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Blank Manuskript

Symphonic Prog

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Blank Manuskript Tales from an Island - Impressions from Rapa Nui album cover
3.79 | 43 ratings | 4 reviews | 23% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Breath of the Island (2:10)
2. Voyage (4:24)
3. Society (7:26)
4. The Great War (5:00)
5. After the War Part I (2:18)
6. After the War Part II (5:40)
7. The Cult of Birdman (12:26)
8. The Waiting (4:22)

Total Time 43:46

Line-up / Musicians

- Christian Breckner / electric & classical guitars
- Dominik Wallner / grand piano, synthesizer, organ, vocals, composer
- Alfons Wohlmuth / bass, vocals
- Elias Papaioannou / drums

- Jakob Aistleitner / lead vocals (2,4,7), saxophone (3)
- Manuel Schönegger / saxophone (2), flute (3,7)
- Gabi Lidicky / classical flute (5)
- Veronika Obermeier / vocals (8)
- Martin Flatz / narration (1,7)
- Victor de la Rosa / percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Clemens G-Goller

CD Self-released (2008, Austria)

Digital album

Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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BLANK MANUSKRIPT Tales from an Island - Impressions from Rapa Nui ratings distribution

(43 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(23%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(51%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BLANK MANUSKRIPT Tales from an Island - Impressions from Rapa Nui reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It's always a pleasure to discover new Symphonic bands that show respect for the Classic era of the sub-genre, and don't limit themselves to copy what others did but instead add new elements that prove they have something original to add and that Symphonic doesn't have to be retro Prog as some people believe.

BLANK MANUSKRIPT from Salzburg - Austria, is one of this bands, leaded by Dominik Wallner (Keys, Vocals) and Alfons Wohlmuth (Bass, Flute, Vocals). the band took the risk to present a Conceptual album called Tales from an Island - Impressions from Rapa Nui as their debut, an album clearly rooted in Symphonic Prog but which combines elements that go from Hard Rock to Psyche and narrative elements and even jazzy passages.

It's surprising how they start the album with Breath of the Island an almost tribal introduction with a sober narration that places the audience in the correct scenario, but immediately they move to Voyage, a track that presents us a whole variety of sounds and influences, that go from Pink Floyd to Procol Harum and even dare to add jazzy passages but without leaving behind that evident Classical - Symphonic atmosphere, managing to make radical changes in such a way that flow naturally, fantastic way to open an album.

The band obviously give high importance to the keyboards but keep a great balance between instruments with excellent guitar work, complex percussion and good natural vocals, something incredibly hard to find on this days where anybody dares to sing based on technology that boosts almost any voice.

Each track gives us a surprise because they change the mood in a matter of seconds, some like The Great War with solid guitars and complex vocal words while others as The Cult of the Birdman that has practically everything a Proghead that respects himself (herself) wants to listen.

A special paragraph for the dramatic and haunting vocals and chorus in The Waiting by Veronika Obermeier, who really touched my soul.

No weak or boring moments, in other words an absolutely solid debut that leaves us with the taste of honey in the lips waiting for their next release.

I rarely give five stars to a debut album, being that I always expect more of the band, and even when in this case I've been tempted to make that exception, I believe BLANK MANUSKRIPT has much more to offer, so I will go with four very solid stars, hoping to hear their second release soon.

Highly recommended for any person interested in high quality music and great performance, that I'm sure no Progressive Rock fan will regret.

Review by Kotro
3 stars Barren landscape

Rapa Nui, more commonly known as Easter Island, was once home to a proud civilization of Polynesian fisherman tribes turned into a relatively advanced proto-imperial society, in which relentless ambition, greed and pure vanity eventually brought warfare and their chaotic decline, dragging the island along in an ecological disaster that turned the once densely forested territory into the eerie landscape now familiar to us, long before the arrival of Europeans. Tales from an Island - Impressions from Rapa Nui is a brave attempt at a concept album telling that story, a bold move to take in this debut album by Austrian band Blank Manuskript.

After good look at the excellent artwork, we turn to the music. The marine shoreline sounds (waves, gulls) opening Breath of the Island transport us to the setting, with the soon heard tribal drumming and chanting providing the action. Halfway a mid-tempo drumming over an organ melody is introduced, and with it the English narration summarizing the story to be told. Voyage kicks of this musical narrative by means of an up-tempo, quite adventurous sounding track built upon the piano's melody, with some electric guitar and saxophone, vocals appearing halfway in the quieter sections. There is great interplay between piano and electric guitar. Society follows, a song marked by a distinct Camel-like keyboard and guitar riff intro (Lady Fantasy immediately comes to mind). There is great variation within this instrumental track, from the more retro- proggy parts that bookend it to some Caribbean inspired tunes and even Lounge music in its middle sections. The Great War ensues, with a fade-in beginning of mighty riffage (with the omnipresent piano providing the rhythm). As would befit the title of the track, it's a rather violent piece (within the context of the album, obviously). Words come into play midway, with some nice harmonies complementing the weak lead vocals (ridiculously distorted towards the end). After the War Part I is a small acoustic guitar and flute instrumental, not bad, but not remarkable either. Serves as a nice intro to After the War Part II, into which it segues, a track which has a certain Dark Side of the Moon vibe to it, beginning quite slowly and spacey, featuring some good vocals and organ, the electric guitar being played rather delicately as a discreet accompaniment, before it takes centre stage with a couple of good solos as the track builds up some intensity - this song is the first real highlight of an album that has been competent so far, but a bit lacking in excitement. As would suit any new symphonic prog band, we are treated to an epic, The Cult of Birdman. This piece begins with another fade-in of piano, synths, flute, guitar licks and somewhat martial drumming, a very rich tapestry of sounds. The feel of the song is thrilling right from the beginning, and it displays some great musicianship. Vocals remain the weakest link, but they do an ok job conveying the emotion of the track. Throughout its twelve and a half minutes, we are gifted with a series of time and mood shifts, very good melodies, some soloing from various instruments (piano, drums and guitar being the most preeminent), and some great, emotive narration. The Waiting brings the album to an end, an initially piano driven low-tempo song with some unexpected (but rather welcome) female vocals. Percussion drops by towards the middle, giving it a bit more oomph, but keeping the original piano melancholy, augmented by a wailing electric guitar solo and vocals.

As a concept, the album works rather well - it avoided some traps like the overblown and pompous composition usually found on such endeavours, retaining instead a low-key, tasteful approach throughout, without lacking energy and excitement. Unfortunately, that also didn't make for very memorable music. The 12 minute epic is filled with different sections and improvisations all competent but rather unremarkable to make it an unforgettable piece. There is much more talent and success to be found in the track preceding it, After the War Part II. All through the album, there is a bit of a "prog-by- numbers" feel to the music, often bringing to memory some later days symphonic prog bands (namely Asia Minor). The production, while not perfect and lavish, is nonetheless competent. All in all, it sounds a bit sterile, like the barren landscape of Easter Island. But just like Rapa-Nui, it has some mystery to it, and leaves us willing to wait for improvement in future releases by the band.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Blank Manuskript's debut Tales From An Island - Impressions from Rapa Nui is a personal favorite of mine, I was first drawn to it by the beautiful cover art, but after I listened to it for the first time it just felt right, like many great prog albums it just clicked. The album frequently ch ... (read more)

Report this review (#2787354) | Posted by kirbysup | Tuesday, August 30, 2022 | Review Permanlink

3 stars More tales from the Easter Islands.... For some reasons, these very remote islands in the Pacific Ocean has an enduring appeal to symphonic prog bands. Lots of songs and some albums has been dedicated to these rocky outcrops. It's all Thor Heyerdahl's fault, really. Blame it on this blonde, t ... (read more)

Report this review (#380374) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, January 15, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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