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GEDANKEN

Via Obscura

Symphonic Prog


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Via Obscura Gedanken album cover
4.00 | 6 ratings | 2 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Moment
2. Dreck
3. Sing
4. Ruine
5. Wind
6. Tanz
7. Morgen
8. Gedanken

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Anne-S. Thinius / vocals, keyboards, piano
- Alexander Thinius / guitars, drums, orchestra arrangement, programming
- Andre Manke / bass

Releases information

CD, Digital, Streaming (Bandcamp)

Thanks to finnforest for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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VIA OBSCURA Gedanken ratings distribution


4.00
(6 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
0%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(100%)
100%
Good, but non-essential (0%)
0%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

VIA OBSCURA Gedanken reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Ethereal and regal, heavy yet brooding, with Gothic edges

Via Obscura are a 3-person German band "inspired by the spirit of classical Gothic, European classical music and progressive rock leaning in to 70s (prog) rock sound." They started in 2004 and have just released their 2nd full length album "Gedanken" in late 2012, following 2009's "Traum." I'm so happy to have stumbled on this late in the year and found it to be completely engaging and interesting.

"Gedanken" is a truly gorgeous album with a rich and refined sound, though not overblown or garish. Because of the formal soprano female vocals they may instantly be compared to the likes of Nightwish, Epica, etc, but Via Obscura are quite different. This is not really a metal band though they may be compared to Gothic metal bands possibly. The sound is softer and slower, more meticulous and carefully considered. There are heavy distorted power chords backing soaring electric leads, all very melodic and powerful, but it never crosses into metal territory. In fact, the pacing of the music is almost closer to post-rock, remaining quite slow and consistent through the track, yielding a very dreamy, meditative state. This ethereal feeling is captured with beauty and great feeling by Anne-S's vocals. Bass, guitar, drums, and orchestrations are all tastefully and methodically executed by Alexander and Andre. The bass sound is warm while Thinius' solos (such as on "Moment") sound truly composed rather than random fiery shredding, they are beautiful, swelling, and emotional.

The result is a stirring heavy-symphonic sound deeply bathed in classical music and Gothic overtones. "Wind" is a perfect example of a typical Via Obscura delight, beginning quietly with piano and delicate guitar brush strokes, building slowly but surely to a much louder and powerful climax. A special mention must go to Siggi Bemm who recorded and co-produced the album with Via Obscura. Where rock and classical experiments can often go awry, Bemm presents this band tastefully and with exceptional sound clarity. Every iota of performance, some very subtle and quiet, are captured and clear. When the band transitions to the loud payoff sequences the listener is enveloped but the clarity is not lost. As mentioned initially I think the secret is that Via Obscura is not drowned in grandiosity and too many layers...there is a reserved quality to the arrangement that allows the performances to shine through. It is never "thin" and it can rock out, but it is never smothered to death in too much sound like some bands will do. A really fantastic experience.

While the influences and genre tendencies may vary, I suspect Via Obscura would appeal to fans of Sweden's Paatos quite well. Both bands put me in a similar place despite coming from different backgrounds. I recommend this band to anyone and feel it is one of 2012's stand-out releases. Please check it out on Bandcamp before finalizing your "best of 2012" ballots!

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#891315) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, January 12, 2013

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Since I listened VIA OBSCURA'S debut Traum instantly became a fan of the band, the ethereal voice of Anne Thinius that gives me goosebumps, added to the solid bass of Andre Manke plus the accurate percussion and Steve Hackett inspired guitar of Alexander Thinius, makes of this trio a great ensemble.

Unfairly catalogued as Goth, the band started their career as some sort of oneiric Symphonic project with heavy fugues in their first album, and they follow that path in the second release Gedanken, where they lost some of the naive darkness, but gain in experience and a more developed sound with excellent orchestral arrangements.

In Traum Anne was amazing in the vocals, but now she has also grown as a keyboardist creating a Baroque sound that reminds me of Symphonic Metal bands, but Alexander avoids shredding in order to focus more in atmospheres, so the band maintains they're Classical / Symphonic / Gothic sound that made them well known and respected. .

It's hard to make a song by song review, because Gedanken is created in such way that each track fits perfectly where they are as a piece of a puzzle, but still I have to mention the impressive Dreck where the amazing intro doesn't prepare the listener for the atmospheric music that follows.

Another favorite is Wind mainly because of Anne's vocals in German, proving that artists from this part of the world should chose their native language rather and an artificial English with heavy accent. Simply delightful.

And of course I must mention the opener Moment with that dreamy atmosphere that seems to be the band's trademark, with soft transitions instead of radical changes, but perfectly elaborate with no weak passages.

I could go on with every song, but would take me hours and could ruin the listener's experience with cheap words that can't describe the unique style of VIA OBSCURA, a band that I hope will keep releasing more albums in the next years.

Now comes the difficult rating, because if I hadn't listened their brilliant debut, I would go with 5 stars, but being that Gedanken is slightly less impressive than Traum (Which I rated with a perfect 5), will have to go with 4 stars that would be 4.5 if the system allowed this.

Still, we're talking about a record that is half step from being a masterpiece, and deserves a place in any musical collection..

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Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#1041112) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, September 21, 2013

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