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Second Movement

Symphonic Prog

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Second Movement Blind Man's Mirror album cover
3.66 | 26 ratings | 4 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Strange Shore (9:30)
2. Blind Man's Mirror (12:10)
3. Shanghai (4:32)
4. Back In Town (9:07)
5. Different Autumn (10:16)

Line-up / Musicians

Manni Greiner / Bass
Matthias Helk/ Drums
Manni Bierbach/ Flute, Saxophone
Thomas Möckl/ Guitar
Siggi Zeidler/ Keyboards
Harald Kesselhack/ Vocals

Thanks to AtomicCrimsonRush for the addition
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Buy SECOND MOVEMENT Blind Man's Mirror Music

SECOND MOVEMENT Blind Man's Mirror ratings distribution

(26 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(58%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SECOND MOVEMENT Blind Man's Mirror reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars With a name like that you cannot expect anything else than symphonic-oriented rock music loaded with keys.SECOND MOVEMENT existed since 1971,when they were formed in Coburg, Bavaria.They had some very ambitious plans as a band, otherwise it can't be explained that they started as an eight-piece band and even performed a rock opera named ''Jack Y'', regarding a soldier in Vietnam, reputedly a friend of the band's members.By mid-70's the band was shortened to a sextet, featuring Harald Kesselhack on vocals, Siggi Zeidler on keys, Thomas Mockl on guitars, Manni Greiner on bass, Matthias Helk on drums and Manni Bierbach on flutes/saxes.This line-up recorded the debut ''Blind man's mirror'' in 1976, released on Castle in about 700 copies.

The album includes a total of five tracks,four of them being over 9 minutes.SECOND MOVEMENT try to keep the balances with some safe playing and alternating vocal/instrumental passages.Obviously they deliver a fair amount of keyboard parts with classical leanings at moments,featuring nice work on moog synths,organ and clavinet by Zeidler.Compositionally the band is in a good level,offering classic symphonic prog in the vein of NOVALIS,early E.L.P. and WALLENSTEIN,with some rock outburst being also present.The tracks contain also plenty of acoustic guitars,while vocals are accented and a bit pale with some GREG LAKE influence.Instrumental parts are the reason why you should search for this album,despite being not that coherent.Melodies are quite strong and will please any fan of the genre.

The band had some line-up changes through the following years and moved on to a second album in 1981,entitled ''Movements'',which I have not listened.The following year they disbanded once and for all,at least leaving one memorable album with plenty of good moments.

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A forgotten gem of the glorious 70's.

Exactly one week ago, a friend of the forum suggested and obscure German 70's band called SECOND MOVEMENT to the Symphonic team, to be honest, never had even heard their name, so started to investigate about their debut called Blind Man's Mirror, found references to Krautrock, Psychedelia and Greg Lake, but very few about Symphonic, so the next step was to get the album and so we did?What a surprise.

SECOND MOVEMENT is one of those strange and obscure cult bands from the early 70's that refuse to completely abandon Psychedelia and 60's Hard Rock, but are enamored of the pompous and complex Baroque keyboard sound and Symphonic structures, we are talking about guys who didn't wanted to leave their past roots behind, but were ready to give the first steps towards a new and more elaborate sound blending the best of both eras in a rich and well-crafted style.

The first thing I must say is that I find no Krautrock reference in their music (except the nationality), which is mostly oriented towards Symphonic with reminiscences of the past and some really delightful acoustic moments. But the spine of the band is formed by the excellent keyboardist Siggi Zeidler (Why did this guy vanished?), Harald Kesselhack who reminds me of Greg Lake (with a lower range). And last but not least, the brilliant acoustic guitar solos by Thomas Möck who creates mystical atmospheres and Flamenco flashbacks mixed with frantic distorted guitar passages, simply outstanding musicians.

The album is opened by Strange Shore with a heavy breathtaking introduction where Manni Greiner (Bass) and Matthias Helk (Drums) take the lead until Kesselhack starts to sing, after this point, we can expect anything, from lush guitar solos, to jazzy passages and a bit of ambient to calm the mood, a beautiful combination of genres, styles and moods that introduces us to this rare forgotten band.

Blind Man's Mirror is a 12 minutes mini epic that starts with all the band playing a fluid musical section with lush keyboards, frenetic drumming and an acoustic guitar, this is what I expect from Prog, people who are "Determined to strive beyond existing stagnant music forms" (Phrase taken from Steve Hackett). And this is what the musicians of SECOND MOVEMENT were doing, they were not particularly complex in comparison with the coetaneous musicians but were ready to blend what shouldn't be blended and make it sound great. 12 Minutes of pure Prog Rock with clear Symphonic tendencies.

Shangai starts as an extremely beautiful acoustic guitar interlude somehow in the vein of Steve Howe, but then the electric guitar marks a radical change, from there on is a festival of sounds with heavy guitar combined with lush keyboard passages clearly inspired by Rick Wakeman. Again a risky experiment that went well.

Back in Town is another long song (9.05 minutes), but for the first time, they fully embrace a pristine Symphonic style with music that flows gently despite the many instrumental solos (including a beautiful "Thijs Van Leer style" flute by Manni Bierbach), everything is in it's right place, even the few dissonances created mostly by the organ in the vein of Keith Emerson, but always showing great respect for the melody, one of the best tracks I have heard in years.

The album is closed by the mysterious Different Autumn which is the cherry in the top of the cake. This time the members of SECOND MOVEMENT crossed the line (thanks God they did) and created some sort of Frankenstein piece, that goes from Medieval Folksy sections to vibrant heavy passages all enhanced by a Baroque organ that keeps us in Symphonic territory. A great closer.

After listening the album, a question tortures me?Why did they only pressed 700 copies of this album? If they had reached the British market we would be talking about an icon of the genre, because they had the skills, the ideas and the talent, things like this make me really sad.

Almost forgot the rating?But this is only an anecdote, I was tempted to go with 5 stars, but it's obvious that SECOND MOVEMENT needed to polish a bit the rough edges, so I will go with 4 very solid stars that would be 4.5 if the system allowed this.

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars One of the true obscurities of German prog from the 70s, SECOND MOVEMENT is a band that formed all the way back in 1971 in Coburg but didn't find any album release until late in the game in 1976 and due to its formation so early on has been assumed to be just another Krautrock band from the vibrant scene of the early 70s but this band forged ahead with a sound all its own as it kept some of the psychedelic features of the 60s but mixed them with a more symphonic approach that often emulated the great Keith Emerson with energetic outbursts of keyboard prowess. Add to that the band infused Santana-esque percussive drive and occasional solos but even stranger was that the catchy pop hooks, soaring emotive guitars and stylistic approach seemed to prognosticate the neo-prog movement of the 80s. There are even occasional saxophone solos and lush flute passages.

Having incarnated from the ashes of a band called The O.N.E. that played covers of songs by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Troggs in the late 60s, SECOND MOVEMENT carried on many of the pop sensibilities while it incorporated a healthy dose of proggy workouts as it headed into the second wave of German prog along with other bands such as Anyone's Daughter, Amenophis and Rousseau. By the time SECOND MOVEMENT got around to recording and releasing an album, the octet lineup was whittled down to the mere sextet of Harald Kesselhack (lead vocals), Sigmund "Seggi" Zeidler (keyboards), Thomas Möckl (guitar), Manni Bierback (flute, saxophone), Manni Greiner (bass) and Mathias Helk (drums). The band released its debut album BLIND MAN'S MIRROR and a standalone single "Fool's Dance / Rainbow" on Castle Records in 1976. The album is a true obscurity as only 700 copies were produced on vinyl and it has never found a repressing as of 2020 at least.

Not only has this album suffered from its true obscurity but has also been subjected to lots of criticism over the decades probably due to the fact it didn't adhere to the norms of the German scene and sounds more like an English band in many ways. Not only do the keyboards emulate Keith Emerson but the vocal style of Harald Kesselhack often sounds a lot like Greg Lake particularly on tracks like the length nine minute "Back In Town" but while that may be true, the band has a much more diverse spectrum of tones and timbres than ELP ever did and the keyboard parts are for the most part crafted to create a hyperactive atmospheric backdrop for the melodic flow to weave a tapestry around. The inclusion of the flute and spaced out guitar chops evokes another German band, Nektor although some Pink Floyd influences can be heard now and again but what stands out the most are the airy guitar sweeps that evoke the Genesis albums with Steve Hackett around Wind & Wuthering.

Underneath the prog workouts lays a very classical sounding foundation and at times the keyboard reverts to pure Baroque style Bach sounds that immediately bring bands like The Nice to mind but these revelations are fleeting and the prog regalia quickly returns to its originally scheduled program. Despite four tracks extending past the nine minute mark with the title track exceeding twelve, SECOND MOVEMENT's composiitons are primarily vocal based, sung in English and give no hints as to the fact that this band was German but despite the lyrical content providing much of the running time, there are plenty of opportunities for extended improvisations, proggy time signature deviations and a few hairpin turns but overall this album has somewhat of a crossover appeal as it's based on pop infused catchy hooks that give this album more of a happy new wave feel which is possibly why it's been panned by many since it betrays the German tendencies to create dark, brooding and even depressing music that was so prevalent in the Krautrock scene.

While its true this band wore its influences on its sleeves prominently, at the same time it's impossible to mistake this album as something crafted by any of the bands that made an impression on SECOND MOVEMENT. This album exists somewhere between the early symphonic prog 70s and the later post 76 new wave scene which gives this one a really unique flavor as it somehow manages to bring classical music, jazz, psychedelia, symphonic prog, new wave and even Latin flavors all into one cauldron. Personally i like this one a lot. The album is extraordinarily consistent and although this may appeal more to the crossover prog and neo-prog crowds, it's definitely a keeper that seriously needs to find a remastered renaissance. The band released one more album without any prog in 81 and then soon disbanded.

Latest members reviews

3 stars The first album from German band SECOND MOVEMENT "Blind Man's Mirror" , created a good expectation when I heard the first track "Strange Shore" due to the fact of to my ears they seems created your own style or the influences ( if exists ) was well disguised. This characteristic stay in the ... (read more)

Report this review (#1564909) | Posted by maryes | Sunday, May 15, 2016 | Review Permanlink

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