Alvin Lee jamming with Ten Years After. The 10-min+ Hungry Looser is again sensibly harder rocking, until the song breaks into a bluesy piano, and it could be the low point in the album, but hardly worth pushing the SKIP button on your remote control. The album closes on a 7-min+ psych deliria bringing you gladly back to the first few tracks. This heavyly Floyd-influenced track is simply awesome and much recommended if you are about to spark a Jamaican cigar.

They will then move to the ultra small (and now very collectible) label Pilz, but their second album (with only two original remaining members) will be a far cry from the great haunting atmosphere dominating this one. But with Virus, they struck a pretty good one, with this heavy psychedelic group specializing in lenghty space rock tracks (sometimes approaching Floyd at its spaciest) and dreamy voyage around our atmosphere. Yes, it was about time that Second Battle actually got the better release, leaving Ohrwaschl the worse one. Yes it was about time Second Battle actually released a superb album inn their re-issue series. Hardly groundbreaking but quite enjoyable.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars This VIRUS sprang up in Bielefeld, Germany in 1970 and joined in the early Krautrock world of progressive psychedelic rock mixed with some early hard rock for this debut album REVELATION that featured the quintet of Werner Monka (guitar), Jörg-Dieter Krahe (keys), Bernd "Molle" Hohmann (vocals, flute), Reinhold Spiegelfeld (bass) and Wolfgang Rieke (drums). VIRUS is notable for having two albums that emerged in 1971 with two different lineups with this one being the first. REVELATION was released on the BASF label while the second album of the year "Thoughts" was released on Pilz which was a sub-label of BASF.

While named after a pathogen, unfortunately this VIRUS was asymptomatic as the infection rate was non-existent and the band despite sticking it out until 1973 failed to infect enough hosts to survive and went the way of the seasonal flu. The two albums from VIRUS were as different as the lineups that played on them. REVELATION was the much freakier of the two with an emphasis on "A Saucerful Of Secrets" era Pink Floyd styled psychedelic jams as heard on the two lengthier openers which includes the title track and the even more tripped out "Endless Game."

The title track starts off as a one of those Floyd inspired trips around the stars but surprisingly turns into a heavy psych cover of "Paint It Black," yeah, the Rolling Stones song which the entire track is actually built around however VIRUS took a lot of creative license to make it unrecognizable for the most of the track including the classical opening notes of the Spanish artist Isaac Albeniz. The track takes wild journeys into cacophonous roars and avant-garde extremes but manages to keep within the gravitational pull of Earth's obit and morph back into the familiar melody of the Stones' famous 1966 #1 hit. Although there are scattered vocals on REVELATION, the title track is completely instrumental but done quite well.

The following "Endless Game" also displays a classical intro only this time sounding more like a fugue from J.S. Bach before a more spaced out version of Mark II era Deep Purple with some pounding organs and blues rock guitar. The addition of the heavy fluttering flute runs anchors this album to this extremely creative period of prog rock that only lasted for a few short years in the 70s. This is also one of the best tracks on the album with lots of tempo shifts, variations in dynamics and a much more heavier hitting hard rock groove with some of the most satisfying satisfying psychedelic jamming moments that sounds like Birth Control had a lysergic session with Jon Lord from Deep Purple. Think of Pink Floyd's "Echoes" and you're on the right track with this one.

The rest of the album is much more of a mixed bag. "Burning Candle" sounds like Jimi Hendrix joined in as the guitar parts exhibit his unique bluesy guitar style and along with the drums and organ really sounds like Jimi's gonna burst in and start singing at any moment. Very competently performed actually but one of the less exciting tracks due not only to the rather unoriginal approach here but also because of Bernd Hohman's weak vocal performances which thankfully are few on REVELATION. "Hungry Loser" is another gem only this time takes the Hendrix guitar licks and makes them less Hendrixy. More organ drench heavy psych that drifts into a completely spaced out escape into the a softer piano roll fueled track that contains vocals but much better than the previous awfulness. This track slinks on for over ten minutes of heavy psych and Krautrock fueled variations.

"Hungry Loser" basically morphs into the closing "Nur Noch Zwei Lichtjahre" which finds a creeping psychedelic rock groove finishing out the album with spoken narrative prose in the German language accompanying. After all is said and done, VIRUS may not have been the most glaringly original band on the block during the early Kraut days but they certainly had the chops to craft a satisfying mix of heavier blues fueled rock with nice Floydian head trips. While the few vocal performances can be a bit harsh they are few and far between and often innocuous. While it's doubtful many caught this VIRUS that resonated for the decades to follow, this period piece perfectly exemplifies the mood of the era and done quite well. Personally i like this one a lot even if it doesn't measure up to the greatness of Amon Duul II, Can or Faust.

Latest members reviews

3 stars At the beginning of the nineteen seventies there were a few German bands who made some incredible psychedelic rock. Not very experimental (like the krautrock bands) or particular original, but just great rock music. These were bands like Armaggedon, Gomorrha, Message, Hairy Chapter and Virus. Th ... (read more)

Report this review (#158180) | Posted by Agemo | Wednesday, January 9, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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