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Amenophis Amenophis album cover
3.98 | 127 ratings | 14 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1983

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Suntower (5:18)
2. The flower (7:31) :
- a) The appearance
- b) Discovering the entrance in the shadow of a dying bloom
3. Venus (7:03)
4. The last requiem (24:32) :
- a) Looking for refuge
- b) The prince
- c) Armageddon

Bonus tracks on 1992 reissue (previously unreleased):
5. Bonjour, magnifiques Champs-Elysees (1:45)
6. Notre dame tres honorable (4:01)
7. Le vivant montmatre (2:17)
8. Une promenade sur la rive de la Seine (3:47)
9. La vue de la tour eiffel (2:52)

Total Time: 59:07

Line-up / Musicians

- Michael Rößmann / electric & acoustic guitars, keyboards
- Wolfgang Vollmuth / bass, acoustic guitar, keyboards, vocals
- Stefan Rößmann / drums, keyboards, acoustic guitar & synth (5-9)

- Wolfgang Braun / flute
- Erwin Hillebrand / organ

Releases information

Artwork: Hubert Fischer

LP self-released (1983, Germany)

CD Musea ‎- FGBG 4052.AR (1992, France) With 5 bonus tracks, composed & performed by Stefan

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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AMENOPHIS Amenophis ratings distribution

(127 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

AMENOPHIS Amenophis reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marcelo
5 stars An excellent underrated album, with delicated and beautiful landscapes. Mostly instrumental and far away from the typical German rough-symphonic rock (a la ELOY or NOVALIS), this band seems to be influenced by the most elegant CAMEL and GENESIS. If you enjoy soft atmospheric and changing music, and vintage sounds with nice interplay between keyboards and guitar, this is a highly recommended album.
Review by loserboy
4 stars Musea have once again released a real prog lovers gem in AMENOPHIS. Very much in the spirit of GENESIS and CAMELl, AMENOPHIS delivers some delicious prog moments. Musea have added some nice live cuts at the end of the CD giving a nice historical perspective to the CD re-release. Songs are all well remastered and sound delivery here is very good. AMENOPHIS blend elements of drums, keyboards, bass and guitar with gentleness and sophistication. AMENOPHIS is quite symphonic in parts and songs are well arranged and offer different tempos throughout. There is some real nice progressive moments captured here with excellent guitar and key interplay. This is great music !
Review by Heptade
3 stars A decent release from the dark ages of prog (1983). Heavily influenced by Camel, this group creates an enticing canvases of Latimer-esque guitar and flowing analogue keyboards. I don't really hear a big Genesis-influence, as others have said. Not as much as Neuschwanstein, anyway. Heavy on the beauty, not the chops, which is good for me, but if Relayer is your favourite album, this won't nearly be choppy enough for you. The vocals are as predictably poor as we can expect from European bands trying to wrap their tongues around clumsy English lyrics, but fortunately, as on many Eloy albums, the long instrumental passages are worth trying to ignore them. The CD collects a bunch of bonus tracks, which are in French for some reason, but they are nice acoustic pieces which don't resemble the rest of album much. Camel freaks might want to search this one out.
Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars It was a 'progrock sin' to ignore this wonderful 24-carat symphonic rock album for so many years but when I re-discovered it a few months ago, I've played this eponymous debut album by German prog band Amenophis many times and every time it manages to generate the same huge excitement, "wunderbar"! Their music is very melodic and pure and based upon beautiful interplay between sensitive electric guitar and soaring keyboards (often a wonderful strings sound). The climates fluently change from dreamy to heavy or bombastic with obvious echoes from early Camel, especially when the guest musician on flute is playing. The five bonustracks sound not really interesting, it's quite mellow music, also because the drummer has left his drums at home and plays only synthesizers and acoustic guitar in the studio. At some moments the acoustic guitar work is pleasant with hints from Steve Hackett. But back to the four compositions (between 5 and 12 minutes) on the original album (1983): if you love symphonic prog, check out this wonderful album!
Review by ClemofNazareth
4 stars Yet another symphonic rock gem I would never have discovered without the benefit of the Progarchives, Amenophis are a lost treasure of the progressive past resurrected courtesy of the rush by many labels to build up their CD catalogs in the nineties. This is one of the keepers.

The arrangements on this album remind me a whole lot of Camel, with the notable exception that these guys don’t have a flautist, although they do a good job of creating some synthesized flute-like sounds. The net effect though is that this album sounds like what Camel might be without Andy Latimer’s flute, and with an acoustic guitarist who tends toward Spanish flair at times. All three band members play a variety of keyboards, so there is a great blend of sounds on the album. Most tracks are instrumental, and on the ones that have vocals the tone is mellow, soft, and rooted in the seventies.

It’s not surprising given the 1983 release of this album that it didn’t take off, but I would imagine it would have gotten a much better reception a few years earlier. Typical of seventies symphonic rock, the album is divided into four rather lengthy tracks, each somewhat distinct but having a loose sort of coupling, mostly in the consistent arrangements. The vocal reverb effects are a bit sophomoric, but considering these guys were basically amateurs when they recorded this, they can be forgiven the occasional cheesiness.

The recording quality isn’t the best I’ve ever heard, but presumably the Musea version is a cleaned-up one, so it probably sounds better than the original vinyl, which almost no one likely has anyway.

With song titles like “Discovering the Entrance in the Shadow of a Dying Bloom” and “The Last Requiem” one doesn’t have to have much of an imagination to visualize the type of music on this album – mystic, earthy, and often highly orchestral even if delivered almost exclusively from keyboards and acoustic guitar. The electric guitar parts and more elaborate vocals hint strongly of a Genesis influence, but closer to ‘Wind and Wuthering’ than to ‘Trepass’ or ‘Nursery Cryme’.

The bonus tracks on the CD version are pretty much live, and for some reason the titles are French. These are interesting, are even more mellow than the original album itself, and are more inclined to acoustic guitar and what sounds like an electric piano. The timbre of most of these tracks sounds French as well, and frankly nothing on this album really hints at its German origin. A real anomaly in all respects.

Too bad these guys didn’t hang around to make a career of music, as I think they would have had a long and fruitful career had they arrived either ten years sooner or twenty years later. As it stands, they delivered a great album full of symphonic and emotional music, and it makes for a great bit of mood music today. Highly recommended to hard- core symphonic fans, and a four-star album for sure.


Review by kenethlevine
5 stars This is truly one of the lost classics of German symphonic prog, all the more impressive as it hails from the dark days of 1983 and seems to avoid all the horrid trappings of that decade while still sounding original.

Amenophis on this debut is more ethereal sounding than any of its admittedly mellow influences, like Camel, Genesis, Yes, Eloy, Renaissance (listen to instrumental break in "Venus" to see what I mean - think "A Song for All Seasons") and perhaps even Focus and Sebastian Hardie. The vocals are emotive although spare, keyboards rich, and the guitars varied in expression. Not to mention that the monster epic track, "The Last Requiem", features some pretty nice flute during its purposefully meandering 24 minutes.

The bonus cuts are somewhat new agey, being acoustic guitar and string synth duets. and would not be worth 5 stars on their own, but they are pleasant enough and follow logically from the original album that I cannot dock a star for their existence. They represent a fascinating experiment in lush minimalism.

Amenophis comes with my highest recommendation if you are into the pastoral side of symphonic progressive rock.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars It always brings me joy to discover great prog from the eighties, I guess because it doesn't happen very often. AMENOPHIS are from Germany and they released two albums in their careers.The band I was reminded of when listening to this album was GENESIS, and that would mainly be because of the guitarist. This guy can really play some amazing melodies, especially with the acoustic guitar. Actually the last five bonus songs are all fairly short instrumentals, primarily made up of some tasteful, beautiful and intricate acoustic guitar melodies. Nice. His brother is the drummer, while the bass player's talented sister (an artist) actually designed the surreal cover art. This record though is guitar driven all the way.

"Suntower" is so well done, the keyboards and the relaxed guitar solos.This is all so melodic, but the song ends quite aggressively with keys and guitar leading the way. "The Flower" is my favourite song. We hear vocals for the first time in this beautiful and delicate song. Guitar comes in at 2 minutes and it's fantastic ! This is a GENESIS moment for me as the tempo changes continue in this song. Some great energetic guitar solos after 6 minutes.

"Venus" has a spacey intro as vocals come in. Guitar and drums play on as some in your face bass arrives 5 minutes in with keyboards following. "The Last Requiem" is my second favourite. For the record i'd swear there was flute on these last two songs. Anyway the guitar in the intro is really good and the drums and bass lead the way until a scorching guitar solo comes in. It's almost 4 minutes in before we hear vocals.

A couple of years ago Greg Walker sent me his "work in progress" list of what he feels are the all time greatest prog records (one per band) ever recorded. It's a 3 page list and this record is included, now I know why. 4 bright stars.

Review by NJprogfan
3 stars Starting off with some nice piano then symphonic synth, "Suntower" sounds very soft at first but then 3 minutes in it picks up speed and is very original and smooth sounding. Some people compare them to Camel, but to me they sound more like Sebastian Hardie, mainly because it's very guitar oriented throughout much like Mario Millo's playing in Sebastian Hardie. Vocals are not a highlight, but for the most part, especially on "The Flower", the singing is kept somewhat behind the instruments and I must point out that the Genesis comparisons are mainly for this tune with it's Gabriel-like fantasy lyrics and the flute passages and Hackett-like flourishes throughout. The accented-German singing gets in the way of "Venus" an otherwise decent soft prog track though things pick up at the four and a half mark when the songs switches gears and becomes a bit jazzier then steals a bit of classical, (don't ask me what classical song it is I'm not up on my classical, but you've heard it a million times before). "The Last Requiem" is a 24:20 epic with really nice flute work, nimble drumming, (catch the Genesis drum swipe 2 minutes in!) and subtle yet fiery guitar. Unfortunately there's some terrible singing towards the end but it's only for a short period of time. The last five tracks are short instumentals, very nice with an overall classical nature. This is a fine prog album from the dark ages of the early 80's. A great find by the guys from Musea with a typically excellent booklet with pictures and an extensive history of the band. Well worth the price if you are curious about quality symph-prog from the 80's. 3.5 stars!
Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars To release a debut album in 1983 has nothing special, per se. But should the album been a progressive work of interest is another matter. And "Amenophis" did a good job on this one.

Purist might say that some musical lines are borrowed, I just feel that the music displayed here is very pleasant, diverse yet mostly instrumental. From the wild and hectic opener "Suntower", the listener is plunged into a sweet and very delicate "The Flower" which features some fine English vocals (which is not often the case with German bands, unfortunately).

Some pastoral moments combined with more rocking ones are a winner. Melody is never forgotten either. This band deserves the attention of any symphonic prog enthusiast. They had their influences of course, but to have the courage to release such a work in those progless times surely deserves high recognition.

Not all compositions are great of course (otherwise, this album would have been a masterpiece), but even in the weakest moments, "Amenophis" scores rather high ("Venus").

The central piece of the album is of course "The Last Requiem". A twenty-four minutes epic full of sublime guitar breaks (wild at times, atmospheric during others). The band (and the lead vocalist) being at unison. Even if it is deeply related to the early mid-seventies, the music is really enjoyable. But I belong to that generation (as to the blank one, but this is another story).

This epic will appeal to all early "Camel" fans. Emotion in the guitar play and fantastic harmony are mixed with some more (short) jazzy passages. Actually, this is the archetype of symphonic prog music (by far my fave genre).

Unlike many other bands of the time, "Amenophis" succeeded in being interesting throughout their effort. They can't be consider as too cloned, like many others IMHHO. At least during this album which I consider as a very good one.

Four stars.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Some friends at the ProgBrasil forum talked about this obscure German band raving about their come back, but I had never heard of them until then. It´s hard to believe any artist, in Germany or elsewhere, releasing a symphonic prog album in 1983. So I thought it must be pretty damn good to do so. And when I finally got the CD, my feelings were mixed. Nothing original, although no copycat either. Strong Camel influences, of course (there´s even a few bars that comes close to The Snowgoose on The Last Requiem), but there is more than just that, with classical, flamenco and jazz overtones all around.

I guess it could have been a lot better if they released a completely instrumental album or at least had the trouble to get a decent singer. Vocals are weak and with a strong accent, making those sung parts the least enjoyable moments of the album. It seems they knew that, for the vocals are put too low in the mix. However, the songwriting is pretty good overall. The massive 24 minute epic The Last Requiem have several excellent sections, but it has a few boring ones too. I guess they tried to bite more than could chew at the time. I specially liked the very fine guitar parts (acoustic and electric) and the Bardens-like atmospheric keyboards. The rhythm section is good, if not too outstanding. Production is also only adequate (wonder if they had a better producer and a top studio...). Some flute semes to be added on a couple of tracks but the player was not credited.

My CD has five short bonus tracks, strangely all bearing french titles, and has little to do with the original LP, being acoustic guitar/keyboards instrumentals with a new age feel on them. I wonder when, why or how they were recorded. Nice, ok, but they don´t add nothing to the (very good) group´s debut work.

Rating: something between 3.5 and 4 stars. I found this album to be more promising than really excellent, although some parts are, really. A little disjoined bits and the poor vocals mar the overall greatness of it, but not much. If you´re into early Camel, however, you can´t miss this one. I´ll round up to four however, because at the time it was released it was great compared to what was being produced. Certainly it was a bold move that didn´t pay off (at least commercially) and they deserved to be more appreciated by the prog community.

Review by Warthur
4 stars In the same year as Yes seemed to hammer the final nail into the coffin of their classic sound with 90125, Amenophis offered up a reinvigorated take on it on this delicious album. Not content to be a mere clone band, the German unit do an excellent job of updating the Yes approach both for 80s production standards and synthesisers. In particular, they seem to have a real knack for appreciating the particular properties and possibilities of 80s synthesisers, rather than making the error of simply treating them like fancy updated versions of 1970s synths, and they really go to town with exploring the possibilities of applying this to a mid-1970s Yes sound.

As well as the music, Amenophis also update their lyrical concerns for a new generation whilst still retaining the air of fantasy which was so appealing about Yes. This is perhaps best realised on The Last Requiem, in which 1980s concerns about a resurgence of the Cold War and a potential nuclear conflagration creep into the lyrical approach and also inform some spooky sections which, outside of The Gates of Delirium, Yes never approached in terms of atmosphere (though the music here is not quite so complex as that epic).

Although the followup would prove to be a major misstep, Amenophis' debut stands as a worthy contribution to the prog revival of the early 1980s, and in particular an interesting instance of a band incorporating sonic advances of the 1980s into a prog framework without sliding into full-blown neo-prog.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
5 stars A by-product and, it turns out, stalwart representative of the German prog scene. Too bad this band couldn't get the exposure and success to keep going: they are really good!

1. "Suntower" (5:18) a symphonic piece in the CAMEL tradition--except for the fact that the guitarist playing the incredible Spanish classical guitar from 3:45 to 4:45 seconds may be much more talented/skilled than Andy Latimer. (9/10)

2. "The flower" (7:31) (13.25/15): - a) The appearance - intricate and delicate instrument play over which singer Wolfgang Vollmuth sings with a pleasant voice not unlike a higher-pitched Greg Lake. A bit of a Camel, Eloy, Novalis, and perhaps Focus feel. (4.25/5) - b) Discovering the entrance in the shadow of a dying bloom - The heavier, more dynamic part of the song with sounds and riffs reminding me of some of prog's giants--even some of those from Italia. Nicely composed and rendered; these are some very skilled and cohesive musicians! (9/10)

3. "Venus" (7:03) Wow! Do they know how to capture the eery lonely feeling of space! The vocal performance is a little out of the pocket--even pitchy--and the band does not seem to be quite as tightly synchronized on this one. Meanders a bit until the final minute when it settles into a driving instrumental section similar to other German prog bands of the era. A little to disjointed and uncentered for my ears and brain. (13/15)

4. "The last requiem" (24:32) (46.75/50): - a) Looking for refuge (12:00) opens with solid wall of complementary rock instruments presenting the first themes--with flute helping out on one of them. The opening three minutes feel like either the presentation of multiple themes to be developed later or else a succession of ideas patched together in order to be dynamic and eclectic. I count seven separate, different motifs! And it keeps on going--keeps on being added to! I hear a lot of Camel and Focus in these themes and instrument sound choices--with John Wetton-like vocals As a matter of fact, at times I think I'm listening to an interpretation of the "Hamburger Concerto." Interesting how often I hear the rhythm section fall into familiar patterns but then they're gone, moved on, with a couple of measures. (24/25) - b) The prince - opens with a standard prog rock drum track with Andy Latimer-like lead guitar singing over the top. Then, suddenly, everybody switches: into air raid readiness mode. The ensuing high speed section is straight out of STEVE HACKETT's instrumental masterpiece, "Spectral Mornings." (Maybe he's the prince?!) After a couple brief recapitulations we move into a gentle, very melodic, almost AMERICA-like, acoustic guitar-based section over which the Latimer guitar picks up his beautiful wailing with a new melody. After a brief vocal section we move back into some more multi-speed instrumental passages. It's like we're driving an emergency vehicle through the cluttered city streets of a city that's under attack. (14/15) - c) Armageddon (3:40) at 20:40 we move into the final section of the suite, a quiet, spacious, almost Ambient/electronic VANGELIS/SYNERGY-like soundscape which finally bursts into full flower after about a minute only to proceed into a continued electronic analog synthesizer exploration of some heavenly Bar-do we do not remember. Nice. (8.75/10)

The real positives about this album are the extraordinary quality of musicianship, quality of composition, and the high quality of sound engineering--all of which are notable for remaining true to the original examples set by the original "masters' of the "classic" era of prog in general--not falling into the trappings that many German prog bands did of succumbing to the pop pressures to simplify and uniform as well as to temper or dilute of the displays skills--not to mention the choice to buck the trend to adopt 1980s computerized technologies to take over some of the work.

A-/five stars; a minor masterpiece of "classic" analog progressive rock music--and this, in 1983! Definitely a must have for any self-proclaimed lover of progressive rock music!

Latest members reviews

3 stars I wanted to like this 1983 cd more, and it does tend to grow on you after a while. But this debut cd from Amenophis suffers from a certain lack of originality and technical proficiency that I've come to expect from most of the German bands. It's not an album that displays a lot of "chops", but r ... (read more)

Report this review (#2441097) | Posted by Squire Jaco | Tuesday, August 25, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars What a revelation! Listening to this the first time I was simply blown away. How could I have not found this sooner? Another masterpiece lost to time? Suntower - breathtaking use of music that can almost be described as scenic; ever soothing, never boring. The Flower - a great balance o ... (read more)

Report this review (#206926) | Posted by manofmystery | Friday, March 13, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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