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Via Obscura

Symphonic Prog

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Via Obscura Traum album cover
4.81 | 7 ratings | 1 reviews | 71% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sie (4:48)
2. Substanz (4:04)
3. Traum (4:34)
4. Schicksal (3:58)
5. Winter (6:31)
6. Grau (5:40)
7. Stille (6:15)
8. - (2:17)
9. Weg (4:38)

Total Time 42:45

Line-up / Musicians

- Anne-S. Thinius / Vocals and Keys
- Alexander Thinius / Electric - Acoustic-Guitars, Drums, Orchestra composition & -programming
- André Manke / Bass

Releases information

Intergroove 2009
Recorded, mixed and mastered at Woodhouse(R) Studios by Siggi Bemm.

Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the addition
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VIA OBSCURA Traum ratings distribution

(7 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(71%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(0%)
Good, but non-essential (14%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

VIA OBSCURA Traum reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars Since I heard MIRANDA SEX GARDEN and DEAD CAN DANCE, I always pay special attention to bands labeled as Goth with classical influences, because I always believed that Goth is a close relative of Prog, so being that this is the case of VIA OBSCURA, bought their album Traum as soon as I was informed of it's existence..And was impressed.

Their music is full of drama, enhanced by the powerful and operatic voice of Anne-S. Thinius, perfectly complemented by the amazing performance of the multi-instrumentalist Alexander Thinius in the guitar and drums plus the sober and always accurate work of André Manke on the bass. Together they have created a solid project that blends Symphonic Prog, Heavy Metal and Classical Baroque Music, with the dramatics of Goth, relaying on imaginative and original compositions that have thrilled and captured me from the first listen.

The album is opened by the gloomy piano introduction of Sie that really breaks my heart with emotions that go from sadness to some sort of claustrophobia?.Two powerful sentiments that the band transmits with impeccable skills. But that's not all, as the song advances and the voice is added, the sensation of melancholy grows in intensity that is even boosted more by the heavy guitars, percussion and breathtaking choirs, delightful from start to end.

Substanz starts heavier with drums and bass, but after a few seconds the voice, piano and distorted guitar join the scene to create another heartbreaking musical piece that blends the spirit of Hard Rock with the structure and beauty of Symphonic Prog, without leaving behind their trademarked obscure and mysterious sound. Again the choirs are perfect to create a powerful sound with a delicate structure. I can't imagine this music in a different language than German, is just the right choice instead of falling in the common error of adding English vocals with a strong accent, this formula is repeated with success in the stronger and even darker Traum, which kept me at the edge of the seat from the first to the last note. Schiksal begins with a bass and drums introduction that caught me by surprise, not even the familiar voice of Anne-S and the Classical oriented passages sound as in the previous tracks, this is heavier and stronger with an organ section replacing the piano, not what I expected but as nice change that demonstrates the versatility of the musicians. The finale is simply brilliant.

Apparently Schiksal marked a turning point in the album, because the sound changes dramatically, a change that's more evident in Winter where a heavier organ almost replaces completely the sentimental piano, still the Symphonic and Classical elements are present, but now we are talking about some sort of melodic Metal song, again not what expected, but I like the surprises, and the mood of the music hasn't changed.

Now is the turn for Grau where the band returns to the style of the firtst songs, but this time they bring a new and fresh Jazz ambient that melts perfectly with the dramatic Classical oriented music, adding something new for the delight of the listener, who never loses the interest, because there's something new in each song.

In Stille the band keeps changing, we have more Jazzy percussion and bass with heavy Gothic (in the sense of late medieval) music, if there's something called a Power Ballad, I would describe Stille as a Power Madrigal, beautiful, nostalgic, dramatic, but as usual full of strength and mystery, the bells that blend this track with - really freaked me, but loved the effect crated by this talented guys and must only add that - works as an epilogue for Stille.

The album is closed by the heavy Medieval Weg, an instrumental that comprises everything that VIA OBSCURA presented in the album but weirder and more dissonant than ever, without doubt the perfect closer for an extraordinaire album.

By general rule, I never give the maximum rating to a debut album, no matter how good it is, because that would be considering that the band reached their peak, when they are only starting their career, but I will make an exception with Traum, being that I believe we are in front of one of the most promising bands of the decade who offer us a versatile and original album that could mark the start of a new era in Symphonic Prog, so 5 stars it is.

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