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Violet District


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Violet District Terminal Breath album cover
3.08 | 38 ratings | 9 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1992

Songs / Tracks Listing

- i) Fading Previews (0:45)
- ii) Lustreless Fright (5:51)
2. Ego (The Hiddened One) (0:54)
3. Anguishes Of A Scoundrell (5:10) *
- i) The Lost (5:01)
- ii) Here and There (1:52)
- iii) Hommage (0:39)
- i) Assurance (1:52)
- ii) Incomplete Tableaux (3:37)
- iii) Reprise (A Certain Sequel) (1:32)
6. Together We Fall (instrumental) (3:46) *
7. Necessary Goodbyes (5:27)
8. Age Theme (1:26)
9. The Age (4:11)
- i) Some Reverend Words (4:52)
- ii) ...Just a White Coffin (0:30)
- iii) Down and Away (3:26)
- iv) Terminal Breath (3:32)

Total Time: 46:03

* Bonus tracks, Only on CD 2000 & 2010 remasters

Line-up / Musicians

- Mischa Schleypen / lead vocals, keyboards
- Karlheinz "Kalle" Wallner / guitars
- Giselher Richter / keyboards
- Chris Postl / bass
- Christian Brenninger / drums

- Jürgen " Yogi" Lang / drum programming, organ, Moog, backing vocals, producer
- Stephan Ebner / bass
- Tim Ciasto / bass - unconfirmed
- Christian Krischkowsky / drums
- Evi Melzer, Petra Felser, Michael Hinreiner, Jürgen Lang, Monika Neuhofer / backing vocals

Releases information

CD Not On Label - GEMA CD 8619 (1992, Germany)
2xCD Tempus Fugit - 20435 (2000, Germany) Remastered w/ 2 bonus tracks & extra disc: Live at Feierwerk, Munich, 16.01.96, different cover art (filed separately as Box Set)
CD Gentle Art Of Music - GAOM005 (2010, Germany) Remastered w/ 2 bonus tracks, new cover art

LP Gentle Art Of Music - GAOM001 (2010, Germany) Limited edition sub-titled "Revisited"

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy VIOLET DISTRICT Terminal Breath Music

VIOLET DISTRICT Terminal Breath ratings distribution

(38 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

VIOLET DISTRICT Terminal Breath reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is an outstanding German neo-symphonic progressive rock album. The first thing that is noticeable are the lead vocals: they amazingly sound like Klaus Meine (SCORPIONS). 5 musicians are involved, including 2 keyboardists. The music has a very good balance between bass, drums, guitars, vocals and keyboards. The tracks are professionally recorded: the arrangements, sometimes sounding like short strokes applied on common violins, are really refined, and the rhythm is always changing. The tracks are not joyful, but I do not find them depressing. There are some percussive clean & rhythmic guitar like on JADIS' "More than meets the eye". The tracks are very varied, and they are all very progressive. Usually the tracks are not extremely complex or loaded and the rhythm is rather SLOW, so that you can clearly hear all the instruments. The keyboards are quite modern, sometimes floating, sometimes rhythmic or melodic. It must be mentioned that the atmospheric dimension provided by the miscellaneous keyboards and clean guitars is omnipresent, while amazing melodic arrangements take place, and this makes the musical style involved to be unique and VERY pleasant to hear. The lead & backing vocals are VERY emotional, insistent and varied. All the tracks are excellent! No fillers! There are some excellent melodic guitar solos, very moving and never bland.

How does it all sounds like? The songs are different from each other: the best comparison I can have is JADIS: the rhythmic guitar sounds quite alike, except it is less hard rock here; the solos are obviously less elaborated and extreme here, but nevertheless they are very good. The keyboards sound a bit like JADIS' "More than meets the eye" (Martin ORFORD), except here they are more elaborated and merge less with the rhythmic guitars, unlike JADIS' "More than meets the eye".

Don't miss the unbelievable vocals exchanges on "Some Reverend Words"


Review by hdfisch
4 stars EDITED 07/08/2005

Thanks to PROGARCHIVES I got knowledge of this interesting German band (that comes actually very close from my home town).Their one and only album is in fact quite uncommon for the NeoProg genre where most of the outputs are rather mediocre I've got to say. I have all albums by their successor band RPWL in my collection that I like very much as well. But VIOLET DISTRICT actually cannot be compared that much to RPWL since they sounded much more independently and didn't "carry their influences on the sleeve". The original material on here is recorded already in 1992, but nonetheless it doesn't sound dated at all, I'd even say it sounds better than many more recent album from this sub-genre.

The first three songs are linked to each other and obviously part of a concept. The most striking and fascinating features on this album are the awesome guitar work and the excellent vocals, especially the latter one happening not too often with German bands. The keyboard tunes are sounding nice, not too much squeezy and are applied in a decent manner to supplement the guitars without dominating. At times one gets reminded to Fish-era Marillion, but it never comes close to a mere rip-off. Hommage To The Irretrievably Lost is as well linked to the first three songs by a sample of ambient noise and like those ones a very intricate and excellent song. Assurance starts off with quiet acoustic guitar which accompanies a very nice vocal line then it changes to piano combined with electronic tunes. Here their Floyd-ian influence becomes a bit more evident. Together We Fall is a really excellent all instrumental song with great melodies. Necessary Goodbyes and The Age which are just seperated by the short instrumental introductory Age Theme are very and possibly too catchy ones. Not bad at all but especially the second one possesses a rather potential for a single hit. It segues without any break into the final long track Down And Away which is again a very good and versatile epic song with excellent guitar.

Apart of one or two slightly weaker songs this album is throughout a really excellent one in Neoprog and I'd even recommend to non-fans of this subgenre (including myself) to give it a spin. Although I think it's pretty close to be a masterpiece, I'd rather reduce my previous rating which was admittedly done in a rather enthusiastic mood to 4 (actually 4.5) stars.

Review by James Lee
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Take my review with a grain of salt, as Neo- Prog (along with Prog Metal) tends to be my least favorite side of the prog spectrum. Having said that, I must admit that "Terminal Breath" is good enough to keep me relatively impressed, if still not quite a convert. While replete with the crystalline tones of the mid-to-late 80's, VIOLET DISTRICT does more with the usual elements than almost any other band of the era; it could serve as a perfect example of what the Neo- Prog genre aspired to, and rarely achieved.

To put it into more 'mainstream' terms, the sound is roughly somewhere between "Power Windows" era-RUSH and "Momentary Lapse"-era PINK FLOYD. Sparse but textured verses trade time with heavier, metal-inflected choruses and instrumentals. The guitars switch from crisp effected arpeggios to smoothly distorted leads- all familiar territory to anyone who turned on their radio in the late 80's. The synths are typically of the digital variety, alternating between washes of bright string sounds and tinkling FM bell tones and effects, but the occasional sweeping analogue does appear from time to time. Mischa doesn't have a wide stylistic range, but his vocals are clear, solid, undeniably Teutonic (though delivering lyrics in English doesn't seem to be a problem), and sometimes surprisingly expressive. More 80's legacies include a bass which has a very plastic, almost synthetic tone (but is nevertheless well-played), and precise drums wrapped in digital reverb (less impressively played, but still more than competent). The performances are tight and each musician contributes to the whole, always focused on the song rather than showcasing their respective skills. Honestly, the real stars of the show are the subtle but ever-present details; there's frequently several little things going on, often in the way of synth effects and 'found sounds', that really give space and color to the mix without ever overdoing it.

The songs are well-structured and full of movement. The album goes by surprisingly quick but unfortunately leaves little impression on me afterwards- I had to give "Terminal Breath" a few listens before I could really distinguish passages of one song from another. "The Age" is perhaps the most immediately distinctive track; it's a great example of Neo- Prog's attempt to have the progressive rock mentality meet mainstream accesibility halfway. While it doesn't have the heart of MARILLION or the drama of IQ, I can see most fans of Neo- Prog really warming to VIOLET DISTRICT. Ultimately, the album sounds just fine to me, but I'm positive that others will be able to appreciate it much more.

Review by Trotsky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars As far as I know, this is the only Violet District album out there (there's a remastered version with live tracks too) and I think that's a good thing. Released in 1992, Terminal Breath offers a strange European neo-prog/metal-lite hybrid with the faintest of progressive touches ... that's right, like The Scorpions would if they had a good synth player!

Together We Fall, Anguishes Of A Scoundrel, Homage To The Irretrievably Lost and the epic closer Down And Away are among the better songs here but even they suffer from a poor choice of sounds, while a majority of cuts just remind me of bad 80s metal. Seriously there's one track here called The Age that's so much like lightweight 80s pop/rock, it's unbelievable.

I can't see why anybody would want to waste their time with these laughable fellows when there are so many better bands out there ... Europe and Bon Jovi for starters! Guitarist Karlheinz Wallner and bassist Chris Postl eventually resurfaced in RPWL, which is one reason people tend to investigate Violet District. I suggest they don't. Listening to this album I really felt like someone was trying to pull my leg ... except I never got the joke! ... 16% on the MPV scale

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is the only album by Violet District and in general the music is in neo prog style with nearly no surprise. Those who like Floydian guitar work combined with keyboard synthesizer at background, nice vocal in relatively medium tempo music would love this album.

The opening track, "Lustreless Fright" proves to be a good track with slow to medium tempo music in ambient nuance. Keyboard and guitar play important roles to provide the style of music. The music also combines the elements of space psychedelic which remind me strongly to Pink Floyd. After a short bridge of "Ego" the band continues its journey with fourth track "Hommage to The Irretrievably lost" which maintains the previous segment style. The music seems to flow naturally from one to another with good guitar solo mixed thinly throughout the song. The key to this album is the way guitar and keyboard combine the sounds together and produce floating music style with good guitar work.

"Assurance" explores the virtuosity of Karlheinz Wallner in playing the acoustic guitar work. The vocal enters the music smoothly and the beats are in medium tempo. The interlude showcases guitar solo backed with floating keyboard work. The next track shows faster tempo with much dynamic music but still maintaining the long sustain keyboard sounds. "Necessary Goodbyes" is a good and melodic track featuring the guitar fills and nice vocal work in mellow style.

Overall, this is a good album for those who love neo progressive music with some spacey music. The similarity of this album is close to Pendragon, Pallas, IQ and in fact some elements of Ozric Tentacles but in its simplest form. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars When you listen to this CD, there are undeniable connections with RPWL of course. Two band members form Violet District will actually found RPWL several years after the disbanding of Violet District. These were the lead guitarist and vocalist Karlheinz Wallner (the W from RPWL) and the bassist Chris Postl (his L counterpart).

Same Floydian influences (Gilmour era), nice vocal melodies and strong instrumental parts are a pleasant combination and should ensure an enjoyable listening to some neo-prog lovers.

On the other hand, there are not too many songs to write home about. The band tries to combine spacey mood with pure neo-prog sounds (Assurance) and Karlheinz is performing some very good guitar breaks (like he will use to do in RPWL as well) but these are too scarce to make this offering a good album.

Some tracks above the general level ? Anguishes Of A Scoundrel with its fully Wright oriented keyboards and the short and melodic Together We Fall.

The worst one? No doubt : Hommage To The Irretrievably Lost. It should have remained lost.

There is one highlight on this album. The long (over twelve minutes) and closing number Down & Away. Fully Floydian and bombastic, it also features the best guitar work of this album. A very good song by all means.

My rating is five out of ten, but raising it to three stars would be exaggerated.

Review by Warthur
2 stars Violet Breath's sole album can be regarded to a certain extent as a dry run for RPWL - as well as having a guitarist and bassist in common, the two groups also take similar motifs and ideas from Pink Floyd for the progressive ingredient in their light neo-prog. The difference with Violet District is that they apply a very 1980s aesthetic to things - indeed, the cover of the remaster of Terminal Breath looks like a 4AD release from the era - and that includes the production style. Interesting stuff if you are into RPWL, but I can't say it's aged well though.
Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Coming from the city of Freising near Muenchen, this German band played Progressive Rock since 1988 under the name Incubus, which they abandoned in early-90's to become Violet District.With several lives mainly in the local area they were heading for a debut album, featuring a 5-piece core with Christian Brenninger on drums, Chris Postl on bass, Giselher Richter on keyboards, Mischa Schleypen on lead vocals/keyboards and Karlheinz Wallner on guitar/vocals.The dream came true in 1992 with the self-released CD ''Terminal breath'', based on the life of a human being from the very first minutes of his birth till' his death.

Musically Violet District played a sincere, highly atmospheric Neo Prog with spacious touches, which was a basic element of the keyboard lines of many old Teutonic Prog groups.They sounded pretty dark throughout the album with odd but expressive vocals, intense MARILLION-esque acoustics and long, symphonic orchestrations along with some slight PINK FLOYD and CAMEL touches.Their true power came from the dual keyboard passages, which are delivered mostly in atmospheric and floating beams, unlike the tactics of similar-sounding groups, which was based mostly on flashy and bombastic runs.The album flows nicely with good STEVE ROTHERY-like guitar tones and a good lyrical background, avoiding the ultra-complex themes and sacrifice them in the name of a concept, which required a unique and detailed musical dressing.Moreover they did not excel on melodious themes, as they prefered to create lyrical atmospheres, spacious keyboard soundscapes and slow-paced instrumental parts, which is not a bad thing in my book and that's because they sounded pretty unique in their own way.The album offers also some sporadic references to vintage Prog with the occasional organ moves and symphonic parts, but the result is much closer to COLLAGE's ''Basnie'', which is a good reference point to have a taste of what they sounded like.

Unfortunately the later part of their history was full of line-up changes with Thomas Rueckermann replacing Brenninger shortly after the album's release, later Thomas Falkner joined the band in a 4-piece formation and in 1997 their last bassist was Robert Oschliess.The same year they disbanded with Wallner and Postl forming the Floyd-ian Art Rockers RPWL and Mischa Schleypen joining Blind Ego in 2006.

There is a CD issue out of the same album with an extra disc from a live in 1996, which contains a couple of unreleased tracks.Both issues are warmly recommended to all fans of atmospheric Neo Prog and to those who love concept works.

Latest members reviews

4 stars This is yet another band that crept up on me unexpectedly as I discovered them through learning of the existence of RPWL. Discovering this album was indeed very rewarding as the quality of some Neo bands from the 90's can always be hit or miss. The thing I enjoy about this release is the uncom ... (read more)

Report this review (#79603) | Posted by Progladyte | Sunday, May 28, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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