Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Symphonic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Ache De Homine Urbano album cover
3.48 | 70 ratings | 10 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

Buy ACHE Music
from partners
Studio Album, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. De Homine Urbano (19:01) :
- 1) Overture
- 2) Soldier theme
- 3) Ballerina theme
- 4) Pas de deux
- 5) Ogre theme
- 6) Awakening
- 7) The dance of the demons
- 8) Pas de trois
- 9) The last attempt
- 10) Finale
2. Little Things (18:37)

Total Time: 37:38

Line-up / Musicians

- Finn Olafsson / guitar
- Peter Mellin / Hammond organ, piano
- Torsten Olafsson / bass, vocals
- Glenn Fischer / drums, percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Mogens Carrebye

LP Philips ‎- PY 841 906 (1970, Denmark)
LP Universal ‎- 602557859072 (2017, Denmark)

CD Esoteric Recordings ‎- ECLEC2344 (2012, UK) Remastered by Ben Wiseman

Thanks to progbear for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy ACHE De Homine Urbano Music

More places to buy ACHE music online

ACHE De Homine Urbano ratings distribution

(70 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(49%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ACHE De Homine Urbano reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars The first Ache album is a weird one as the music was written for a BALLET if you can believe it. There was rock-opera and now rock ballet. Actually only the first side epic was written for the ballet , borrowing lots from the Classics masters (much like The Nice did) with heavy instrumentation (sometimes a bit exagerated but never in the terms of ELP either). When I speak of The Nice's interpretation of classic music , I want to make clear I speak of Bernstein's America and Gerschwin's Blue Rondo Ala Turc superb (and Nice) arrangements and not at all like the pointless Brandenburger Concerto or Five Bridges Suite.

Outside of that comparison , the guitar is also very present (as it was in the Nice's Thoughts albums) and very full of energy but the album is not flawless. Some riffs can even approach Zeppelin's power.The second track (also approaching 20 min) is less classically orientated but full of the typical (and great) instrumental excesses of that era.

One of the best album to come out of Denmark, at the time. The follow-up is also fine but more restrained and both albums have been released together as Eric pointed out out on that page , this is a master buy.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Ache is a symphonic prog rock band from Denmark. They are one of the few from the early seventies scene in Denmark which wasnīt exactly overpopulated. Most Danish bands were in the early seventies still mostly rooted in the pshychadelic era of the late sixties. There are a few exceptions and Ache is one of them. What is very interesting about Ache is that they have a very international sound as opposed to most other Danish bands of that era ( again there are few exceptions to that rule. Bands like Midnight Sun, Day of Phoenix and some of the material Burning Red Ivanhoe produced was very international sounding).

De Homine Urbano is a very organ driven affair which reminds me of a lot of the early seventies prog rock bands from England. What is a bit different is that the guitar from Finn Olafsson is very dominating when it comes to the soloing. He plays with the bluesy late sixties sound. The album consist of two side long compositions where the first one De Homine Urbano is music for a modern ballet. The second one is almost in the same style. There are lots of sections in the songs so they never get boring. Vocals are used sparcely.

The musicians are very good and they all need to be mentioned for the great playing. Iīm not too impressed with Torsten Olafssonīs ( brother of Finn) voice. As mentioned he doesnīt use it very often on De Homine Urbano though.

The album is produced by the domestically famous Johnny Reimer. He is mostly known in Denmark for being the father of the Smerfs and for being an entertainer playing easy listening pop/ rock but in the early seventies he produced some rock albums too. The production is very good, and the music really sounds great with this sound.

Even though De Homine Urbano sounds very international which is an achivement in ifself for a danish band, itīs still pretty average early seventies symphonic prog rock. Iīm not a big fan of the more organ driven bands in this style and therefore Ache isnīt my favorite band either. De Homine Urbano is a good album though and for fans of the aforementioned genre Iīm sure this is very enjoyable. 3 stars is what I will give this album.

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
3 stars 3 stars...I, to tell my truth, want to give the album 4 or 5 stars, personally.

Estimate it's a rare case that an album of a progressive rock band is remarkably influenced by The Beatles. About this the first song De Homine Urbano we can hear the parts of Every Little Thing, and the second song's title is Little Thing...ha-haa!

Indeed the band's vector might mimic or imitate The Beatles' one, but the sound has deep individuality, for 1970, the album born. Especially the heavy and lazy riff by bass guitar is very impressive and always knocks me every time. About 20 minutes songs are not so long and not boring for me.

Just on this period, I want to say, this album is too excellent.

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars A week ago, while walking through the CD store, saw an old vinyl copy of "De Homine Urbano" by the Danish band ACHE, the album was in very good condition and very cheap, so more with curiosity than with real conviction got it, at the end. I wasn't expecting real Symphonic rather than a late Psyche/Melodic hybrid.

While listening it, started to wonder how many things had to pass so an old record sold 38 years ago in a Danish store ended in my hands here in Perú, when I saw the signature of a friend inside the cover, it was quite funny, his father gave it to him when he came from a trip, he treasured it, but his cleaning obsessed wife sold all those dirt covered albums in a format "nobody sane" uses any more.

But back to the album, my prejudice was not accurate, the album is a gem, combines in the most delicate possible way echoes from the Psychedelic 60's with strong elements of the recently born Symphonic sub-genre, the massive use of Hammond is simply delightful, I could talk about some FOCUS influenced, but due to the date of release, this is not likely.

"De Homini Urbano" consists of two epics, the first one the self titled ballet (Yes it's true) which starts with a clear Emerson (THE NICE era) influenced performance, it's evident Peter Mellin likes pomp and brightness, the guy exploits all his skills and plays as loud as he can, combining instruments in a perfect way, hitting synths and piano with the same fury, but the star is always the organ, like suspended between the 60's and 70's in some sort of limbo, well covered by Finn Olafsson's distorted guitar.

There's nothing static in the track, everything is in perpetual motion, the radical changes come one after the other without rest, the band seems to have horror of silent spaces, covering every instant with music, when not the piano or guitar, you can clearly listen the bass or drums playing restless, like a sonic wall that hits you from start to end, simply wonderful expression of musicality.

But the closing section is exceptional, totally experimental for a band in the 70's an uncontrolled cacophony with a Baroque background, this guys were years ahead most musicians from the era, something strange for 1970 Prog of Scandinavia.

"Little Things" is a 18 minutes sort of Opera with THE BEATLES classic "Every Little Thing She Does" (also performed by YES) as main ingredient, but as anybody can imagine, they have 18:31 minutes to explore every possible variation and experimentation available on those years.

The vocals are not outstanding even when better than the average band...............From this point we get complexity, experimentation, pomp, excesses, everything that makes Prog so special, but is better to listen it than to read whatever I can say, because it's unique, so this is as far as I will go to avoid spoiling the experience.

Four solid stars for a very ambitious album that deserves more attention.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars De Homine Urbano is an early progressive rock album from Denmark, firmly rooted in the heavy psychedelic rock of its time. There are some progressive ambitions hanging about but they aren't always fully explored.

The instrumental title track is an excellent piece of early organ driven symphonic rock with a very natural rocking sound, close to bands like Focus and the Nice, and it should sure please fans of those bands. The piece is engaging all the way through, only the finale part, which mainly consists of the riff Deep Purple also used on Black Knight, is a bit disappointing. The second track is an improvisation around Every Little Thing She Does from The Beatles and it doesn't offer much thrills. The flat vocals and the drawn out instrumental extensions are rather dull.

De Homine Urbano is a promising but not entirely convincing career start that doesn't immediately motivate me to investigate this band much further beyond this. Not bad but for gem-hunters only.

Review by Conor Fynes
3 stars 'De Homine Urbano' - Ache (64/100)

As the album cover might go to imply, Ache's De Homine Urbano was intended as a ballet. With the advent of the first major rock opera the year before (The Who's Tommy) I suppose it wouldn't have been such a surprise for a rock musician to want to appropriate another classical format; of course, while the notion of the rock opera soon evolved into a codified genre of its own, a rock ballet still sounds like a novelty affair. Somehow I've never contemplated the potential association between progressive rock and dancing young women in tights; though I would have met the idea with cynicism at first, Ache have managed to make it work to their benefit; De Homine Urbano is a fine piece of early symphonic prog that gracefully adopts the delicate finesse of a ballet into its stylistic mainframe. It's perhaps a tad unpolished when compared to later works of symphonic prog, but Ache's debut is nonetheless an impressive work, worthy of attention in retrospect.

Like many of the more ambitious progressive rock LPs to come out during the 70s, De Homine Urbano offers up one 'epic' per side, with the music's only interruption being the presumed time taken to flip sides. Of these, only one is the ballet proper; the first side is the album's primary focus, whereas the second piece "Little Things" offers an appetizing-but- less-so second round. Although Ache only intended the first of these compositions to be interpreted through the lens of a ballet, both pieces have lot in common as compositions. Although the title piece is more explicitly stated as being a suite, both consist of a series of micromovements. The organ is the flagship of Ache's sound, with the guitars taking a secondary role, most often as a counterpoint. Although Ache have clearly intended both the title track and "Little Things" to be approAched as epics, they ultimately lack the scope and structure consistent with the better-known prog suites. Instead, the music unfolds often as a series of individually contained ideas; this is especially true with "Little Things", as the title ballet offers a stronger sense of control and focus.

There's absolutely no doubt as to which half of the album impresses me more. De Homine Urbano can and should be checked out for the merits of its ballet centrepiece. As I've mentioned, I find the idea of a prog rock ballet somewhat hokey, but De Homine Urbano goes a long way to make a believer out of me. If you close your eyes, you can imagine the sort of choreographies that may have been set to the music; the fuzz of the organ and distorted guitars seem very out of place in a 'ballet', but the composition itself could have been set to stage quite nicely. There's a notably lessened attention to detail and flow with "Little Things", but it's a fairly satisfying way to conclude the album. The introduction of vocals to the mix is well-intended, but doesn't serve to help the music much. Vocal comparisons to The Nice are aplenty when speaking of Ache, and the reference doesn't go without merit; Ache's second track seeks to blend 60's pop sensibilities with classical repertoire in a similar manner to The Nice. Personally, I might draw comparisons to the would-be sound of Van der Graaf Generator; Ache have a dark and brooding undercurrent running through their sound, and it doesn't feel like Ache have managed to tap entirely into that potential. Musical motifs not-so-subtly drawn from The Beatles' "Every Little Thing She Does" and Led Zeppelin's "How Many More Times" haven't gone unnoticed either.

Like so many progressive, and prog-related albums from the turn of the decade, De Homine Urbano sounds like it's torn between the 60s and 70s with its sound. Compared to what else was coming out that year in prog, Ache were pretty forward- thinking for the time; it would be a year before the rest had really caught up to them. As such, De Homine Urbano has earned fair recognition even in recent years. Even so, I cannot help but feel the album is lopsided- the title 'ballet' is excellent, whereas the second half is merely decent. Had Ache put the same time and care into "Little Things", there may have been the workings of an early classic in progressive rock. Still, the album's quite impressive, and comes recommended to any with a penchant for the style.

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars `De Homine Urbano' is the debut work from vintage progressive rock related band Ache, hailing from Denmark. Originally recorded as a soundtrack to an experimental rock-opera in 1970, it should come as no surprise that the music here has numerous lengthy flowing instrumental sections, as well as little in the way of vocals to distract from that. Split into two side long pieces, the band present a rough-around-the-edges take on symphonic prog, somewhat along the lines of early classical influenced bands such as The Nice, but never as fancy or sophisticated. Instead the band charges through a frequently heavy, wild and more reckless extended work, with just a slightly sloppier and dirtier edge to the sound, and it's all the more addictive for it. With plenty of fuzzy organ workouts, delicate piano moments and varied ragged percussion, it's a fascinating work that reveals its strengths over repeated plays.

Considered a ten-part suite, the eighteen plus minute title-track offers a colourful range of instrumental passages with just a few vocal moments thrown in as well. Spiralling organ that grows and retreats back and forth in urgency, delicate bass, snapping drumming and dirty distorted lead guitar introduces the piece. Admittedly the band let themselves down a little when one of their main repeated guitar/vocal melodies throughout this piece is ripped straight off the Beatles track `Every Little Thing', or more accurately the Yes cover take that appeared on their debut album, but it only shows up in one or two spots, with other brief nonsensical lyrics taking on a freeform rambling quality. Piano is gentle one second, jagged and psychedelic the next, the cascading electric guitar driving and bluesy one moment, jazzy guitar licks soon after. The Hammond organ is constantly deliciously scratchy, sometimes along the lines of the early Eloy and ELP albums, and the drumming is always sprightly and full of spontaneity. All of these are worked through a range of tempo changes back and forth, with an effective use of grandious reprises for dramatic build. Especially nice is the subdued finale with tinkling ambient chimes, droning organ and soft hand percussion with a victorious electric guitar solo (sounding very much along the lines of early Genesis!) is especially pretty.

The nineteen minute flip-side `Little Things' might just be even better! Full of confidence and tasteful playing, it constrasts beautiful passages with more intense and suspensful emotional moments. There's a darkness and creeping unease throughout the piece that makes for even more of a statement of intent and a display of the band's abilities. It opens with marching drums over prancing organ that brings some lovely fanfare pomp, with some lovely fleeting blissful acoustic guitar moments too. The piece suddenly heads in a darker direction, with unexpected nightmarish stalking piano and somber organ drones, the bass thicker and more menacing throughout. Fiery jazz fusion electric guitar runs spliced with hypnotic middle-eastern ambience burst forth, the entire band playing with rambuctious and thrashing power, but listen carefully to the expertly executed build with creeping piano, punching repetitive bass and chiming guitars over rising and falling Hammond crescendos in the final minutes. Powerful drumming drives the melodic and more upbeat finale home, the band breaking in and out of a tornado of swirling noise.

Initially somewhat underwhelming on first impression, the debut Ache album quickly wins over listeners with it's energetic playing and ambitious arrangements. Although a rarer LP, it can now be easily purchased on an affordable CD backed with the also superb second album `Green Man'. Fans of early Hammond heavy albums by bands like Eloy, Grobshcnitt and Jane, as well as those curious of a dirtier take on music similar to The Nice and Emerson, Lake and Palmer should investigate this one right away. It's an addictive album in need of a little more exposure and more listeners to enjoy it!

Four stars.

Review by FragileKings
3 stars "De Homine Urbano" is the monumental 1970 debut by the Danish prog band, Ache. The album includes only two songs, each taking up one full side of the album. The title track was conceived when the band met ballet dancer Peter Schaufuss in February of 1969. Schaufuss told the band that he was looking for a group that could produce a "beat ballet", essentially a rock music piece for a ballet. Ache agreed to take on the project and from February to the single-day recording in June, the band worked together with Schaufuss in creating his new ballet music, which he wished to introduce at a competition in Moscow in July of the same year. Originally no release was planned though an EP was suggested. However, the ballet was a success and both the dance performance and the music received praise, and sometime after a full album was planned with an older piece from 1968 being worked onto side two. The album was finally released in 1970.

This band caught my interest because they were Danish and my family background is Danish. I don't know many Danish bands and so I wanted to give these guys a chance. Without a listen, I ordered the album.

The progressive rock movement is said to have originated in the mid-sixties with bands like The Beatles, Frank Zappa, and The Beach Boys. Side-long epics also emerged around this time with Love covering a whole side of vinyl with one song in 1966. As the psychedelic years intervened, not only did more bands attempt side-long tracks but the concept of a piece composed with parts like a symphony or suite began to attract the sense of a musical challenge for some bands. It's no surprise to discover then that the music on this 1970 album was actually composed partly in 1968 and partly in 1969.

The music sounds very much 1969. The fuzz-toned guitar, the organ, and the drumming style are unmistakably psychedelic-influenced 68/69 early epic prog. The CD notes describe the band's music as, "more melodic than The Nice, ballsier to some degree than The Moody Blues, sweeter-natured than King Crimson or Van Der Graaf Generator and more hot-blooded than Pink Floyd". To my ears, the music sounds a lot similar to Nektar's debut "Journey to the Centre of the Eye", some Vanilla Fudge, or like Dionysos' "Le grand jeu" without the blues side. In a way, the sound and style is very common for the time.

I enjoy the sound of the music very much and some parts of both compositions are quite delicious for a fan of psychedelic rock. That this band was already writing such long songs with multiple parts earns them credit points and that side one was written for a professional ballet dancer's competition entry says that these Danes were really serious about making music that was more than five minute fuzz-toned rockers. A lot of effort went into composing these two tracks with different parts of movements in mind.

Where the album loses me is in its overreaching efforts to be symphonic or like a ballet. In a couple of years' time, we would get sonically awesome epics like "Close to the Edge" or "Supper's Ready" that are much more memorable for their parts. This album still wears the stardust of the nebulous cloud of haze and visions that came with the psychedelic years. The sound that was to come would be less tripping and more focused and clear, combining memorable melodies with historic instrumental moments.

For those with an open mind, a keen liking for music of 1969 and psych, or seeking music on the cusp of proto-prog and classic prog, this album is worthy of inspection. For those who prefer classic symphonic prog, this album mind still have too much of the psychedelic sound to it, in spite of the grand efforts made to achieve these two tracks. A few months later, Ache would go on to release "The Green Man" which was a more normal album with a collection of shorter songs. I haven't heard it yet but I've got it in my sights. My intuition says to give this album 3 stars but at the same time acknowledging that this album captures like a snapshot an important phase in the progression of progressive rock.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Review nš 233 Ache - De Homine Urbano The first rock ballet and pioneer prog rock at Denmark, Ache's debut is an inventive worthy album. Their sound sometimes could remind you other bands, but their ideas and organization were somehow original. Homine Urbano was made of 2 side-long tracks. ... (read more)

Report this review (#1426083) | Posted by VOTOMS | Thursday, June 11, 2015 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The debut album from one of the best bands ever to come out of Denmark. Two tracks, thirty seven minutes. The rosy smell of symphonic prog. To be more precise, the type of symphonic prog touched by Keith Emerson. ELP ? No. This is far more The Nice than ELP. But it is not quite The Nice eithe ... (read more)

Report this review (#286120) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, June 12, 2010 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of ACHE "De Homine Urbano"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.