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PATERNOSTER

Krautrock • Austria


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Paternoster biography
Founded in Wien, Austria in 1970 - Disbanded in 1972

One of the strangest and obscure bands to emanate from continental Europe during the glory years of the progressive rock movement of the early seventies was Vienna's Paternoster. While one can count the number of Austrian progressive rock bands from this era on one hand , most notably Eela Craig, Paternoster stood alone with their singular LP simply titled Paternoster which was derived from The Lord's Prayer in German by amalgamating Pater ( Lord ) and Noster ( Prayer ). Distinquished by the haunting dirge-like mournful vocal stylings of organist / vocalist Franz Wippel backed by guitarist / vocalist Gerhard Waller, bassist Gerhart Walenta and drummer Heimo Wisser they achieved a unique sound during the two years of their short existence from 1970-72. Not a Krautrock band per se, although almost always categorized as such, contemporary Kraurock elements were evident particularily in the form of primitive electronic effects in the form of distorted guitars and echo boxes similar to early Guru Guru and Tangerine Dream's primitive audio experiments. Classical devices were also employed which added to a gothic church-like sound at times.

While the sombre timbre of Wippel's dreary vocal deliveries might suggest sacreligious overtones they are quite the opposite. Black Sabbath and Jethro Tull were criticized for being anti-religious on their respective Master Of Reality and Aqualung albums but their messages were actually pro-religion but anti-church if listened to carefully. Albeit rather cynical Paternoster' s somewhat complex and poetic lyrics (sung in English) attempted to achieve the same protest against organized religion as exemplified by the relatively blatant track, " The Pope Is Wrong ". They also sang about suicide and death but the nightmarish meloncholic atmospheres created by Wippel's moaning vocals were contrasted by the very British sounding Hammond Organ led instrumenal accompaniments ( the only keyboard used on the album ) and Waller's psychedelic fuzzed out guitar. Comparisons have often been made to early Pink Floyd, The Nice, Uriah Heep and sometimes Van der Graaf Generator as well as to early material from German bands Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Tempel, Virus, Pell Mell, Kin Ping Meh and the vocals of Jane.

Having disbanded shortly after releasing their lone LP in October 1972, Paternoster faded into Krautrock folklore along with other one album Krautrock wonders su...
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Die Ersten TageDie Ersten Tage
Now Again Records 2018
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Paternoster (Remastered)Paternoster (Remastered)
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PATERNOSTER discography


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3.64 | 59 ratings
Paternoster
1972

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PATERNOSTER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Paternoster by PATERNOSTER album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.64 | 59 ratings

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Paternoster
Paternoster Krautrock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars While the German progressive scene was quite prolific especially during the Krautrock boom that lasted roughly from 1970-75, neighboring German speaking Austria on the contrary produced very few additions to the prog universe. While a few names like Hermann Szobel, Eela Craig, Zakarrias, Vytas Brenner, Isaiah, Klockwerk Orange, Gipsy Love and Orange Power might be recognizable to erudite proggers who have scoured the vaults, most of these remained fairly obscure and wouldn't be known even by may prog lovers of the 21st century. One other short-lived act that emerged in the early 70s was the Vienna based PATERNOSTER which released only one self-titled album in 1972 and then quickly disappeared into obscurity, but what a unique album it was! The original pressings have long been sought after collector's items that have fetched hefty price tags exceeding 10,000USD.

While lumped into the Krautrock camp for its inextricable psych leanings, the album tackles a lot of ground in its near miss of forty minute playing time. PATERNOSTER is a Latinate term used in the German language and is used in prayers and means 'Our Father.' The name of the band alone prognosticates the musical content. Lyrics are sung in English and this album has been deemed one of the saddest albums of all time with some calling it what goths would have listened to had they existed in 1972! And sad it is indeed with lyrics seemingly lamenting religion and how it has fallen from grace and become the antithesis of its original intent and therefore PATERNOSTER's sole release is somewhat of a musical eulogy to mourn the inversion of the Christian ethos and the stray lambs of God that have misled by the wolves in sheep's clothing.

The band was a quartet with Franz Wippel (organ and vocals), Gerhard Walter (guitar, vocals), Heimo Wisser (bass) and Gerhart Walenta (drums). Musically, the lugubrious nature of the album resonates big time with Floydian psychedelic guitar freakouts in mostly mid-tempo Procol Harum styled sluggishness displaying the enervating effects of grief. The effect is exponentially compounded by the sad lyrics and verge-of-breaking-into-tears vocal style. The icing on the cake comes from the church organ parts that permeate the entire album like a funeral dirge with every emotional tugging note going for the lacrimation factory. While the Procol Harum compositional styles laced with Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd guitar riffs dominate, on tracks like 'Old Danube' there are some organ outburst that sound more like The Doors whereas the atmospheres can bring the trippiest aspects of Can or Amon Duul II to mind.

Overall PATERNOSTER produced a fairly unique amalgamation of sounds of the era that bring a bit of the 60s into the following decade but stands overall clearly in the more progressive pastures just outside the clutches of the neighboring German Krautrock world even emulating the softer aspects of Genesis. While obscure and virtually forgotten, PATERNOSTER captured the essence of super sad psych rock with freaked out fuzz-guitar and nice aggregations of pastoral folk, otherworldly psychedelia and more classic prog rock that takes Gothic tinged organ frenzies to unthinkable heights that create some of the most depressing atmospheric effects of the early 70s. One that has been celebrated in the underground for decades but much in need of rediscovery. It's amazing how four guys pulled off all the mind blowing atmospheric tricks as if they were heading towards a post-rock sort of paradigm. Perhaps the bizarre vocal style may scare some away but seem to fit the surreal musical portrait that this sonicscape constructs.

 Paternoster by PATERNOSTER album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.64 | 59 ratings

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Paternoster
Paternoster Krautrock

Review by Igor91

3 stars Paternoster's lone, obscure LP has become legend over the years among record collectors. Reading reviews of this relic made me curious to listen to it on-line, and only when I came across the limited addition CD on Now-Again Records in my local record store did I decide to actually purchase this little oddity.

I have to admit that my initial response to this album after listening to it was, "what's all the fuss about?" It is an interesting concoction of psychedelia, Gothic rock, and proto-prog, but nothing mind-blowing as some seem to suggest. It's often categorized as Krautrock, as it is here on PA, but I would say that is a stretch. The vocals are "unique" and do require getting used to and the lyrics are rather silly sometimes, mediocre at best at other times. The recording is a bit low-fi, but that actually adds to its charm. The songs have some twists and turns here and there, but the pace is fairly consistent from song-to-song.

While this album has grown on me a bit after multiple listens, it still does not live up to the hype that has surrounded it all these years, at least for me. I don't regret purchasing this one, but that's mainly because I'm a bit of a collector of obscure music that is "off the beaten path," so to speak. It's worth picking up if you're into obscure and unique psychedelic proto-prog from the 70's, but if you're looking for a lost Krautrock classic as some have claimed that this is, I would give caution. 3 stars.

 Paternoster by PATERNOSTER album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.64 | 59 ratings

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Paternoster
Paternoster Krautrock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I loved this album right from the very first notes.Yes this is unique and strange with these vocals that are mournful and urgent in a dark Acid Folk style similar to COMUS and JAN DUKES DE GREY but in a Krautrock style. Lots of floating organ and prominant bass with fuzzed out sounding guitar.The lyrics are meaningful and very well done. And hey these guys are from Austria ! A Krautrock band from Austria ?

"Paternoster" opens with floating organ with those vocals to open. His vocals have so much emotion connected to them and the words are so meaningful. When the vocals stop a beat comes in before 3 minutes followed by the organ and guitar as the tempo picks up. How good is this ! "Realization" opens with drums as the guitar lights it up.Vocals and prominant bass join in as well.The vocals stop and it settles back with organ and drums leading.The vocals are back for the final minute with the guitar grinding it out. "Stop These Lines" is dark with sparse sounds coming and going.The organ comes in as it starts to build. Eerie stuff. The organ comes floating to the forefront before 2 1/2 minutes and mournful vocals follow. Vocals stop after 5 minutes and the music gets more intense as the guitar solos over top.Vocals join the intensity.

"Blind Children" opens with organ and bass as sparse drums and guitar help out. Vocals after a minute and a full sound before 3 minutes. Drums only follow but not for long. A great sounding intrumental section here then it settles back.Vocals are back 5 1/2 minutes in. "Old Danube" is a rare uptempo track with drums and organ standing out. It does settle with vocals before 1 1/2 minutes then picks back up when the vocals stop. Contrasts continue. "The Pope Is Wrong" is haunting with pulsating organ that comes and goes.Bass comes to the fore.This is great ! Guitar arrives around 2 minutes when the organ stops. Drums follow. Organ is back then we get vocals for the first time around 4 1/2 minutes saying "Poor old man...who needs you to believe in God". Amen brother ! "Mammoth Opus" is the 9 minute closer. Spacey sounds and bass to start. Organ before 2 minutes followed by a beat. It settles 4 minutes in with vocals and floating organ.Vocals stop and the tempo picks up before 6 minutes.What a way to end the album.

I'm blown away by this unique album and feel that 4.5 stars is justified.

 Paternoster by PATERNOSTER album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.64 | 59 ratings

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Paternoster
Paternoster Krautrock

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars Paternoster is a one-shot band from Austria that brought a gloomy type of psychedelic kraut-organ rock that was far ahead of its time. At least so when it comes to the mood and plaintive vocal style. In a way it announces the Weltschmerz of Joy Division, or early Christian Death or other Gothic acts that managed to avoid over-excessive pathos. It's pretty much disconnected from anything from its own era, only the eerie vocals of Ozzy come close.

For the unprepared Prog fan expecting harmonious Beatle-boys harmonies, the vocals will be too close for comfort, but it's exactly the vocals that make this album so stunning and such a unique gem for me. The music is the known 60's based type of psychedelic Floyd rock with pounding drum trances, floating organ sounds, electronic experimentation and spacious guitar wails.

If the music is like an upbeat mix of the Floyd with the Nice, the mourning vocals will change the tone to something that many Prog fans will find unbearable to listen to. The guy makes me sit on the edge of my seat though. There's so much tension and pain in his delivery and he sounds so unique and refreshing. Well to me at least, to most listeners he will sound as if he's ready to give up and hang himself any time during this record.

While musically very far removed from metal, the band caught a vibe here that should be a mandatory listen for Goth and doom fans. Of course, for them, the psychedelic Kraut-like experimentation will make this a tough listen. An excellent album, but one without target audience, approach at own risk.

 Paternoster by PATERNOSTER album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.64 | 59 ratings

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Paternoster
Paternoster Krautrock

Review by MTZArts

5 stars Upon throwing this record on, I was immediately drawn into a dark, vivid opera clad with churchesque organs(creating a nice and almost ironic accompaniment to the album's recurrent theme of religious skepticism), howling, throat-burning vocalizations and a hint of Krautrock influenced basslines.

The first track of Peternoster's self-titled 1972 album, 'Paternoster' begins with a Latin chant that progresses into a frustrated, poetic recitation over the consistent drones of a church organ, soon becoming a short jam that sounds like the Doors drowning underwater(trust me, this description fits it). The following tracks live up to the album's initiation with the exception of Old Danube, which seems blatantly misplaced.

The album gracefully closes with the clever 'Mammoth Opus O, who's last 25 seconds deliver one of the most memorable conclusions to an album in Progrock history in that it concludes the album with a sudden shift to a light sound that seems to literally laugh at the listener out of complete insanity.

It is almost indispensable that every Progrock collector hears this album for its beautiful themes and elements that are guaranteed to provide a moving experience.

 Paternoster by PATERNOSTER album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.64 | 59 ratings

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Paternoster
Paternoster Krautrock

Review by hdfisch
Prog Reviewer

2 stars This extremely rare collector's item from Austria is pushing me in a kind of catch-22 situation.On the one hand it's probably quite unique be it in a positive or negative sense. Having said that it's as well not really anything special let alone great. Undoubtedly the constantly droning and depressing vocals are something hard to be ignored but speaking about the music alone it isn't anyhing worldshaking either. Organ-dominated early 70's blues rock blent with bits of psychedelic electronic krautrock. The former I use to like quite a lot, not the case with the latter one. Fitting well with the whole concept of the album lyrics are of course highly stamped by religious topics, partly as well in a critical manner. Especially the first track being an a-capella liturgical chant appeared very alienating and unbearable to me. So after all hardly anything on here providing some enjoyment for me. I would say definitely not an essential one, rather solely interesting for collectors of electronic Krautrock or possibly for maniacs of insane doom metal stuff. I was looking for it out of curiosity and luckily found a copy by download. For me not really worth to hunt for!
 Paternoster by PATERNOSTER album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.64 | 59 ratings

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Paternoster
Paternoster Krautrock

Review by loserboy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars PATERNOSTER's debut album is a peculiarly interesting album with some pretty dark progressive moments. Musically this album is not far from what PINK FLOYD were doing at the same time and verges on the psychedelic. The lead vocalist might take some getting used to before it all sinks in as his vocals sound a tad strained. Having said this, after a few listens the vocals merge into the music and you can get easily into the instrumentation. Musically this band blend lovely organ work with underground sounding guitar, bass and percussion. When the band break into their progressions it can simply take you away and I love their sound... very cool album !
 Paternoster by PATERNOSTER album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.64 | 59 ratings

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Paternoster
Paternoster Krautrock

Review by philippe
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Rather unknown from a large audience, Paternoster is in the leading line of the strangest krautrock bands which appeared during the 70's. This Austrian quartet released only one album in its whole career, supporting an effective, brilliant depressive heavy "psych" rock sound. The "church" like organ sequences are beautifully ethereal, the guitar parts are totally freak out and the singer is near to commit suicide. The opening composition offers a "garage" bluesy rock improvisation with "vintage" organ interludes. "Stop this line" is a claustrophobic, intoxicated track supported by plaintive organ / guitar duets and a tortured voice.my favourite despite that the voice is sometime difficult to support. "Blind Children" is an other desperate composition closed to the previous one. The "pope is wrong" is really near to the psych / weird experiences of early krautrock. A negative mood prevails all along this album, it remains an avenue of agonised expressions.those who have a "melancholic" temper should avoid this one. It's not a standard of progressive rock music because of the general "primitive" aspect of the music. However it remains a distinctive & unforgotten musical experience.
 Paternoster by PATERNOSTER album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.64 | 59 ratings

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Paternoster
Paternoster Krautrock

Review by dresovi

3 stars Other than listening to this pathetic and ridiculous vocal we have a chance to listen to fairly decent and by no means essential album. There some great instrumental passages especially on songs 2, 5 and 7.

I do not know what was wrong with this guys when they went with vocalist like this? Realy do not know if it is collectors only or good but not essential stuff.

 Paternoster by PATERNOSTER album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.64 | 59 ratings

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Paternoster
Paternoster Krautrock

Review by phan_tastica

4 stars when I first listened to this record I got really sad, it has somethign that moves you, perhaps the church organ and its irony, though, you won't laugh. It's more like a nihilistic life the one they tried to reflect. Now, if you try not to pay attention to the lyrics and focus only on music, I'm positive you'll enjoy it better. Glad they didn't record anyhting else, I want to remember them just like this.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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