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WOLF CITY

Amon Düül II

Krautrock


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Amon Düül II Wolf City album cover
3.93 | 204 ratings | 36 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Surrounded by the Stars (7:46)
2. Green-Bubble-Raincoated-Man (5:04)
3. Jail-House Frog (4:54)
4. Wolf City (3:20)
5. Wie der Wind am Ende einer Strasse (5:42)
6. Deutsch Nepal (3:00)
7. Sleepwalker's Timeless Bridge (4:55)

Total Time: 34:41

Bonus tracks on 2000 Gammarock Records CD:
8. What You Gonna Do (6:37)
9. Las Vegas (4:19)
10. Mueller's Frau - Jam (10:53)

Bonus tracks on 2007 Revisited Records (2) and 2009 Belle Antique CDs:
8. Kindermörderlied (6:02)
9. Mystic Blutsturz (10:13)
10. Düülirium (4:24)

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- D. Secundus Fichelscher / drums, vocals (4-7), guitars (7)
- Chris Karrer / acoustic & electric guitars, violin, Soprano sax, vocals
- Renate Knaup-Krötenschwanz / vocals
- Lothar Meid / bass, synthesizers, vocals
- Falk U. Rogner / organ, Clavioline, synthesizers
- John Weinzierl / electric guitar, vocals

+ Al Sri Al Gromer / sitar (5)
- Paul Heyda / violin (5)
- Jimmy Jackson / piano, choir organ
- Olaf Kübler / vocals (2), sax (5)
- Pandit Shankar Lal / tablas (5)
- Peter Leopold / vocals (2), synthesizers (3), kettle drums (5)
- Liz van Nienhoff / tambura (5)
- Rolf Zacher / vocals (2-6)

Releases information

LP United Artists Records UAS 29 406, UAS 29 406 I (1972 Germany)
LP United Artists Records UAS 29 406 (1972 France)
LP United Artists Records UA-LA017-F (1972 US)
LP TELDEC 6.24848 AP (1982 Germany)

CD Gammarock Records GRR 83 803 (2000 Germany), contains 3 bonus tracks
CD Repertoire Records REP 4987 (2002 Germany)
CD Revisited Records (2) REV 079 (2007 Germany), contains 3 bonus tracks
CD Belle Antique BELLE 091493 (2009 Japan), contains 3 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates
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AMON DÜÜL II Wolf City ratings distribution


3.93
(204 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
29%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(48%)
48%
Good, but non-essential (20%)
20%
Collectors/fans only (3%)
3%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

AMON DÜÜL II Wolf City reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
4 stars Released the same year as CIB, Wolf City is what I call AD II's last great album and the best of their second trilogy (which includes the weaker Vive La Trance, although it was released after the Live In London album), and is a stunning album, especially for progheads. Coming with an impressive fiery Persian mythology artwork gatefold sleeve with an intriguing collage on the inside gatefold, Wolf City is an arresting work. Surrounded By The Stars strikes because it could be Jefferson Airplane going bonkers, especially once the violin gets going (Papa John Creach), but it's lacking the pure genius of Casady. Throughout its almost 8 minutes, SRBS is constantly shifting and keeps us riveted to our speakers and slowly dies down. Green Bubble is a slower mellotron-ladden track where the West Coast psych spectre still shows it head, but in a more subdued manner, while the group seems to apply a bit of musical humour in its very distorted soundscapes. Jail House Frog is a strange mix of Zappa and German cabaret-type of music where strange bubbles are sprinkled all over the song and the rhythm section going bonkers. Excellent stuff.

Excellent title track opening the flipside also, where the group is cruising at full speed, all pistons spewing fire and molten lava in your brains, the latter frying away without the need of external illicit substances. Starting on an Indian raga, Wie Der Wind slowly morphs into a great improv where the violin takes the lead (in some ways, we could imagine being on an Embryo album). Future Popol Vuh Fichelscher is outstanding throughout the whole album, especially in here; but the following Nepal track. The well known heavy Deutsche Nepal is probably my fave tracks, especially with the loud German monologue spoofing their own recent past and their expansionist plans. Built around a descending riff, the track operates magic with Daniel's drumming pulling an astonishing amount of drum rolls. And Daniel Fichelsher is the star of the Sleepwalker Timeless Bridge where he drums, plays guitar and vocalizes. No wonder he'll leave the commune and become the second part of the Popol Vuh machine.

Clearly the last of AD II's essential works, it's a wonder how they actually managed so meny good albums in a row, given the constantly chaotic background the group evolved in. But then again it's a part of the magic of those few years, where the world's usual long-established order was not only challenged but almost became obsolete. The counter-culture came awfully close to overpowering the fairly diminished so-called high culture. Too bad Wolf City came out with such short running time, because with an extra 10 minutes and a little more discipline (and lmaybe less line-up turmoil) , this record would've made the difference and the world would be upside down, the sun rising in the west and the moon lighting up the sky during the day. Oh well!! So much for that revolution. Warmly recommended.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#27821) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This psychedelic progressive rock is very bizarre!! Never seen stuff like that. One thing is fer sure: this record is not accessible at all!

There are lots of instruments involved: female vocals, guitars, drums, bass, keyboards, percussions. Not catchy, so it takes concentration to really decode those songs. The electric guitar is sometimes rather razor and intimidating. The bass is not timid. Made in Germany has more catchy parts.

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Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#27823) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Review by Certif1ed
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Not much to say - just listen!!!

Wonderful! Got this together with a copy of Phallus Dei, and I must say that it's really hard to review on a first listen - but I felt so powerfully moved by the album that I wanted to leave my first impressions - they'll probably be edited later, but if they help you decide which Krautrock album to buy, then all well and good!!!

Fantastically improvised feel, and some amazing original ideas - Listening to the latter part of "Jailhouse Frog", I could swear that I heard a riff used by Pink Floyd on "Dark Side of the Moon". Everyone has to get their influences from somewhere, I suppose!

First impressions? I will be listening to this again, that's for sure! I didn't find it inaccessible - on the contrary, it just kinda washed over and through me as I chilled to it.

Superb album!

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Send comments to Certif1ed (BETA) | Report this review (#27824) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, May 17, 2004

Review by loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars So often is the case with the music of AMON DUUL II either you get it or not... usually nothing in between. I do really enjoy the early years of AMON DUUL II with "Wolf City" representing one of them. The thing that sets this album up differently from say an album like "Yeti" is clearly the more accessible progressive leanings, yet still remains highly imaginative. This album mixes psychedelic and progressive rock in a way no one else could. On top of the usual guitar, bass, keyboards, AMON DUUL employ a nice dose of sitar (Pandit Shankar), tabla kettle drum and tambura which really all clicks on this album. Without a question Renate Knaup's vocals do take some slight adjustment to get into but for this music lover fits perfectly. This is a lively, fun and exciting album to listen to and I love their use of the distorted wah wah guitar and phasing effects and of course vintage keyboards. Musically this is actually fairly aggressive sounding without being noticeably loud or over the top. Songs are highly creative and cover quite a wide range of influences from the early sounds of PINK FLOYD to the punk mood of the late 70's to the psychedelic aura of The OZRIC TENTACLES. Overall a magical album and one that needs to be your collection.

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#27826) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, February 26, 2005

Review by Progbear
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A little bit of everything the band had been up to that point distilled in a single disc, that's WOLF CITY. Starting off with the eerie and menacing "Surrounded By The Stars", we return to the folkie stylings of the previous album with the whimsically titled "Green-Bubble Raincoated Man". "Jailhouse Frog" gets under your skin, with creepy "raven" effects from the returning Falk Rogner.

Elsewhere, there's another improvisational piece involving Indian instrumentation ("Wie der Wind am Ende einer Straße") and another Rolf Zacher avant-garde vocal piece (the rather disturbing, gothic "Deutsch Nepal"). "Sleepwalker's Timeless Bridge", as it was written, sung and largely performed by Danny Fichelscher, not an official member of the band, is probably the the album's most atypical number, a breezy vocal tune.

This is probably the album to try if you need a good, concentrated listen to get a feel for what Amon Düül II are all about. Some might fault it for inconsistency. I like to call it diversity.

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Send comments to Progbear (BETA) | Report this review (#44652) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, August 29, 2005

Review by James Lee
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars If I tell you that "Wolf City" is a brilliant amalgam of blazing acid rock, authentic eastern influences, lush gothic menace, and deceptively simple krautrock fun, you'll still never imagine what it actually sounds like. Simultaneously harrowing and lighthearted, each song (minus one, but we'll get to that later) is a wild ride within you and without you; various trippy and evocative passages come together to create an album that both defines, and strays from, the Krautrock ideal.

"Surrounded by the Stars" is a lovely, schizophrenic piece that careens between bleepy synths, raga-like jamming and rollicking folk rock. "Green Bubble Raincoated Man" almost fails due to the almost non-stop shrill vocals and heavyhanded cymbals, but the instrumental work redeems it in classic tight-but-psychedelic Krautrock style. "Jailhouse Frog" gets nice and heavy, almost to the point of self-parody, before dropping us into an inscrutable ambient passage full of echoing effects and a bare bouncy piano- this section descends by degrees until you're on the edge of your seat wondering if it will all end in tears or laughter...but unfortunately it simply strikes out into a jam and fades. Perhaps a lost chance for drama, perhaps a calculated withholding of resolution?

"Wolf City" is one of the few stylistically static works on the album, a driving acid rock backing to a spoken poem and eponymous refrain. I'm still not sure what he's on about, but it sounds very dark and possibly laden with social commentary. "Wie der Wind" is an absolutely perfect jam that dissolves blissfully into sample-and-hold burbles and insistent tabla patterns- the kind of east-meets-west experimentation that Amon Duul II does better than anyone, and surprisingly free of the gothic undertones of much of the rest of the album. To compensate, we're then given "Deutsch Nepal", which is deliberate, dark, and heavy (ah, that distorted VDGG-type organ- if only there was more!)...and it's all just tongue-in-cheek enough to remind you that this is no over-the-top MAGMA-type processional. Finally, the exquisite capstone that is "Sleepwalker's Timeless Bridge"- I fell in love with the band from this song alone, though as it turned out it was not quite representitive of their sound...well, anyway, it's definitely not to be missed.

This album is part of the raw guts of prog, true to the genre's primal psychedelic roots. In very basic terms, it has far more in common with early PINK FLOYD (or even with JEFFERSON AIRPLANE) than ELP or any of the heavily jazz-influenced bands. If it was just a little more cohesive or instrumentally impressive, it would undoubtedly be a masterpiece...but the rough edge is an essential part of the album's appeal for me. I can't promise you'll love it like I do, but with all the territory "Wolf City" covers, there's almost no way you won't hear something about it that you'll like.

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Send comments to James Lee (BETA) | Report this review (#46820) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, September 16, 2005

Review by Trotsky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars In the early 70s, this version of Amon Düül II was churning out classic albums for fun. Wolf City was arguably the last of a spectacular run of records that included Phallus Dei, Yeti, Tanz Der Lemminge and Carnival In Babylon. While not matching the very best moments of the preceeding albums (I'm thinking of outstanding cuts like Yeti's Soap Shop Rock and Tanz Der Lemminge's March Of The Roaring Seventies), it does have the advantage of being significantly shorter than them, and as such is probably the ideal introduction to the wierd and wonderful world of Germany's greatest progressive rock band.

Chris Karrer's violin and acoustic guitar work and Renate Krause's startling vocals (given slightly more exposure than before, but still nowhere near enough) are the true engines of the Amon Düül experience, and they function pretty well here. Surrounded By The Stars takes off where the previous album left off (ie, freaky violin and potent acoustic guitar), while Green Bubble Raincoated Man starts off as a mellower affair, riding on Lothar Meid's bass and some synthy flute, before exploding into an acid-rock jam that's heavy on wah-wah guitar.

Most of the seven songs here are pretty strong but if pushed for highlights, I'd have to go for the concluding cut, Sleepwalker's Timeless Bridge which is a classic piece with all the essential elements put together in a rather accesible way. It has many little sections, starting off in sweetly psychedelic mode (more Moody Blues than classic Amon Düül II actually!) before moving into storming hard rock before Karrer's vocals preside over a mix of Indian fusion and spacey sounds ... and it's all done in less then 5 minutes! Jailhouse Frog, with its Gothic chants, "horror" interlude, and space-rock conclusion, and Wie Der Wind Am Ende Einer Strasse, a tabla-propelled nugget with synths and flute and violin both compete for the runner-up slot. There is also a real curiousity in the unpleasant Deutsche Nepal, a heavy-handed piece, thanks in no small part to the thundering speech that rides on dense power chords.

To a certain extent, Amon Düül II is guilty of the repetition of established ideas, and I do enjoy Wolf City less than its predecessors, but I have little doubt this is the place to start with this great band. ... 64% on the MPV scale

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Send comments to Trotsky (BETA) | Report this review (#47257) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, September 19, 2005

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The first encounter with this album was quite unhappy for me. I was in 3rd or 4th grade high school and a friend borrowed several "cool" LPs of "progressive" music from his neighbour, among which was "Wolf City". At that time I was already deep into GENESIS, VDGG and other prog stuff but I was not too delighted with AMON DUUL II. That music was too "strange" and I had a headache while trying to listen to "Wolf City". But now, many years later, I can see that for certain things you simply need to have experience in order to understand - in this case, the music listening experience. Today I find this album to be an excellent example of the "psychedelic/folk" branch of Krautrock, with beautiful interplay of acoustic and electric guitars, violin, percussions, piano and organ/mellotron. Each song is excellent although Renate's lead vocal sounds a bit unrelaxed. The opener and closer, "Surrounded by the Stars" and "Sleepwalker's Timeless Bridge", are highlights but also the title track has that weird and eerie atmosphere. "Deutsch Nepal" was celebrated among my friends back then in early 1980s as a sort of mini-Krautrock anthem, probably due to funny sounding German language (which nobody understood!), as a mockery of WWII Nazi officers giving orders to their subordinates. (Himmler's obsession with exploration of Himalaya region in order to discover the roots of "Aryan" civilization also comes to mind...) Overall, "Wolf City" is an excellent album that should be easily enjoyed by most of prog listeners and is perhaps a good introduction to their earlier, more psychedelic stuff.

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Send comments to Seyo (BETA) | Report this review (#48145) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, September 24, 2005

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I have known of Amon Duul II for many years but never got around to buying any of their stuff. Thanks to this site I was motivated to go out and order this album. In terms of prog music personally outside of the UK, I would definitely favour Swedish, German and French next. Wolf City has not disappointed me at all and comes highly recommended.Ranate Knaup' vocals are strong and remind me of Jefferson Airplane or Babe Ruth a bit, much better though than Grace Slick's voice. The album as a whole is strong but for me it really gets going from ' Wolf City', 'Wie der Wind am Ende einer Strasse ' improves on this with the almost narrative vocal interludes.' Sleepwalker's Timeless Bridge' is the epic track of the album. Naturally Wolf City will act as a precursor to more from Amon Duul II. If you like a combination of a more psychedlic Babe Ruth/Tangerine dream combo and Krautrock you will not be disappointed with this group or Wolf City.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#49478) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, September 30, 2005

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Often regarded as the less representative of the classic records of Amon Duul II, Wolf City is builded up in song-format and is certainly more accessible for those who begin to explore the vast german scene. This not mean the music is less inovative and involving.

From the strong opener "Surrounded by the Stars" (the longest track here, over 7 mns) to the impressive closer (the most favourite of mine) "Sleepwalker's Timeless Bridge", passing through other classic such as the adventurous "Wie Der Wind Am Ende Einer Strasse" and "Deutsche Nepal" there's a teutonic festival approaching sometimes eastern culture through a convincing playing of acoustic instruments (guitar, sitar and violin, above all). The last two songs of the abovementioned ones, can really open a new door toward a different musical taste!

A symphonic wave passes all through the typical german sound and the result is a krautrock's manifesto, certainly deserving more wide recognition. Highly recommended.

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Send comments to Andrea Cortese (BETA) | Report this review (#102062) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, December 07, 2006

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The first time I heard this album play i'm thinking this can't be AMON DUUL II ? It was of course, just a more song oriented release that's all. I have to tell you that I really like this album, and I like the variety on it as well.

"Surrounded By The Stars" might just be my favourite song on this record. Renate's vocals are incredible on the first two songs, especially on this one. This is a powerful, mid-paced tune with violin coming in at 2 minutes while organ arrives a minute later. The organ really reminded me of ANEKDOTEN who list AMON DUUL II as an influence. I'm reminded of ANEKDOTEN later in the album as well .This has such a fantastic sound at this point. There is something dark and mysterious about this song. More violin 5 1/2 minutes in. "Green-Bubble-Raincoated-Man" is melancholic to open with electric guitar, mellotron and synths. The song changes 2 1/2 minutes in as it kicks in with drums and bass leading the charge. Nice guitar solo 3 minutes in. "Jail-House-Frog" has male vocals and some great guitar. There is a psychedelic feel to this one as a piano interlude arrives with strange sounds coming and going. Mellotron waves come in followed by the return of the full sound for the last 30 seconds.

"Wolf City" is more typical of their sound as it is a quiet and dark track and the vocals are almost spoken (in German) reminding me of ELOY. A nice heavy sound of drums, bass and guitar as well. The guitar to end it is incredible sounding. "Wie Der Wind Am Ender Strasse" is an instrumental that features some input from some guest players. It opens with kettle drums with spacey synths that create a nice sound. This is really cool. Violin comes in followed by an Indian sound of sitar and tabla to end it. "Deutsch Nepal" opens with heavy drums and German vocals that are spoken. A powerful soundscape is sprinkled with piano. "Sleepwalker's Timeless Bridge" opens with 3 minutes of instrumental work including some good drumming and a ripping guitar solo. There are three electric guitar players on this song including Daniel Fichelscher who is the drummer on the other tracks. The song changes 3 minutes in when the vocals come in and a different sound with them. There is a sixties sound to this part as synths, strummed guitar and bass stand out. Great sound.

This is another essentail album from the bands catalogue along with the first three studio albums.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#146320) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, October 21, 2007

Review by Tom Ozric
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars During the late 80's-early 90's, unusual Euro-Prog LP's frequently turned up in the local 2nd-hand record shop (and at fairs) for wonderously low prices. I hesitated not, ever seeking out music from odd bands most people hadn't heard of (Hammill/VDGG were amongst them, might I add). From the very first time I listened to this album, it totally 'floored' me. It continues to do so today. It turned out to be a unique and fresh aural adventure, even the mind-boggling cover-art (by keyboardist Falk Rogner) was seldom like anything else I've seen up till that point - not even various Roger Dean/Hipgnosis artworks came close to the inventive photography/collage-work that graced the presentation of this obscure German psychedelic band (Falk has confirmed that he "wanted to capture the visions he saw whilst on LSD"). Musically, this incredibly creative ensemble performed highly original progressive-rock - contrary to many alleged similarities with Pink Floyd - they really sounded like no-one else (I suppose they could show really vague similarities with the Floyd, but maybe 'The Doors' also). Not a dull moment throughout. The lengthy Duul classic which opens the album, 'Surrounded By The Stars', clearly displays an affirmed confidence, a true vision encompassing excitement, focus and spontaneity ; great arrangement, instrumentation (featuring rarely used keyboards such as a 'Choir Organ' - which is NOT a Mellotron, and a 'Clavioline') and their performance is flawless - impressive Bass-work from Lothar Meid on this track. Very, VERY impressive stuff - like ALL the releases prior to this !!

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Send comments to Tom Ozric (BETA) | Report this review (#155901) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Review by OpethGuitarist
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Side two is where it's at.

Perhaps the greatest thing one can learn from is failure or a missed opportunity. For the longest time I had this album in my collection with not much but a cursory run through of it, primarily because of the terrifying experience I had with another Krautrock album, Can's Tago Mago, that left me mocking the whole genre. All over one silly album. How foolish I was.

Here is a musical journey worth experiencing, as Wolf City does not disappoint, with the exception of Green Bubble Raincoat Man, which I just skip. However, the rest of the album is exquisite and majestic, bringing up memories of Comus (see the fiery section in Surrounded by the Stars), Magma (Deutsch Nepal), and many psych rock outfits (Wie der Wend...). Overall, the last half of the songs I find much more appealing, with much darker themes and motifs spread throughout the music.

While I would say this would be unaccessible to the common prog fan, you shouldn't be scared away. There's enough variety here to keep ones interests piqued, and compared to some of Amon Duul II's other works, this one is probably the best place to start if you are really looking to get into the band or into Krautrock.

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Send comments to OpethGuitarist (BETA) | Report this review (#177847) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
3 stars After hearing the lengthy Yeti which showed me many sides of Amon Düül II's sound it was even more surprising that Wolf City featured that exact diversity but in a much shorter format!

Some of the psychedelic over-the-top moments have disappeared which probably have something to do with the departure of some band members, most notably Dave Anderson who went on to play on Hawkwind's In Search Of Space. Overall there is a slight emphasis on the more rock-oriented sound but it still definitely sounds like an Amon Düül II record and a more mature one as well!

Album opener Surrounded By The Stars is the longest of the bunch so the composition takes its time to build up towards the climactic ending. Granted that I've never been much of a Renate Knaup fan I find her vocal performance better on this record then previously which has to do a lot with the improved production values. Still I have an issue with Green-bubble-raincoated-man where she sounds too much like Grace Slick from Jefferson Airplane, but this also has to do with the more single-oriented type of material that she has to work with here. Luckily the remainder of the album consists, for most part, of instrumentals where Wie Der Wind Am Ende Einer Strasse is probably the track that reminds me most of improvisation material on Yeti.

It's difficult for me to say where this album stands in comparison to the rest of Amon Düül II early material, but considering the album's sparse length and the overall high quality of the compositions I definitely would recommend it as an introduction to this band.

***** star songs: Jail-house Frog (4:56)

**** star songs: Surrounded By The Stars (7:49) Wolf City (3:20) Wie Der Wind Am Ende Einer Strasse (5:47) Deutsch Nepal (3:02) Sleepwalker's Timeless Bridge (5:05)

*** star songs: Green-bubble-raincoated-man (5:03)

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Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#268221) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, February 25, 2010

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
3 stars Each new Amon Düül album comes with a style change. This one comes with a tighter rocking sound, a focus on songwriting, mellotrons, Eastern flavours and the complete array of styles that Amon Düül had used before. Often the whole lot is crammed into one single track.

The album is rather short and takes a difficult start. The first two tracks are fresh and original but they are sung by Renate and her strained vocals are difficult to digest. While she is mostly in tune this time, her unexpected wails and weird modulations may be original but they hardly make sense to me.

The album takes a radical turn for the good with Jail-House-Frog. Driven by a catchy riff it goes back and forth between trippy psychedelica and theatre music extravaganza. The focus and energy of the band is perfect. The fuzzy delay guitar of Wolf City is even catchier. Its one of the first Amon Düül songs that got me into their unique sound. Next to Can, there is little music from the era that resembles this, but this sound has sure lived on in alternative rock, shoegazer and indie. I'd suggest to check out Loop's album Fade Out if you want to continue this trip.

Wie der Wind takes a more electronic stance and wouldn't be out of place on a Popol Vuh album. Indian percussion, eerie synths and a distant reverbed violin. Also Deutsch Nepal counts as a highlight for me. It has a gothic majesty and a big theatrical feel, not in the least due to the solemn rhythm and recited German lyrics. The album ends with a more folksy tune that delivers the mix of folk and psychedelic rock that they tried to achieve on the previous album.

Given the short length and the opening tracks that fail to appeal to me, I can't allow for 4 stars. But it sure comes close and this album can serve as a perfect introduction to Amon Düül. If I ever get my hands on the bonus tracks I might upgrade it eventually.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#274052) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, March 25, 2010

Review by The Sleepwalker
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Wolf City was my introduction to the shimmering and rippling realms of Amon Duul II. Its innovativity and distinctiveness struck me on first listen, despite the album is more structured and less laden with experimentation than albums such as Yeti. Therefore, the album might be easier to listen to that earlier releases, which makes it from my experience a great introduction to Amon Duul II.

Despite these tighter and more conventional song structures, Wolf City still features plenty of experimentation and eclectic influences. Most notable are for this are the spectacular and dynamic "Jail-House Frog" and the intense "Deutsch Nepal" with its fiercely spoken lyrics. Despite most of the other tracks being less focused on experimentation, they still are very distinctive for Amon Duul II. From the dark "Surrounded By the Stars", with its fierce fiddling, intense vocals and flamenco influenced chord changes we move to the more benign "Green-Bubble-Raincoated-Man" and the ethnic "Wie Der Wind". Also notable is the broad range of vocals on the album, varying from gentle and melodic on "Sleepwalker's Timeless Bridge" to the harsh and intense, yet very likable vocals of Renate Knaup on the first two tracks. The latter might be an acquired taste though.

Another thing I like about Amon Duul II, which becomes very clear of this album, is the line- up and the frequent collaborations with guest-musicians. Often the lead guitarist John Weinzieri plays some easygoing molodies with vocals on top of them; Lothar Meid plays some very dynamic bass and is not afraid to hit some high notes every now and then; the synths vary from choir-like mellotron to roaring organ; and there is frequent use of exotic instuments, like the sitar and ethnic percussion.

Wolf City is an excellent album by Amon Duul II. I might prefer Yeti over it, but it is an excellent and recommended starting point nevertheless. There is not too much negative to say about the album, though it might be notable to say that its flow gets a tad inconsistent because of switching between more tightly composed songs and more experimental pieces frequently. Also, the songwriting on the second half isn't as strong as on the first half in my opinion. Therefore, I think Wolf City deserves three and a half stars, rounded down to three stars.

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Send comments to The Sleepwalker (BETA) | Report this review (#281427) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars This is one of the better ADII albums. I would recommned Wolf City over Yeti or Tanz Der Lemminge for a newbie. I would never start with a double-album trying to get into any group...but that's just me. This album is not as crazy as the first three, but it is more edgy and 'proggy' than most of the band's later albums. In other words, a great place to start your journey into one of Krautrock's more interesting groups.

Most of the band members share vocal duties(including only female member Renate). Jimmy Jackson is here and he plays 'choir organ' throughout the album. This is often mistaken for a Mellotron. Jackson also uses it on Embryo's Rache and Popol Vuh's Aguirre albums. I think he was one of the only human beings to ever use the damn thing! There is some tabla and a bit of sitar on "Wie Der Wind...". Some violin later on. This song has great synth throughout. "Deutsch Nepal" has a great riff. Some nice piano and 'choir organ' here. I love the vocals spoken in German with the "ah-em" throat clearing. Every time I hear this song I picture a general from WW1 with a spiky helmet doing the vocals.

"Jailhouse Frog" is one of the highlights. It starts off in typical ADII rockin' territory but goes into a piano part. Some 'choir organ' comes in and we briefly get a polka beat before the guitars come back in. "Green-Bubble-Raincoated-Man" has so many ideas coming and going for just a 5-minute song. "Surrounded By The Stars" has lots of acoustic guitar and changes throughout the piece. Some good violin playing in this song. The title track is probably the most mainstream sounding song here but it's still good.

I like the cover art. It looks like an ancient Babylonian sculpture. This is the last really good album these guys did. After this their sound would get more streamlined and slick sounding. I would say get this first then proceed to the any of the first three albums. 4 stars.

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Send comments to zravkapt (BETA) | Report this review (#308254) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, November 04, 2010

Review by Anthony H.
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Amon Duul II: Wolf City [1972]

Rating: 5/10

Wolf City shows Amon Duul II continuing on the increasingly commercial path that began on Carnival in Babylon. These two albums serve as almost direct companions; they were released in the same year, have similar lineups, and exhibit the same style of music. This style can be most fittingly described as straightforward psychedelic rock peppered with a few sparse hints of experimentation. This album faces the same problems that its predecessor did. It tries to merge experimentation with commercialism, to the point where the band seems unsure of exactly what style they want to be playing. It also tries to pack all sorts of musical diversity into its brief 34-minute run-time; as a result, the album ends up sounding disjointed, directionless, and disparate.

At only seven minutes, "Surrounded by the Stars" is the longest piece on the album. There is some excellent violin work to be found here, but that is not enough to distract me from Renate's terrible vocals. "Green-Bubble-Raincoated-Man" is a hard-rock song with miserable vocals and tired guitar. The groovy bass-line is the only thing that saves this track. "Jail-House Frog" is the definite highlight of the album. The main riff is simple yet memorable, and the jazzy later half features some fantastic sax and piano. The title track is a middle-of-the-road piece. There's nothing to get excited about here, but there's nothing to hate, either. "Wie Der Wind Am Ende Einer Strasse" is a light instrumental with tribal percussion, strumming electric guitar, and shiny synths. This is yet another average track. I can't conjure up any sort of emotional opinion about it. "Deutsch Nepal" is a short march-like piece with some interesting Mellotron. Other than that, however, it's entirely uninteresting. The closer "Sleepwalker's Timeless Bridge" is a folky track that almost goes into full-on bluegrass territory. Despite some nice violin work, there's little to write about here.

There really isn't anything about Wolf City that is worth getting excited about. It's an average album by every definition of the term. Every interesting musical idea that the band presents fails to develop itself, so the dull moments seem to permeate the majority of this short piece of work. "Jail-House Frog" is the only consistently interesting and enjoyable track on the album. Also, Renate's vocals are absolutely terrible. This woman has a piercing and unmelodious voice that is an absolute chore to listen to. I understand that such things are entirely subjective, but I can't help but feel strongly about them. Fortunately, though, her vocals only appear on two of these songs. Overall, Wolf City is a continuation of the downward spiral that Amon Duul II was experiencing at the time. It's an uninteresting and average work that is saved from total mediocrity by only a few desperate factors.

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Send comments to Anthony H. (BETA) | Report this review (#566658) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, November 12, 2011

Review by Sinusoid
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Compact Krautrock

Complete novices to the genre that seem too scared to try any of the more avant works that Krautrock offers might want to go to WOLF CITY. Most of the (relatively) short album dabbles more with old-fashioned art-rock than what Krautrock is known for. Swiss band Brainticket explored similar creative outlets in PSYCHONAUT, but that album suffers immensely from low quality material and half-hearted performances. WOLF CITY sounds like seasoned veterans with their hearts into the music.

Renate Knaup's voice is a subject of debate; me personally, hearing Brainticket's female singer makes me instantly run to this band. I would call her voice more than competent, and the two tracks (the first two) where her voice is slotted in a main role, she really adds a good tone to the song. There are other vocalists present, but they're not to offensive although ''Deutsch Nepal'' can get a little goony. The track itself sounds like a march to nowhere; even with the heavy mellotron, it's the weakest track.

Amazingly, Amon Duul II can create song-bites with a multitude of ideas and yet make each song flow smoothly. It's all about proper timing and making each idea worthwhile; Amon Duul II has this where others don't. And to top it off, the themes running around are quite catchy. Try not to get into the groove of ''Green Bubble Raincoated Man'' or ''Jail House Frog''. The former of the tracks is the highlight of the album; it builds to a spectacular climax.

The short jam title track also really deserves a strong mention for grabbing that pantheon of pure adrenaline surging hard rock. ''Sleepwalker's Timeless Bridge'' doesn't hit the same adrenaline, but it revolves around great ideas (with auxiliary percussion for flavour). It's really pleasant art-rock Krautrock the rest of the way with ''Wie der Wind?'' being entirely based on a bassline planted in the middle of ''Green Bubble Raincoated Man'' (but in a slightly different context) and ''Surrounded by the Stars'' having a Bowie feel.

If you feel too timid to get into WOLF CITY, don't. It's got a safety net for regular proggers and newcomers as to not blindingly offend them. The Krautrock fans might worry about a softening of the sound, but the tracks are of top-notch quality.

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Send comments to Sinusoid (BETA) | Report this review (#769619) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Wolf City finds Amon Duul II continuing their attempt to leaven their far-out hyper-psychedelic Krautrock sound with more accessible song structures and compositions. Some may argue that this is exactly what their sound needed, but to me the Amon Duul II magic lay in precisely how far out they took their psychedelic voyages. As far as a smooth, easy introduction to Amon Duul II goes, Wolf City really only introduces the listener to the sound they were adopting precisely to attract new listeners - it doesn't really prepare them for the glorious of albums like Phallus Dei or Tanz Der Lemminge. Just hold your nose and dive in at the deep end, you're a grown-up now.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#955461) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Latest members reviews

3 stars Wolf City is an attempt to distill A.D. II's wild psychedelic excursions into a more accessible sound for a mainstream audience. However, by its very nature, A.D. II's traditional sound cannot by contained in an album barely 30 min long. Therein lies the flaw in Wolf City; it is an attempt at ... (read more)

Report this review (#246103) | Posted by cohen34 | Saturday, October 24, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Mainstream Krautrock? On their fifth studio album, AMON DÜÜL II has chosen to adapt a more mainstream approach to their original & eccentric brand of German psychedelia. Do not let this factor mislead you; Wolf City is one of the best albums I've heard this year. It is incredibly infectious; on ... (read more)

Report this review (#232282) | Posted by Col.Nuke | Tuesday, August 18, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Long haired freaky people of the Earth rejoice ! Lofty east Indian influences dominate Amon Duul II`s entrancing fifth album. Stranded in a mystical locale called Wolf City and still waiting for the train out of the sixties, Wolf City abounds with ancient environs and plenty of strange psyched ... (read more)

Report this review (#218835) | Posted by Vibrationbaby | Friday, May 29, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Now wolf city is a brilliant album every song is brilliant,it starts with surrounded by the stars which is the best amon duul 11 song around i think the lyrics are just brilliant and the sound is good to[an excellent start to wolf city] next the is green bubble rain coated man which is ... (read more)

Report this review (#204382) | Posted by davidsporle | Thursday, February 26, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is Amon Duul II's best album. More well-crafted than their previous three rambling jam-heavy efforts, and more spacey and bizarre than their following works. This album is near perfection aside from a couple of rather dull failed experimental instrumental sections... but those mis-steps don't ... (read more)

Report this review (#202211) | Posted by AdamHearst | Monday, February 09, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This Amon Duul II album is alot easier to get into then thiere earlier ones, this one have more of a stright rock feel, thieres still alot of prog and psycedelia goin on but the songs have more of a melodic feel with alot of chatchy parts. The first 3 songs are great examples of this new Amon so ... (read more)

Report this review (#162102) | Posted by Zargus | Monday, February 18, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars AD II`s "Wolf City" is a most lush symphonic prog album released by the band. they first started with psychedilic guitars for their early albums, then itcame the great e-driven TDL. a 180 deegres turn came with WC, sung songs without leavin behind improvisation, lots of synthesizers making s ... (read more)

Report this review (#127194) | Posted by luisman | Saturday, June 30, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars In my original review of Yeti (which I have since revised), also by Amon Duul II, I spent rather a lot of that review bashing Wolf City (which I didn't even know well at all at that point), and I honestly can't think why anymore. The first time I seriously listened to this album, I absolutely fell ... (read more)

Report this review (#112371) | Posted by Pnoom! | Friday, February 16, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars In 1973 the two foremost space rock bands on the scene decided to push on their progressive side. One were Hawkwind (with "Hall of the Mountain Grill"), the other Amon Duul II; and Amon Duul II really did it! So, put aside the long pointless improvisations that stretched on (too) long parts of ... (read more)

Report this review (#99779) | Posted by paolo.beenees | Tuesday, November 21, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A five star rating for sure is something that should be considered well before being given to any album. Amon Düül II is an acquired taste, but once that far extremely rewarding. I noticed this on nearly all pre Hijack albums, but particularly on the ones where they started to change from more ... (read more)

Report this review (#82972) | Posted by jeromach | Thursday, July 06, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is one of the best efforts by the German prog group AMON DUUL II.Opening track is a wild rockin' ride in pyshedelica complete with electric violin ala THE FLOCK.Every cut is excellent and touches on sounds that are common to that era like the sitars and tabla drums that everyone from MILES D ... (read more)

Report this review (#43866) | Posted by bob x | Tuesday, August 23, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I bought this vinyl in '74 and even now over thiry years on I still think this is duul's best album.I thought I was the only person in the world who thought Sleepwalkers Timeless Bridge was one of the best album tracks by anyone ever. Now I know there are other fans of this track. This is a ... (read more)

Report this review (#43843) | Posted by | Monday, August 22, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album was recorded at a critical point in the history of the band. There had been some quarreling within the band, and some band members left to form Utopia and record a self- titled album themselves. Yet in typical Amon Düül 2 fashion the band members made peace again while these albums w ... (read more)

Report this review (#37662) | Posted by BaldJean | Saturday, June 25, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Although I cannot say that I've listened to all of Amon Düül II's records, I consider this to be their best. The songs are shorter on this one than Yeti (Their second best!), the first track "Surrounded by Stars" is the longest. A quite good song and so are the rest of the first four tracks. T ... (read more)

Report this review (#27828) | Posted by Frasse | Sunday, May 29, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album, along with Carnival In Babylon, is the apex of Amon Duul's musical achievements. Anyone who has visited Kathmandu would really appreciate this album, the perfect soundtrack to walking through the bazaars and alleyways of the old city. The sheer wealth of imagination is breathtaking ... (read more)

Report this review (#27827) | Posted by | Saturday, May 28, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars What an imaginative band, like some others Krautrock's bands they have found original sounds several before others. Listening the end of "Sleepwalker's timeless bridges" is an incredible expérience : the guitars of New Wave Era are still here. Like a Cure or And also the Trees song. The vocal ... (read more)

Report this review (#27825) | Posted by | Wednesday, December 29, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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