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Haggard Awaking the Centuries album cover
3.54 | 34 ratings | 7 reviews | 26% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Rachmaninov: Choir (0:37)
2. Pestilencia (1:53)
3. Heavenly Damnation (2:58)
4. The Final Victory (3:35)
5. Saltorella La Manuelina (0:56)
6. Awaking The Centuries (9:33)
7. Statement zur Lage der Musica (1:18)
8. In A Fullmoon Procession (5:17)
9. Menuett (1:19)
10. (I) Prophecy Fulfilled / (II) And The Dark Night Entered (6:22)
11. Courante (1:11)
12. Rachmaninov: Choir (2:31)

Total Time: 37:30

Line-up / Musicians

- Florian Bartl / oboe
- Karin Bodenmüller / soprano voice
- Christian / tenor voice
- Fiffi Fuhrmann / tenor voice
- Kathrin Hertz / violoncello
- Steffi Hertz / viola
- Luz Marsen / drums, percussion
- Robert Müller / clarinet
- Danny Klupp / guitars
- Andi Nad / bass
- Assis Nasseri / vocals, grunts, guitars, kettle drums
- Kathrin Pechlof / harp
- Peter Prysch / French horn
- Thomas Rosato / bass voice
- Florian Schnellinger / percussion
- Michael Stapf / violin
- Andrea Sterr / violin
- Georg Uttenhaler / double bass
- Hans Wolf / grand piano, church organ, synthesizers
- Christoph von Zastrow / flute
+ Evert Fratermann / orchestral percussion
- Ilka Mende / violin
- Fabian Schwarz / acoustic guitar
- New Moscow Radio Choir / chorus

Releases information

Cd. Drakkar Records 007 / Cd. BGM Records 74321 72819

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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HAGGARD Awaking the Centuries ratings distribution

(34 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(26%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

HAGGARD Awaking the Centuries reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ProgLucky
5 stars Hello, this is a true gothic-metal!!!...This cd is a MASTERPIECE of this genre!!!... All totaly music is perfect, the female voices, choirs, all atmospheres. Occasionally there are gruff vocals, which may inspire the attribution of "Death Metal." I love this band! If you like LACRIMOSA or\and THERION you will definitely love this band. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!! Thank HAGGARD...!
Review by Peter
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I hesitated to write this review, because the CD was a gift, and I don't share the giver's high opinion of the content. They say one should "never look a gift horse in the mouth," but I did promise to review this album, so here goes....

First of all, this is a very ambitious project by a unique band. Haggard is composed of a metal band at its core, and is fleshed out by a classical/medieval ensemble. There are 20 members in all, not including guest musicians and choir! (Like ELP's overblown WORKS tour, this outfit must have quite the operating budget!) The concept behind AWAKING THE CENTURIES is the prophecy of the 16th-Century "seer" Nostradamus, and the juxtaposition here of metal and medieval music is not without merit. When the kettledrums and chainsaw guitars come thundering in on the pretty instrumental efforts of the "orchestra," the result fits well enough within the bounds of "prog."

What I really don't like about this disc, however, is that the bulk of the vocals are delivered by a guy (with a thick German accent -- that's not normally a problem for me) who is deliberately trying to sound like a demon (imagine Regan from "The Exorcist" in full possession-mode, or "Animal" from the Muppets at his most ornery). I suppose the effect is meant to be powerful and chilling, but for me it's just silly and irritating. (OK pal, I know you're not really a demon. Could you please stop ruining the songs, and either just sing in your real voice, or keep quiet?) Don't get me wrong -- there is some lovely music here. But of twelve tracks, six of the longest ones either feature the Hellish vocals, or are marred by histrionic narration atop the music. Hmmm, that leaves exactly 6 minutes 39 seconds of nice classical/medieval/choral music that I can get into -- why don't I just play one of my actual classical or medieval CDs instead?

This may well appeal to the tastes of some younger/angry listeners, but it's certainly not my "cup of chai." There's plenty of brutality and ugliness in this world already, and I can easily see it on the TV news; I don't need it to be oozing from my stereo speakers as well. (When I want to hear music about Nostradamus, I'll stick to Al Stewart's excellent song.) I crave more beauty and majesty in my progressive rock, and I'm only willing to wade through so much ugliness to experience it. There's simply too much of the latter, and not enough of the former, to make me give this album more than a two-star rating. Grow up, lose the "demon" and try some singing next time, Haggard, and make the great album that I know you can make!

Review by Marcelo
4 stars After the original "And Thou Shall Trust... the Seer", Haggard repeat his formula. Now, the impact isn't so strong because this album already haven't the originality founded in their previous work: it's like the second part of that. Perhaps, the little difference lies in the predominant baroque tunes over the medieval feeling, but we find again the pretty classical melodies mixtured with heavy moments, once again the growling male voice fighting with the beauty female, etc. Exactly the same vein, yes, and -what important!- the same high quality too. There's nothing new but, however, this is another brilliant album and, of course, deserves the same recommendation.
Review by hdfisch
4 stars Like their previous work this album is a concept one about Nostradamus' life and prophecies. Not much has changed in the presented music style here which is 16th century music combined with gothic/death metal. Certainly the way Haggard accomplish this blend by using a full classical ensemble comprising of 20 musicians/vocalists has to be called quite unique and actually I'm not aware of any other band that could be compared to them. On the other hand that goes without saying is this high-contrast style using grunt vocals next to beautiful classical tunes of cellos, violins, clarinet, oboe and so on for sure not everybody's "cup of tea". I can imagine that this band cannot offer much enjoyable for people who are mainly into "conventional" Prog and favouring sheer beauty and harmony. But I've to say that I don't have a particular problem with the (admittedly) quite "awful" male vocals which might predominate here a bit more than on their first one since I prefer contrasts in my Prog. If they would be replaced by "normal" ones Haggard would sound quite similar to any other symphonic Prog or Neo-Prog band and then they would certainly lose attraction for me and the rest of their other fans. In addition to the first part of this concept they're making use here of a full classical choir. Lyrics (partly as narrations) are in three languages: Latin, German and English. Thus some people being only familiar with the latter one might have problems to follow them. In my view Haggard managed here very well to reflect life and music of this era garmented with a modern "metallic" sound and therefore I think this work deserves a rating of 4 stars. Not because it should be considered essential in Prog generally but because it should be appreciated as an excellent effort. Recommended to anyone with an open mind who doesn't mind some "hellish" sounding vocals.
Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars As I wrote for their debut ""And Thou Shall Trust...", the most difficult achievement would be a confirmation of their talent. Their first album was rather innovative (at least I felt so) and mixed unmixable musical genres: from heavy metal to classic.

This one is no other. But the surprise is no longer the same. On top of this, there are too much choir on this one. The whole album sounds also over produced: to try to sound "rich" is not always the best you can handle. This work is a succession of short and uninspired songs till the title track takes place: " Awaking The Centuries" which is the sixth song featured...

But it is too much of a growling affair to my taste. The combination with short classical passages is not working very well, and the whole just collapses IMHHO. The first song which I could depict on par with their debut is "In A Fullmoon Procession" because it holds melodic female vocals, some medieval fantasy but it ends in some chaotic growling unfortunately.

Unlike their first release, the vocals are weak here: lots of growling while these ones were reduced to a background feature. I am NOT a fan of this type of "experiment". Six tracks out of twelve lasts for less than two minutes and are quite useless. Most of them do hold the "press next" attribute.

This is not a good album. I really wonder what went through their mind after their very good debut. This one sounds as a (bad) joke really. No fun at all. Uninventive. In one word: boring to death and somewhat painful for my ears.

"Awaking The Centuries" is quite a huge deception as far as I'm concerned. From a very creative start, the band quickly showed his limits. Let's hope that they'll wake up in future albums. This one rates quite low on my scale. From three out of ten, I'll upgrade it to two stars but no more.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars As a brief intro to put some context with respect to this review today: I have just met a prog friend who owns a cafe that plays no music but prog. It's located quite far away from Jakarta, or precisely at Jombang, East Java, roughly 800 KM away from my resident. I was introduced by him a RIO band called as Cosa Brava which uses many violin work throughout its unique musical composition. I was in a progring (progressive gathering with the owner of the prog cafe, Edi Apple Santoso) discussing the music of Cosa Brava as well as Ceramic Dog and Tin hat plus some other RIO bands. What mattered to me was the fact that I am not that familiar with RIO but I love the sound of violin in prog music. I suddenly remember haggard and I have this Awaking The Centuries that I have not reviewed yet.

Well .. I have to admit that once I knew their debut album I was not following the band intensively until I found Tales of Itheria which to me is a really wonderful album with no flaw at all musically! And now I am having the Awaking the Centuries which to me is an excellent album blending metal and classical music, I think the root is actually classical music through the use of violin as well as flute. But then the band push forward the envelope to make the music as colossal as possible to make it really a BIG thing at the end. The result is truly an excellent music composition combining great choirs, growling vocal plus metal music and string arrangements. WOW! I like it very much.

The first four tracks to me is a comprehensive offering opened with a nice choir as intro ini Rachmaninov: Choir (0:37) followed beautifully with Pestilencia (1:53) , Heavenly Damnation (2:58) and The Final Victory (3:35) . I can see the band tried very hard to blend nice melody with various components of the music: the string arrangements as well as the growling vocal line that becomes an important part of the music. I also like the transition segments where the violin or flute put its work beautifully. The female vocal that accompanies the growling part is also great! Oh boy .. it's a wonderfully crafted composition, really!

Maybe the peak is the fifth track where Awaking The Centuries (9:33) being played with excellent exploration of growling, female vocal and violin work throughout the music. I am touched with the piano solo at the beginning of the track. I can say that this track is really a msterpiece and it isnpires the next album of tales of Itheria where the composition is quite similar with it. The male clean vocal inserted somewhere in this track is also terrific even though it's just a filler. But then it flows with another great piano solo combined with acoustic guitar! WOW!!!!!!

This is another excellent prog music that blends the heavy side of the music: metal and string arrangements. If you like the exploration of violin combined with great and touchy piano solo, wonderful string arrangements, nice choirs as well as growling vocal, I bet you would love this album! Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Latest members reviews

3 stars I agree with most of the comments which the previous reviewer, Peter Rideout, left about "Awaking The Centuries". Judging from their music and the professionally-made website, HAGGARD is a very ambitious project indeed. Many of the band members play classical acoustic instrument ... (read more)

Report this review (#26697) | Posted by | Sunday, September 26, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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