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Pell Mell

Symphonic Prog

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Pell Mell From the New World album cover
3.08 | 45 ratings | 8 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. From The New World (16:06)
2. Toccata (3:53)
3. Suite I (8:05)
4. Suite II (11:39)

Total Time: 39:34

Line-up / Musicians

- Jorg Gotzfried / bass, vocals
- Bruno Kniesmeijer / percussion, drums
- Dietrich Noll / keyboards
- Hans Otto Pusch / keyboards
- Thomas Schmitt / flute, violin, keyboards, vocals
- Rudolph Schon / percussion, vocals

Releases information

LP Phillips 6305 193 (1973)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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PELL MELL From the New World ratings distribution

(45 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

PELL MELL From the New World reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars After a very successful debut album (artistically anyway), their approach is different than on their debut . This is a lot more in the direction taken by Dutch bands Trace and Ekseption ( for those who are not familiar , those groups specialized in re-working the classics with rock instrumentation - one album is fine but they made a whole carreer out of it) but at least here , the credits are due and this could be regarded as a tribute. However, this is weaker IMHO than their debut. Dvorak is my fave classical composer and I was hard up to hear what they had done with Symphony From The New World and this was deceiving.

Nowadays, I would probably avoid such exercise, as I know this can only be deceiving. However to call thisa clone band might be exagerating ..... but if you think well about it for a minute. As I never heard later albums, it is hard for me to know in which they went, but

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars Starting their musical career with a very good heavy prog debut album, Pell Mell released a pure symphonic one with From The New World.

The alchemy on this album holds its essence in the adaptation of classical themes into symphonic rock. And to be honest, it works pretty well. Mostly instrumental, there are some great violin solo which are really worth. Vocals are nothing from the other world, but since the album is mostly instrumental, let's not argue too much about this.

The music you will discover is seriously ELP oriented. Orgies of keyboards are frequent and top all other parts mainly. They convey a great bombastic feeling and this sort of albums are a fine complement to the work of the trio. Still, this is not plagiary since additional instruments like flute and violin (not to mention guitar) are completing the line up and add a very personal taste to the music proposed.

Thomas Schmidt is just fabulous in his solo during the opening number From The New World. A gorgeous piece of violin, really. This track is a highlight.

Although I have never been into classical music, I must say that this album is fairly good. It's a fine and modern way to discover some composers. The pumping organ during Toccata is another catchy part of this album.

IMHHO, the second part of this work is not on par with From The New World and Tocatta. Maybe too close to classic during Suite 1 and too loose during Suite 2, although the latter features a beautiful (but short) flute passage). It is also much more psychedelic oriented and the guitar paly during the finale is quite expressive.

In all, this is a good album which deserves the three stars easily.

Review by kenethlevine
2 stars I have often stated that transitional albums tend to represent the best of a group, where the eclectic strengths of each phase are showcased. In the case of Pell Mell, "Marburg" was a powerful debut with an appealing contrast between over the top rants and passages of extraordinary beauty. This unlikely juxtaposition worked to near perfection. "Rhapsody" and "Only A Star" were prissy by comparison, but were more than saved by a sense of fun and skilled arranging and editing. The vocals were also well suited to the style. Here is the in-between album, and it unfortunately adopts the worst qualities of both.

It does not know what it wants to be, but seems to opt for a manic EMERSON LAKE AND PALMER most of the time, which isn't even good when you are the band of that name. The more faithful classical flourishes work well, but the transition to ripping organs and searing violins seems clumsy and tacky by comparison to what would come later. This is a frustrating album because every track is in dire need of editing. As a result, although I have tried to enjoy "From the New World" on several occasions, and do indeed love certain parts (such as the start of the title cut and the pan flutes of Suite II), no full track here would make my top 5000. And "Toccata" can't be filed away too quickly for my liking. I'll stick with the version by SKY that appeared much later.

"From the New World" is the only effort out of Pell Mell's big 4 that seems to have been thrown together helter-skelter, in frantic disorderly haste, which is...actually the definition of pell-mell.

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Errors & Omissions Team
4 stars 01. From The New World

And that initial bang! A bit of everything together by a single motto: A long song of almost apocalyptic proportions. And as the violin makes a big difference in the sound of a band, Thomas Schmitt knew it. There are even italian quotes. Solo themes side by side for violin and keyboard. When the calm comes into play is the turn of the voice into action, intense and very beautiful, with a guitar base, beautiful keyboards and backing vocals. And the 'Italian' theme comes back to the scene. Shortly after 5 minutes the bass from Jorg Götzfried comes in and then the band builds a wonderful phrasing, full of vocal folds and a great riff-based. 7 minutes (a little more) and the violin face the melody by itself, quite a band! Normally german bands play Krautrock sounds but that's not the case here, the band faces all with good melodies and a full keyboard work. After 10 minutes an insane violin solo comes in turning everything into a huge party full of strange things and madness and after a brief pause the violin returns, but this time more classical than ever, Vivaldi's influence, Thomas is insanely good at the violin, a virtuoso monster. Even 12 minutes and a half is just full of it (lucky us). The drummer Bruno Kniesmeijer do not have to beg and have to do the drums for the final theme, shortly after the gang ends with the central melody and again give us a show.

02. Toccata

Who does not know this tune? The band shows all his classical side here in this tune. They come in perfect communion, especially among bass, drums and the wonderful keyboards. After the half of the song (especially with the bass line and drums) they reminded me a lot EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER. The final as it was expected is huge.

03. Suite I

Again the classical vein is shown in high-performance, but after an excellent instrumental melody that is sung very much influenced by Italian Progressive, and when I say it is very much the same, which is great because we all know the qualities of the Italian Progressive. This first part has varied vocal and instrumental vocalizations and it's very well built, a superb bass line and once again the magnificent violin. And again at the end of the vocal theme 'Italians' return to the surface. Fantastic this theme, until the very end reminded me of PINK FLOYD.

04. Suite II

For the first time a guitar appears on the record (no credit I can give because I have no idea who plays it) and its an excellent guitar line. The vocals are interspersed with the solos and are now in full chorus, sometimes a single voice sharp and scandalous (laughs). At 2 and a half minutes the band shows a completely different face, through hard rock, THE BEATLES (the piano), a melody more 'normal' if it isn't for the vocal. There by 5 minutes one more change, this time led by the funny piano melody. Heck, as this band is full of surprises, to 7 minutes a broken time bitch kicks in with a guitar that reminded me a little bit of YEZDA URFA. But the vocals are still funny (laughs), and killer is the guitar. In a mad free-rock the band is intertwined in the solo and will continue until the end.

1973 The Year Of The Progressive Rock, definitely!

Review by Tarcisio Moura
2 stars Pell Mell´s second CD. It took me quite some time to write down what feelings this work bring to me. On one side the band did fix some vocal problems that plagued some of their debut´s excellent release. Ok, some hysterical vocals are present here and there, but they are few and when they do appear they are well palced and work within the song´s structures, believe it or not. On the other hand, their instrumental parts are not as good as on their first LP.

Most songs start off ok, with some great symphonic sounds, but most of the time they end up kind of losing direction and wasting time with long pointless solos. The arrangements seemed to be rushed and ragged, lacking a coherent whole. Nothing a good outside producer could not fix, by the way. And that´s their problem: someone should have told them to edit some of the instrumental parts and put on a more tight band playing. Besides, they attemped to adapt some classical music to the rock format instead of creating their own tunes. While this is interesting, it was nothing really groundbreaking as ELP (a very strong influence here) was doing it before and other rock bands were following this path (like Trace). And not all experiments are successful (I don´t think their version of Toccata is really convincing. Sky´s latter arrangement is much better).

it is only a pity that this album suffered from those problems, since it is obvious that the band members were consumated musicians. When they do gell, they really shine. So I guess From The New World was a disappointement after their electrifying start.

Not bad at all, but not really very good either. 2,5 stars.

Review by Neu!mann
3 stars The second studio album from Pell Mell saw the band flying their Symphonic Rock flag a little higher, and with more confidence than on their 1972 debut. With less guitar and more violin in the mix the group was clearly in their comfort zone, embellishing even their original material with more classical ornamentation (they played suites instead of songs, so forth).

The band's debt to THE NICE was acknowledged right at the top of the album, in their adaptation of the Antonín Dvořák title track, which had figured so heavily in Keith Emerson's notorious update of Leonard Bernstein's "America". Unlike other Classical Rock copycats Pell Mell at least put some effort into their arrangements, beyond simply augmenting the usual symphonic chestnuts with a modern rhythm section. Here they added lyrics and played around with the tempo, jumpstarting the stately original with a little quintessential Prog Rock melodrama, 1970s style.

The vocals were still a liability (imagine a Teutonic Derek Shulman), and the production values remained somewhat primitive, to say the least. But the band must have been doing something right to have their LPs sold as far away as suburban Northern California, back in those halcyon days when imported vinyl was not uncommon in mainstream record emporiums like The Wherehouse and Tower Records (R.I.P.)

This one was more refined and melodic than its predecessor. But it's still a somewhat rusty museum piece, with little to recommend it today besides the charm of its nostalgia value. Pell Mell would be a hard sell in the 21st century, but honestly how can I not award at least three stars to an album that makes me feel like a teenager again?

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars For their second release Pell Mell were upgraded to a sextet with the addition of keyboard player Dietrich J. Noll.This way Thomas Schmidt was free to focus on his work on violin.The band changed also label, leaving Bacillus for Phillips and a chance to be wider recognized.''From the New World'' was recorded at Rhein-Main-Tonstudio in Frankfurt and released in 1973.

Pell Mell now sounded a little more ambitious, having writen down longer compositions with improved space for instrumental themes, but at moments they sounded less original than on their debut.The long title-track is the perfect example of such a description, a mix of Classical Rock and organ-driven Progressive Rock with highs and lows.It is characterized by the monstrous violin drives and solos of Classical nature by Schmidt, some nice vocal parts led by Rudolf Schön, where the band still sounds grounded in its psychedelic past, and a few nice melodies.But it also contains some non-sense organ torturing, jazzy bits and piano interludes, like if you listen again to a German-born KEITH EMERSON.I am trying to find the reason of the existence of the following ''Toccata''.It is like if the previous track is extended for four more minutes of endless, virtuosic solos.''Suite I'' from the flipside is definitely more cohesive and rewarding.Good interplays, excellent vocal lines, melodious textures, dreamy violin work and a fair dose of keybard pyrotechnics result a strong track - maybe the best of the album - which you can listen with joy.The 11-min. ''Suite II'' eventually gives some space for some nice guitar runs and solos among the rich keyboard-based ideas of the group.It also features over the top multi-vocal arrangements and the excellent combination of Schmidt's spacey flutes and crying violins in the middle of the composition.Very nice piece of music, which sounds a bit different from the rest of the album.

Pell Mell proove to be technically accomplished with each release, but compositionally the album ends up to be a bit uneven.The ''Suite'' pieces are simply beautiful but the opening pair is of questionable quality and rather unoriginal.Still recommended, especially if you prefer your Prog Rock with strong Classical overtones.

Latest members reviews

3 stars I have never heard about this band before, but I have read from the other reviews that this is an untypical Pell Mell album. I cannot just brand them as an ELP clone, then. The music on this album comes across as a blend of TRIUMVIRAT, ELP, TRACE and EKSEPTION. In the first two cases, that's ... (read more)

Report this review (#220392) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Tuesday, June 9, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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