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EARTHLY PARADISE

Epidaurus

Symphonic Prog


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Epidaurus Earthly Paradise album cover
3.50 | 81 ratings | 24 reviews | 26% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Actions And Reactions" (7:01)
2. Silas Marner (7:50)
3. Wings Of The Dove (5:05)
4. Andas (6:15)
5. Mitternachtstraum (6:05)

Total Time: 32:16

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Günther Henne / keyboards
- Gerd Linke / keyboards
- Manfred Struck / drums
- Heinz Kunert / bass
- Volker Oehmig / drums

Releases information

Eartly Paradise GEMA 1004 / Reissued on CD by Penner (001) in 1992.

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EPIDAURUS Earthly Paradise ratings distribution


3.50
(81 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(26%)
26%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
36%
Good, but non-essential (27%)
27%
Collectors/fans only (9%)
9%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

EPIDAURUS Earthly Paradise reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marcelo
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Another underrated gem from the '70s. The only complaint in this wonderful album is the operatic (?) female voice, but it's only present at the first two tracks. Music is amazing, keyboards driven with lots of Mellotron and beautiful melodies. It remains GENESIS sometimes, and there are some touches where the German essence is evident (sounds a la ELOY i.e.), but the stuff is quite original and very well done. Highly recommended.

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Send comments to Marcelo (BETA) | Report this review (#19339) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, December 20, 2003

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
4 stars Epidaurus' debut album enjoys a lost-gem minor classic reputation and it is little wonder why, because this album represents a bit the later 70's German take-over of symphonic rock, once most of the English bands had completely run out of steam. This quintet (two keyboards, no guitar plus a female singer) was taking much of the old recipes, and using what seemed outmoded instruments, but this is one of the ingredients most progheads will like. The album is clearly presented in two phases/styles: the first side presenting a solid symphonic rock that is reminiscent of Genesis or Yes, while the second side clearly ogles in the Symphonic-era of Tangerine Dream. Both sides of the album have a different drummers, but share the same relative weakness in the songwriting department.

From the opening notes, you actually fear one of those late-70's ultra-(overly)-symphonic album, but after the first minute is gone, you should be completely reassured that you are indeed in a good tendency: halfway between Genesis and Renaissance (and not just because of Christine Wand's ultra-high vocals , which reminds of Haslam), the only thing that is lacking here is a good guitar, but maybe I am a bit too nit-picky. So the almost-7mins Actions And Reactions is a very enjoyable ultra-symphonic rock that really buries many other similar albums, and the second track, the almost 8-mins Silas Marner also gets some lovely flute lines, but is a bit less involved. This (short) first side of the vinyl is slightly hampered by the singing of Wand, because her vocals are not to everyone's tastes.

The flipside opens with the perfect linking instrumental 5-mins Wing Of The Dove , which announces a bit the second part of the album, but is still well entrenched in the Genesis realm with loads of Mellotron and some descending lines lifted from Cinema shows (short and not scandalous), until the song shifts to an upper tempo to end the song more fittingly. If Andas starts with a piano intro, the track clearly veers electronics for the next minutes before settling in a superb (dare I say grandiose?) Tangerine Dream-like groove (Stratosfear era) that could even shame these last ones had they not invented the musical universe. The 6-mins Andas also brinks along the dissonant (the flute but also the early electronic interlude), but does really dare to. Closing off the album is Mitternachtstraum (middle of night dream) in a splendid full blown TD fashion, finally bringing the slow process of morphing Renaissance into Tangerine Dream. Somehow, these unknown realized a small tour de force.

Recorded as a private release (with a naïve B&W artwork), this album got a first CD reissue in the early 90's on Pennar Records, than a second one on the superb Garden Of Delight (Pennar's successor) in the mid 00's. Most likely, the GOD release is the better researched one and probably contains bonus tracks. Epidaurus will release a second album in the mid-90's, presenting re-recorded version of tracks that were written for the second album. I never this album, but generally the album did not get good reviews. In the meantime, this album is good enough to earn its fourth star, while not being really essential. It is however much worthy of your investigations and merits its reputation.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#19338) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, February 02, 2004

Review by loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars EPIDAURUS were a mid seventies German progressive outfit formed around 1976, and uniquely featured two keyboard players, Gunther Henne and Gerd Linke, with vocalist Christiane Wand, bassist Heinz Kunert and drummers Manfred Struck and Volker Oehmig. "Earthly Paradise" is definitely well rooted in the 70's progressive style of YES, PINK FLOYD and fellow German rockers, ELOY. Without a question this is an essential album to own with 5 truly magical tunes. This symphonically keyboard driven album is also supported by the angelic voice of Christiane Wand. EPIDAURUS were an example of a rather obscure but extremely talented symphonic rock act from Germany. Their style revolved around the incredible virtuosity of keyboardists Gerd Linke and Gunther Henne, both of whom will draw inevitable comparisons with the likes of WAKEMAN, MORAZ or EMERSON. This album carries that vintage Germanic penchant for transporting the listener into the outer reaches of the cosmos. Although no where near Schulze and Co., "Earthly Paradise" maintains steady and propulsive undulations of bass and sympathetic, massed keyboards making a wide use of structure and space. Without a question this album is a 70's analog vintage keyboardist wet dream with tons of mellotron, mini-moog, Hammond and piano. A beautiful album and a real gem of 70's Progressive Rock.

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#19340) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, March 20, 2004

Review by lor68
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The present album is characterized by a couple of immediate mini-suites and other interesting tracks, with hints of floydian excursions and a space athmosphere in the vein of Eloy as well!! The first track is not always derivative, the analogical keyboards are pretty, even though there are not any bombastic solos... the second one is a bit weak but the music is compact ad the melodic lines convincing;nevertheless the female voice is not always inspiring, sometimes reducing her voice range and excursion too, during her acute passages, but it never minds as it seems a mixture between the style of Pink Floyd ("Meddle"-Era) and the early German space rock albums, with a few harmonic solutions, despite of being enriched with some direct guitar effects (always talking about their floydian excursions)...but of course it depends on my personal tastes, above all considering the style of the female singer, because for instance I prefer the symphonic passages by Annie Haslam much more, within album such as "Novella" or "Scheherazade", than any other style inside such German space rock...anyway this album has become a cult concept in the recent years and you can check it out at least!!

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Send comments to lor68 (BETA) | Report this review (#19341) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, April 26, 2004

Review by Proghead
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This album really took me by surprise, given it was originally released privately, and worth tons of money if you're to seek out the original LP. Anyway, EPIDAURUS was in a long list of German symph bands (that included ELOY, GROBSCHNITT, NOVALIS, RAMSES, SFF, etc.), who released this album, "Earthly Paradise" in 1977 (they would later reunite in 1994 and released "Endangered", which is allegedly crap). This band, for the most part circled around the duo keyboards of Günther Henne and Gerd Linke, with Heinz Kenert on bass, and Moog Taurus bass pedals, and Manfred Struck handling the drums on side two (the last three cuts), and Volker Oehmig handling the drums on the first side (first two cuts).

Often I've seen this album compared to GENSIS, but to me, they actually remind me more of RAMSES, but with much better production, and the music is better than RAMSES, in my book. The synth work is simply unbelievable, and same goes to the Mellotron, this is everything that I enjoy of the late '70s prog scene (an era where the prog rock scene was dying elsewhere, especially in England, but still seemed to be going strong in Germany at this point). The biggest problem I have of this album is female vocalist Christiane Wand, who sings on the first two cuts only ("Actions and Reactions" and "Silas Marner", the rest is instrumental). The problem is her squeaky voice that many might find grating (I got used to her voice, imagine if Annie Haslam sung an octave higher, you get Christiane Wand). The last two cuts, "Andas" and "Mitternachstraum" are a bit more original, "Andas" being a somewhat fusion influenced piece, with some killer Moog solos, and "Mitternachstraum" is basically Günther Henne and Gerd Linke's time to shine, as this is a largely synth and Mellotron-dominated piece.

Despite the minor flaw of including Wand on two of the cuts, this album is truly amazing, and the production is top rate (something I don't usually expect from privately released albums). And a label called Pennar Records (later called Garden of Delights) had reissued this on CD, so you don't have to pay big money for the original LP. So if you're an analog synth freak, love the sound of Mellotron, and like German symphonic prog, you can't go without this album.

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Send comments to Proghead (BETA) | Report this review (#19342) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, May 02, 2004

Review by erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars From the very first moment you are flooded by waves of majestic choir-Mellotron and Minimoog runs, at some moments pleasantly boosted by Moog Taurus bass pedals, all guided by a celestial female voice. Other fine moments contain twanging 12-string guitar and spacey synthesizer flights or accelerations featuring the powerful Hammond organ. The second part of this CD showcases more electronic inspired music but also the use of the swinging Hohner D6 clavinet and some acoustic piano play. The five songs on this album sound simple but are very compelling if you like the typical Seventies keyboards sound.

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#19344) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, November 07, 2004

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Epidaurus released in 1977 a symphonic prog album that is usually highly celebrated by prog collectors worldwide. Epidaurus had two keyboardists - Gunther Henne and Gerd Linke - as leaders: they wrote almost the entire material and their immense arsenal (pianos, organ, clavinet, lots and lots of synths and mellotron) is highly featured in the mix, since both were in charge of the soloing, the orchestrations and the basic harmonic stuff. Major influences seem to be Eloy, Camel and Novalis, with a bit of the most tender side of classic Genesis. The band actually had to go through a weird, long recording process for their debut album "Earthly Paradise", which actually was their sole prog offering during their 70s period. Side 1 (tracks 1-2) was recorded under a quintet format, with mezzo-soprano Christiana Wand assuming the lead singer's role; side 2 (tracks 3-5) finds the band having undergone a crucial line-up change, as an exclusively instrumental quartet and with a different drummer in the fold. The first two tracks are the most overtly symphonic, based on clever arrangements of nice melodies and a slightly pompous use of keyboard layers and ornaments in order to spice things up. Wand's vocal timber can be found celestial by some and annoying by others: I personally stand somewhere in between, since I feel that sometimes she strains her vocal range, which stops her from delivering a cleaner performance, but I also find her tone somewhat majestic, and that helps the music to keep its intended orchestral appeal. The addition of 12-string acoustic guitar (by Henne) and flute (by guest Peter Meier) gives 'Silas Marner' an enhanced sonic spectrum, particularly during the bucolic parts: this is the most accomplished of the first two tracks. But the best from Epidaurus is yet to come, since the all-instrumental second half contains a more solid material, as well as a more cohesive global performance. Newcomer Manfred Struck on drums provides a bigger dose of strength and versatility to the rhythm section: his jazz-tinged style helps the band to enhance its intended air of sophistication and ride out the material's complexity more fluidly. You can tell that bass player Heinz Kunert feels more confident, and also that the keyboard parts sound stronger, at times even more aggressive. 'Wings of the Dove' and 'Andas' are outstanding examples of Epidaurus' prog vibe exquisitely executed with an added touch of excitement. The former is structured according the usual "mood and tempo shift" prog ideology, while the latter is more clearly rooted in a sort of jazz jam, with the synths providing a cosmic ambience - 'Andas' sounds to me like an encounter of earth (the solid conjunction laid by the rhythm section and the electric piano-and-organ) and air (the ethereal string synth and mellotron layers, the touches of Moog, the amazing flute solo by guest Meier, again). Tracks 3 & 4 are, IMHO, the most amazing numbers of this album. Finally, 'Mitternachtstraum' closes it down: this is another jam, this time consisting of a synth-centered krautrock main motif that goes on recurrently with slight variations occurring along the way. It reminds me of what TD were doing in parallel for their 'Stratosfear' and 'Encore' albums. The very bright moments that "Earthly Paradise" contains cannot hide the fact that this album is somewhat inconsistent, so I am inclined to think that labeling it as a master opus or even excellent would be an overstatement: I would label it as good, but also essential to a certain degree. 3-3 ½ stars for this Epidaurus album, which sure deserves a place in any good symph prog collection.

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#19345) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Review by Progbear
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Another album that gets swamped in a wave of hyperbole, it actually stands as proof that having all the prog ingredients won't make a decent prog album unless you have decent compositions to back it up. The compositions are pedestrian at best, definitely sub-Genesis with foursquare rhythmic patterns and little in the way of thematic variation or musical development. The low point is definitely the instrumental "Mitternachtstraum", which features the most mechanical 5/4 time you've ever heard driven by a sequenced bass-synthesizer line.

The A-side features some rather average female vocals, and tends to impart a little more musical drama than the monochromatic instrumentals on the flip, but neither side really has enough musical development to keep my interest for very long. Couple that with two keyboard players that don't do anything that one good one couldn't, and colour me disappointed. All the Hammonds, Moogs and Mellotrons in the world can't make this look much more than strictly amateur.

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Posted Saturday, September 03, 2005

Review by Heptade
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars A lot people speak glowingly of this German release. To be sure, the keyboards are lush and worth the price of admission, but to me, they are pretty much all this album has to recommend it. The songs don't leave much of an impression, and the English lyrics are nothing to write home about. I increasingly believe that Europeans who are not 100% fluent should stick to their own languages. I ain't prejudiced, and it definitely cuts down on the kitsch factor. The major drawback is the female lead vocals, which are subpar. She is obviously game and has a pleasant quality to her voice, but she is pitchy as all get out and seems to be straining beyond her range. This album usually becomes background music, no matter how hard I try to pay attention. If you are a mellotron freak, as I am, you'll get a lot out of this record, but don't scratch much deeper.

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Posted Thursday, October 20, 2005

Review by Alucard
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars 'Earthly paradise' was releasd in 1977 by the German Symphonic band 'Epidaurus'. The band had learned their Prog-lessons well and integrated elements of Classic Prog bands like Genesis, Yes, Eloy without much originality.

The record is heavily based on keyboard sounds, some Tony Banks trademark sounds, some Keith Emerson, a Kraftwerk influenced Electro Pop track and on 3 tracks a singer with a voice similar to Annie Haslam (less good so and with intonation problems).

The record is pleasant, but at least after the fourth track, I got the feeling of having heard all this before and better. 'Epidaurus' delivers some nice easy going symphonic prog, but misses bite, tension and above all identy : the band sounds like a 'Best Of Symphonic'. I might put the record on, from time to time, for dishwashing

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Posted Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The first time I heard this record I have to admit I was taken aback by the high pitched female vocals, they really caught me off guard. After a few listens though they actually grew on me to the point I feel they fit the music perfectly.This is mostly instrumental anyway. EPIDAURUS were a German band who came on the Prog scene a little late, releasing this album in 1977. Regardless of their timing they recall the great symphonic bands of the early seventies. Those vintage keyboards (especially the mellotron) make this a joy to listen to.This release is a mellotron monster, with two keyboardists and both of them playing mellotron and Hammond organ. And hey they're on the "Garden Of Delights" label, what more could you want ?

I really like the first song "Action And Reaction" a mellotron laden, keyboard led beauty. The drumming is very prominant as well. Mellotron, drums and synths lead early. You can hear Christiane come in with vocal melodies before 2 1/2 minutes then Hammond follows before she starts to sing after 3 minutes. Nice. Gorgeous track. "Silas Marner" opens with spacey winds before the 12 string acoustic guitar joins in then flute-like sounds. Synths and drums before 2 minutes, mellotron follows.The song does speed up as vocals and drums arrive 3 minutes in. It settles again after 5 minutes as the 12 string returns with mellotron and spacey winds.There's that flute again. Beautiful.

"Wings Of The Dove" is another favourite of mine.There is some good keyboard and drum interplay in this uptempo intro.This is an instrumental that will also boast mellotron, synths and electric piano before it's over. "Andas" opens with piano before it kicks into a higher gear. An uptempo instrumental with some nice bass and better mellotron floods. And the final song "Mitternachtstraum" is a page right out of TANGERINE DREAM. Check out the moog ! If I didn't know better i'd think it was them.

I really feel this album is a unique piece of work, with the vocals (on two tracks) and the beautiful waves of mellotron standing out. It is essential for all progheads to experience EPIDAURUS. An absolutely gorgeous album.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#97747) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars After being gifted a couple of years ago with a copy of EPIDAURUS' "Earthly Paradise" I could finally solve a mystery that haunted me since the late 70s: those heavenly mellotron tunes and marvelous vocals heard in 'Actions and reactions', the opening track for this timeless gem. Now, I'm quite sure that one of my long life problems has been solved and I may rest in peace, well, not too soon; I still want to hear this song many times more.

I know little about EPIDAURUS: only the album itself, the bio herein and some clearing reviews, but the main perception comes from their quaint symphonic sound. Their music alternates cool and peaceful parts with others full of vigor and splendor: catchy, nice, and beautiful. Eager to have in hands their second album, released a decade and a half later to check if they kept this incredible atmosphere.

Apart from the song mentioned above, one of my favorites in the progressive scenario, "Earthly Paradise" offers still another jewel, the surprising 'Silas Marner', this time plenty of flutes and acoustic guitars sounds, interchanging with dream-like vocals.

'Wings of the dove' is quite hearable even not being original for bringing a typical British prog sound of early 70s, most noticeable from bands like CAMEL or YES. 'Andas' blends symphonic and jazz, making the band looks like its contemporary krautrock acts, although a bit disappointing. 'Mitternachtstraum', the ending track, is nice and weird, with many pleasant touches of space-rock and experimentalism, even with dull and repetitive passages.

A fine output, doubtless, where the first two tracks overtop in a way that the entire album is honestly an excellent addition to any prog collection.

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Posted Saturday, April 28, 2007

Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Team
3 stars An instantly likeable album full of analog syths and mellotron, with occasional high pitched female vocals, "Earthly Paradise" doesn't stand up all that well to repeated listens. If German symphonic prog can be a bit generic, Epidaurus would qualify.

That said, it contains plenty to enjoy, particularly in the standout track "Silas Marner", which begins with flute sounds, acoustic guitars and synthesizer before shifting into high gear for the elegant vocal and keyboard melodies. Christine Wand's vocals are definitely not for everyone, but I happen to like their fluidity and insistence in remaining in the high octave nether reaches come what may, and they are highly compatible with the backing. The song does stretch out more than most of the material on the disc, and is quite reminiscent of early Novalis in parts. The choral mellotron with the flute flourishes also strengthen the work. The opener "Actions and Reactions" is good, but like a recipe that looks better than it tastes on your fork.

The lack of vocals on later tracks actually make them seem more aimless, but "Wings of the Dove" features enough good playing to easily rise above the fray, even if the subsequent "Andas" is a low point for the album. "Mitternachtstraum", while overly repetitive, does have a certain Tangerine Dreamy quality.

For those who enjoy keyboard laden German Symphonic prog, I think you will enjoy it, and perhaps love it. As a listener who is very partial to this style, I am much more in like than in love.

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Posted Sunday, June 24, 2007

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This was probably not the best year to release such a debut album. Fully symphonic with great mellotron and synthesizers. A very strange vocalist carry a special style to their sound (but only for a couple of tracks, unfortunately). It seems that we are in the middle of a fairy tale. Fully romantic music, but so nice. This album is apparently extremely sought after (the vinyl version is trading at approximately 250 ?) !

Strong Genesis links during the instrumental parts as you can hear during "Actions & Reactions" which is the best song of the album (at least it is my preferred one). All the fans of the symph style will be overwhelmed with this number, I guess. Beautiful vocal harmonies from Christiane Ward (who could have been listed in the line-up by the way). "Wings Of The Dove" is a very pleasant instrumental, again fully Banks oriented ("Cinema Show" is of course the reference, by no doubt : almost a copy around 3'40"). But I have never been against this "borrowing". When such talent is shown, it is always a pleasure to listen to these derivative bands.

Mellotron fans (to which I belong) will just be blowned away with some tracks (but not all, unfortunately). "Andas" and "Mitternachtstraum" for instance are not really great.

The album was very promising during its initial phase but dropped in quality afterwards. A good album from the mid-late seventies. But not the jewel is appears to be during "Actions & Reactions", unfortunately.

Three stars.

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Posted Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Epidaurus is in fact a legendary band that came into scene of progressive rock in mid seventies, quite late as compared to the pioneers like King Crimson, ELP, Yes, Genesis or Pink Floyd who started their career around end of 60's. It was basically the duo keyboardists Günther Henne and Gerd Linke that made up the band and you can guess that the music is truly a keyboard-drenched style with many multi-layer sounds. The moogs, mellotrons, organs and pianos are key elements of their music. Those of you who like Tangerine Dream, Eloy, Symphonic Slam and in some way Triumvirat, might be able to digest and enjoy the music. In addition to keyboards, the bass guitar and drums are also used, strengthened by great vocal work by Christiane Ward whom the singing style is like a blend of Annie Haslam (Renaissance) and Jenny Kaagman (Earth & Fire).

This "Earthly Paradise" was recorded in mid 1977 and was considered as a studio project only. AS the sleeve mentions, the recording took two days: 25 and 26 June, 1977 and the mixing was done next day 27 June 1977, recorded at Hermes-Tons studio, West Germany. The music is a classic in terms of symphonic prog territory, where it had dynamic musical progressions and fine arrangements. In general, the album featured a beautiful, and sometimes it seems pretentious, with catchy melody, long sustain keyboard work that creates "symphonic" nature.

I am sure you will be amazed hearing the first track "Actions And Reactions (7:01) where a blast of long sustain keyboards work dominate the music overlaid by ambient female vocal. It's hard to deny that symphonic prog do not like this track. The next track is in fact much more ambient with intricate and atmospheric keyboard work augmented beautifully by flute-work, played by Peter Maer. "Silas Marner" (7:50) brings us to an upbeat symphonic music with stunning keyboard rhythms section and solo. It reminds me to band like Pulsar. What really impress me is when the album reaches track 4 "Andas" (6:15) where I can find the style of Ozric Tentacles is very obvious.

I highly recommend you to have this album, especially if you favor symphonic prog, it's a MUST have for you. The recording quality is also great. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

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Posted Thursday, August 07, 2008

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Very, very interesting album done by this obscure band project from the late 70´s. A kind of mix together Genesis, Eloy and Tangerine Dream. Of course it is mostly keyboard-driven, but with a fine rhythm section and some added guests on some numbers, like the female Annie Haslam-like vocalise on the first two tracks, flute on other two and even some uncredited acoustic guitars on Silas Marner. It all help to enhance the music, but the keyboards sound are really the stars: tasteful, great timbres and very well played.

Production is very good and clear, the arrangements are excellent and the melodies are catchy. It has no fillers anywhere, and the only bad part of it is the short running time (a little over 30 minutes). Unlike many 70´s instrumental works, this one has no self indulgence or any excess: the music is always captivating and grabs you from the very start.

A very nice surprise. Thanks to Gatot, for his review sparkled my interest. Every symphonic prog fan should listen to this album. Highly recommended.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#179258) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, August 09, 2008

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Nice symphonic-psych album from a German band!

This is another of those hidden gems that we find all of a sudden, that's the precious thing about progressive rock, it does not have limits, and there is plenty of music to discover. So with this album, I, once again, found interesting and well composed music from a band that I didn't know anything. The name of this, their debut album is "Earthly Paradise" and it is the only of theirs I know, but I have read that their second album lacks of creativity and challenging moments, so I believe with this record is enough.

A relatively short album reaching 32 minutes, with only 5 songs oscillating between 5-7 minutes, making a total time of 32.

It kicks off with "Actions and Reactions", and since the very first note we can imagine the music's destiny, I mean, it goes towards the symphonic realm, which is very clear when you listen to that amazing keyboard sound, of course I must mention that I has mellotron, so that gives an extra point. Later female vocals appear, with a unique style, and a minute later the keyboards return faster and challenging, really interesting mix of Eloy and Genesis. Then vocals appear again and the song calms down a little bit, the textures created as background are also well placed, an excellent song.

"Silas Marner" is the longest track and starts very different from the previous one, this time with some wind sound, a soft acoustic guitar and a delicate flute sound. A minute later synths appear with a different sound, but keeping the same atmosphere until minute 3 when drums enter and the song turns faster and a bit psychedelic. Vocals enter (good, but not my favorite vocals), mellotron prevails and a symphonic oriented sound shows the road to delight. The last part is the same as it began, wind effects, acoustic guitar and flute, pretty cool.

"Wings of the Dove" is another keyboard oriented track, but this time the mood is a bit nervous like a movie scene, you don't know what's happening and what's next, this song is great because it maintains you there expecting the next offer, there are several mini changes within this instrumental song, the drums are always great very well placed and the keyboards make it extraordinary.

"Andas" begins with some piano and all of a sudden a weird synth sound which turns spacey and even weirder, making the sound of a robot or something. Later the song changes and makes a rockier sound with guitars, nice bass sound and constant great drumming, but this is just in order to change again and due to the synth sound reminding again to some space or psychedelic act, such as Eloy. The drums are excellent, and the flute addition helps the track getting a new identity, great instrumental song without a doubt.

And last but not least, we have "Mitternachstraum" which supports the idea of labeling this album as a symphonic-psychedelic; you will notice it clearly in this song due to the synth elements, which provoke some great background effects that will be perfectly listened with god headphones, here, we can understand they were also influenced by some krautrock pioneers such as Tangerine Dream, great way of ending an album.

This is an excellent album, as I said, another hidden gem worth discovering, and absolutely recommendable, my final grade is 4 stars.

Enjoy it!

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Send comments to memowakeman (BETA) | Report this review (#276021) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, April 02, 2010

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars Epipdaurus's debut is a keyboard-dominated one- expect little in the way of guitars here. That said, the band accomplished a brief but admirable album near the twilight of progressive rock's glory days. To my ear, Christine Wand sounds quite similar to Becky Stark (who played Margaret in The Decemeberist's 2009 masterpiece The Hazards of Love), but my only complaint is that she's not always on top of her notes and occasionally sounds flat. The music itself teeters on generic and minimalistic for symphonic rock, but I still find it a pleasure to hear nonetheless.

"Actions and Reactions" The album wastes no time launching directly into phenomenal symphonic rock waters. Various keyboards provide a smooth ride buoyed by a capable rhythm section. Over sparse instrumentation, the operatic female vocal enters. The synthesizer solo is accomplished though repetitive.

"Silas Marner" Wind and twelve-string guitar, soon joined by a lonely flute, create a mythical piece of music. The synthesizer is a fantastic addition. It picks up tempo and changes face, introducing organ, strings, and those operatic vocals. Stark Mellotron returns to listener to the bleak, windy twelve-string opening with flute flourishes.

"Wings of the Dove" Dirty, clicking organ in 15/8 gives way to Mellotron-drenched piano. Various keyboards take turns in the fore, including Mellotron, organ, piano, and a wicked synthesizer. The rhythmic changes keep the piece fresh.

"Andas" Austere piano opens the fourth track as experimental synthetic sounds take over abruptly. It leaps into a style and sound similar to early Yes, augmented by Mellotron, wild synthesizer, and flute. The piece takes discordant excursions I don't particularly care for, but otherwise, it is a very strong example of symphonic rock.

"Mitternachtstraum" The final piece maintains a steady bass line in 5/4 time with various keyboards swirling around it. For the most part, I am reminded of Camel.

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Send comments to Epignosis (BETA) | Report this review (#292508) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, July 29, 2010

Latest members reviews

2 stars This album begins off very promisingly but is ultimately let down by the weak, one key, high pitched vocals of Christiane Wand. I love the fact that there are no guitars present at all and if you're a fan of the Mellotron - you're luck's in here - as there's loads of it. Mind you, the setting s ... (read more)

Report this review (#298165) | Posted by Dobermensch | Thursday, September 09, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This band from Germany is a rare one in the enormous field of progressive music, but their debut album-Earthly Paradise-is almost a landmark of symphonic progressive rock music. This album was for me, indeed, a pleasant surprise. The music consists in high use of analogue ... (read more)

Report this review (#171962) | Posted by Sachis | Thursday, May 22, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Nice album. Not a masterpiece but not bad. Basically is a keyboard album full of proggy sections on mellotron and synthesizers a la Genesis even when the first two songs are closer to some Eloy or Renaissance stuff because the vocals of Christiane Wand. Both songs has a similar structure: a symp ... (read more)

Report this review (#146899) | Posted by progadicto | Thursday, October 25, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Yes, another german prog band from the seventies very Genesis inspired, but not in a bad sense. In "Earthly paradise" album Epidaurus plays a very symphonic prog, based on two keyboards, without guitar, showing a their own personality. Delicate female vocals, like in the opener "Actions and re ... (read more)

Report this review (#96898) | Posted by armapo | Thursday, November 02, 2006 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Aparently, not many people is fully conviced about the quality of this album. I´ve been listening to it for months now and still have not even aquired any taste for it. It definitely is not an album that grabs your attention immediatly, and aparently doesn´t after months either. This prog soun ... (read more)

Report this review (#52480) | Posted by El Morula | Thursday, October 20, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Attention!Genesis fans,this is a very nice addition to your Genesis collection.If you like 'Wind and wuthering' or 'A trick of a tail',you certainly have to buy this record. Full blown impressive mellotron drenched symphonic rock with brilliant own original Genesis styled compositions.Talentfull mu ... (read more)

Report this review (#19337) | Posted by | Saturday, January 31, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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