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Faithful Breath

Symphonic Prog

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Faithful Breath Back On My Hill album cover
3.48 | 40 ratings | 3 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1980

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Back on My Hill (5:38)
2. Keep Me Away (3:54)
3. This Is My Love Song (2:54)
4. Stick in Your Eyes (4:41)
5. Judgement Day (16:54)

Total time 34:01

Bonus track on 2007 CD release:
6. Die Mörderbiene (6:06)

Line-up / Musicians

- Jürgen Renfordt / lead & backing vocals
- Heinrich Mikus / guitar, backing vocals
- Manfred Von Buttlar / keyboards
- Horst Stabenow / bass
- Jürgen Weritz / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Heinz Dofflein

LP Sky Records ‎- SKY 038 (1980, Germany)
LP Garden Of Delights ‎- LP 032 (2017, Germany)

CD Garden Of Delights ‎- CD 134 (2007, Germany) With a bonus track

Thanks to ? for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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FAITHFUL BREATH Back On My Hill ratings distribution

(40 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

FAITHFUL BREATH Back On My Hill reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by seventhsojourn
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Back On My Hill is the title of the second album by German symphonic band Faithful Breath. Despite their 1973 debut album having been hailed in some quarters as a masterpiece, it was 1980 before the follow-up saw the light of day. Bass player Horst Stabenow quit in 1975, only to return to the band a couple of years later. In the interim, Jurgen Renfordt had been recruited as lead vocalist during 1976. The self-released single Back On My Hill, backed with Stick In Your Eyes, was released in May 1977 shortly before Stabenow's return. The new 5-piece recorded the remainder of the album in January 1978, but much legal wrangling delayed its release for a further two years.

The music on this album consists of highly melodic rock sung in English, nicely orchestrated and firmly grounded in the symphonic tradition. Certainly it's not as deep as the band's first album, with the Zeitgeist clearly having influenced the four short songs that open the album. In fact, all four of these songs plus the bonus track were released as singles in one form or another. However the epic Judgement Day had been in the band's repertoire since 1974, and at almost 17 minutes is a fully developed symphonic piece.

The title track sounds fairly mainstream (it was released as a single, remember) but consists of a lovely uplifting melody and pleasant vocals by lead singer Renfordt, whose enunciation is perfect. There's a tempo change around midway with synthesizer and guitar solos. Keep Me Away was coupled with the bonus track, Die Morderbiene, as a 12" single. This is the weakest song on the album and maybe is an early indicator of the heavy rock/metal direction the band would eventually follow.

The piano ballad, This Is My Love Song, topped the charts in Germany for several weeks I believe. This is unashamedly sentimental: 'You're the root and I'm the tree, You're the lock and I'm the key, And I love you, And I'm feeling blue'. Ok, this is incredibly twee but I've been listening to The Moody Blues for forty years, so it's not a problem for me personally. Anyway, once the Mellotron clouds float in you think it really is The Moodies. Add a Brian May- inspired guitar break and I'm carried to happy place.

Stick In Your Eyes is portrayed in great brush strokes of Mellotron and synthesizer. I'm a sucker for melodies like these no matter how commercial they sound. The final track, Judgement Day, comprised the entire second side of the original vinyl album. Some listeners may be put off by the Christian subject matter of the lyrics, but sonically it's awash with Manfred Von Buttlar's Mellotron and organ in good rapport with Heinz Mikus's guitarwork. Bonus track Die Morderbiene was the only song they wrote with German lyrics. It's quite good as bonus tracks go, with a catchy melody and plentiful synthesizer and Mellotron.

The 2007 Garden Of Delights re-issue includes a handy 32-page booklet that contains sleeve notes in German and English, full discography and numerous photos. If, like me, you're a fan of The Moody Blues and BJH this album should be right up your street. However, a word of warning to symphonic fans about their later albums. After the band broke up in 1981 Mikus and Stabenow continued with new people, and then took to wearing Viking helmets and playing heavy metal!

Review by b_olariu
3 stars 3.5 stars for sure

Faithful Breath is one of the bands from Germany from early '70s that for some reason never make it in musical realm. They begun as a pure progressive rock band on first two albums, and then from third one they shift to hard rock- heavy metal . For prog lovers, the first two releases Fading beauty from 1974 and specially the second offer Back on my hill from 1980 are to explore, I think Back on my hill is their best album. If first one had a symphony prog direction with some Eloy moves here and there, Back on my hill is far more intresting, well produce and performed then the debut. Elements of heavy prog are present for the first time and the result is a fine one from start to finish. The title track and the ending tune of the album the lenghty 16 min plus Judgement Day are winners for sure, here Faithful Breath had the best and most imaginative ideas. Very fine guitars and keyboards. On many web sites or magazines I saw that Faithful Breath is remembered as a heavy metal band, forgeting that their first two releases was progressive rock all the way. Anyway after Back on my hill they disbanded for a short period and reformed with a diffrent linup only one or two members remaining still and aswell a diffrent musical direction, the next 4 albums are in traditional teutonic heavy metal, untill they disbanded for good in 1988. Personaly this is my fav album from them and one to keep if you are a prog listner. 3.5 stars for sure, a nice one all the way. The rest of 4 releases are for heavy metal fans, that doesn't mean are bad offers only not from prog lovers.

Latest members reviews

2 stars I am probably making myself unpopular here with this review. But I think this album is a sick bag full of drivel. Where do I start ? Well, after the underwhelming title track which is firmly in AOR land, the next treats is heavy rock which sounds like a discarded song from Deep Purple's House ... (read more)

Report this review (#285880) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Thursday, June 10, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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