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SONIQ THEATER

Crossover Prog • Germany


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Soniq Theater biography
SONIQ THEATER is a one-man band, presenting a mixture of progressive styles, mainly symphonic progressive rock with elements of metal, electronic and classical music, jazz, world music and traces of other styles. The music is composed, performed, recorded and mixed by Alfred MUELLER. As it is a one-man-project, the music only exists on CDR's and is not planned to be played live. Nevertheless SONIQ THEATER has a big audience and the music is played in about 50 radioshows in 15 countries and through webcast worldwide (until February 2004) SONIQ THEATER is recommended to all open-minded progressive rock-fans and is appreciated as well by "normal people" with some musical education.

The most known influences are the great prog-bands of the 70's like YES, GENESIS, KANSAS, ELP, KING CRIMSON, UK, CAMEL, GENTLE GIANT, PINK FLOYD, MANFRED MANN'S EARTH BAND, the progressive rock of the 80s: SAGA, RUSH, IQ, MARILLION, German progressive rock of ANYONE'S DAUGHTER and ELOY, prog metal bands like DREAM THEATER, ENCHANT, SYMPHONY X, ROYAL HUNT, new prog bands of the 90s: MAGELLAN, CAIRO, EVERON, SPOCK'S BEARD, TRANSATLANTIC, INES, electronic music of TANGERINE DREAM, YANNI, Chris FRANKE and VANGELIS. Also, prog-related artists like: Rick WAKEMAN, Mike OLDFIELD, ALAN PARSONS PROJECT, Karl JENKINS (of SOFTMACHINE and ADIEMUS), Rupert HINE, Pierre MOERLEN's GONG, Steve MORSE, David ARKENSTONE, Pat METHENY, GANDALF, and classical music: symphonies and baroque music.

: : : Alfredo TAPIA CARRETO, MEXICO : : :

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SONIQ THEATER discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SONIQ THEATER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 3 ratings
Soniq Theater
2000
2.34 | 4 ratings
A Second Of Action
2002
3.00 | 5 ratings
The Third Eye
2003
2.65 | 5 ratings
This Mortal Coil
2004
3.00 | 3 ratings
Pandromania
2005
3.02 | 3 ratings
Enchanted
2006
3.00 | 3 ratings
Seventh Heaven
2007
3.44 | 5 ratings
Life Seeker
2008
3.00 | 4 ratings
Vision Quest
2009
3.00 | 4 ratings
Unknown Realities
2010
2.93 | 7 ratings
Force Majeure
2011
3.45 | 6 ratings
Overnight Sensation
2012
3.21 | 8 ratings
Stardust Memories
2013
2.93 | 6 ratings
Heroes Of The Past
2014

SONIQ THEATER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SONIQ THEATER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

SONIQ THEATER Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SONIQ THEATER Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

SONIQ THEATER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Heroes Of The Past by SONIQ THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2014
2.93 | 6 ratings

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Heroes Of The Past
Soniq Theater Crossover Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team

3 stars I found out, listening all Soniq Theater's albums that Alfred Mueller, the man behind the project, is a very skillfull player, and his productions are quite good if you take into account that he does everything by himself and everything in his home studio.

The problem is that his music is always ok, it lacks excitment, it lacks great compositions and it lacks unity. Very often he throws himself in all kinds of genres like Prog Rock, Electronic Prog, Electronic, New Age.... Not to mention that if you listen one of his albums the others will be pretty much the same.

Not to mention the CD-R artwork of his CDs that are really poor.

Good, but not essential.

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 Heroes Of The Past by SONIQ THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2014
2.93 | 6 ratings

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Heroes Of The Past
Soniq Theater Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars Another year, and another Soniq Theater album. It is incredible to think that Alfred manages to keep producing albums at such a rate, as this is his fourteenth in fourteen years, with everything played by the man himself. He has revisited his archives again for this one, and two of the twelve numbers were actually recorded back in 1987. Yet again we can hear Wakeman influences here, combined with Vangelis and Jean-Michel Jarre. There isn't so much Emerson in this album, which generally has a lighter feel, but again it is music that one can get inside quite easily and there is almost some new Age in some of the sounds. It is refreshing, easy to listen to without ever becoming easy listening and it is interesting to hear the difference in the older song "Lemuria" against the rest as it contains a darkness and emotion that is often missing from his more recent works.

I have been fortunate enough to hear all of Alfred's works and this is yet another worthy addition to his catalogue. Find out more about the man and his albums by visiting www.soniqtheater.de and if you enjoy keyboard music, especially influenced by J-M Jarre, then you are in for a treat.

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 The Third Eye by SONIQ THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.00 | 5 ratings

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The Third Eye
Soniq Theater Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

2 stars Exactly one year after the offering of ''A second of action'', in September 2003 comes Alfred Mueller's third personal work under the Soniq Theater name, carrying the title ''A third eye''.While Mueller is responsible for all keyboards, electronic drums, programmed instrumentation and composing, it was the first time a guest appears in one of his album, named Suzann and applying some vocal lines in the track ''Vamos a ver''.

What happens with Soniq Theater's works starts to become rather disturbing by the release of ''A third eye''.Mueller won't strike the prog community with his talent, but his arrangements sound again decent enough with modern, symphonic vibes and the keyboards being the dominant instruments in yet another album.Moreover, even if the album is heavily based on synthesizers, some Mellotron, organ and string samples are available and the music ranges from bombastic and atmospheric to more melodic and ethereal.But once again the problems appear in the horizon.The fake orchestrations, the thin keyboards and the totally synthetic sound of guitars, bass and drums are rather weak-sounding if not unbearable at specific moments.Every track in her contains part of these elements, meaning that all compositions are downgraded at some point.On the other hand there is still interesting material in ''A third eye'', the more rhythmic passages with the powerful keyboards and some of the melodies are quite ok, while Mueller appears slowly to move away from the E.L.P. influences for a more contemporary style of Electronic-spiced Neo/Symphonic Prog.

Free downloadable on the artist's personal webpage, that means free to be judged by any Prog fan around the world.According to my ears, this is decent, instrumental Neo/Symphonic Prog with evident Electronic touches, which struggles to be more than that due to the aforementioned reasons.

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 Stardust Memories by SONIQ THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.21 | 8 ratings

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Stardust Memories
Soniq Theater Crossover Prog

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

3 stars A pleasant change to my listening habits, Mueller's "Stardust Memories" sounded as a kiln of influences from decades of electronic music, resembling to Jean-Michelle Jarre, Vangelis, Kraftwerk (yes that too) and Mike Oldfield.

Under the banner of "Crossover Prog" here in PA but the album displays qualities that stretch beyond pop music, and although not quite a "Berlin-school" electronic prog album, the electronic element is dominant, along with a stream of symphonic rock, with references to Yes, ELP and even Marillion but in a "lighter" classical/symphonic atmosphere. Mainly instrumental, the album does not display complexity to a high degree, but rather invests on spacey soundscapes (check titles such as 'Alien Ambassador' or 'Lunar Sea') and solid bass lines. The more upbeat, adventurous passages are found in 'Venus Transit' and 'Alien Civilisation' and the grandiose 'Elysian Fields' and 'Some Things Never Change'. The single vocal attempt 'Break the Frame' does not add anything important to the recipe, which might have benefited from vocals in other tracks. Production-wise, there are no real problems apart from a couple of tracks with poor drum sound.

Pleasant release, without surprises but some highlights, which you can enjoy for free on Alfred's website, especially if you like the combo of crossover prog with the 70's nostalgic electro-feeling.

www.soniqtheater.de

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 Stardust Memories by SONIQ THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.21 | 8 ratings

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Stardust Memories
Soniq Theater Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars German project SONIQ THEATER has been the creative vehicle for composer and musician Alfred Mueller for close to 15 years now, self-releasing a steady stream of albums using this moniker from 2000 and onwards. Consisting of 13 tracks, "Stardust Memories" is his 13th album and was issued in January 2013.

Elegant instrumental music sporting a rich array of smoothly surging and hovering synth motifs on top of fairly well developed rhythm set-ups, placed within an overall uplifting framework, is what Soniq Theater provides on "Stardust Memories". Most of all an album that should find favor amongst fans of Vangelis and Jean Michel Jarre, although those who enjoy the more accessible material by the likes of Tangerine Dream might also find this one intriguing.

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 This Mortal Coil by SONIQ THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2004
2.65 | 5 ratings

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This Mortal Coil
Soniq Theater Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars This was Alfred's fourth solo album, released in 2004, and after 'A Second of Action' and 'The Third Eye" I half expected to find 'Fourth' somewhere in the title but that idea only came back in for his seventh ('Seventh Heaven'). Unusually for Alfred there is an actual 'song' on here, normally when vocals are deployed within Soniq Theater they are used only for the odd line to enhance the music, but "Break The Frame" features a proper verse/chorus structure with Alfred taking on the role himself. All of the music is played by Alfred, but here there are obvious attempts to move away from the pure synth sound normally associated with him, with the use of sampled guitars and a more obvious guitar based approach. Of course, it is no substitute for the real thing but it shows another interesting facet and in some ways does hearken back to Rachel's Birthday.

Of course, producing a more 'guitar' based album means that the drums have to be higher in the mix and that is undoubtedly a bad thing for anyone who doesn't like drums machines. Oh, that would be me then. I can't help it, but the artificial sound just permeates through the album and I find myself almost wincing away from it. That is a real shame as there are some very strong pieces on here, especially "Minas Tirith" which combines symphonic and orchestral elements into something that moves from bombast to structure and back again. The album contains more Vangelis than JMJ elements, and will appeal to all synth lovers out there. www.soniqtheater.de

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 Seventh  Heaven by SONIQ THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.00 | 3 ratings

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Seventh Heaven
Soniq Theater Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars It is probably isn't too surprising to discover that this was Alfred's seventh solo album, fittingly released in 2007. As with most of his work the music was composed, performed, produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by Alfred who also provided all of the instruments. This is really an album of opposites as while it contains some of Alfred's best work, it also includes some that just aren't to my taste at all. The album starts off really positively with a sprightly rocker that is very much in the style of Wakeman, but cries out for real guitar and drums. In fact there are a few of the songs on this album like that, as if Alfred wanted to move more into the melodic rock and away from the symphonic keyboard sounds yet was restricted by being 100% solo. There are some wonderful light touches on "Welcome Home" which for some reason reminded me of some of Anthony Phillips' work, and is probably the highlight of the album.

But while there are plenty of Vangelis and JMJ stylings here and there and "New Year's Eve" is wonderfully upbeat, but the album is definitely let down by the ubiquitous drum machine. It is an invention that I loath for the most part, and just tolerate on occasion, but while it is just an annoyance on the aforementioned number it totally dominates the next song "But Seriously" and for me totally ruins it. But, I know that I am probably in a minority and overall this is another solid album from Alfred, and again available from his site at www.soniqtheater.de.

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 Pandromania by SONIQ THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.00 | 3 ratings

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Pandromania
Soniq Theater Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars This was Alfred's fifth solo album, released in 2005. As with most of his work this is a totally solo effort with Alfred providing all instruments plus the small amount of vocals on 'Wheel of Fortune', so it is just the small sampling of Suzann on 'Miles Beyond' and the title cut which is the only thing he doesn't do himself. I have been rather disparaging of her vocals on some of his other albums, but here there is a much better effect and it makes much more musical sense. As I worked through the album I felt that this was what I have come to expect from Alfred, lots of Jean Michel Jarre and Vangelis influences, although there does seem to more piano than usual which is nice to hear, but the storm effects that start the title cut really grabbed my attention. Half way through the album and here was something that had Wakeman written all over it with loads of bombast and power. If ever Alfred really rocked without a guitar or drummer in sight then this is it. This is such a powerful song that it really wipes away everything that has gone before it on the album as the listener gets taken into a totally different world and mindset than previously.

But to my surprise that isn't the best number on the album, that particular honour goes to one of the longest songs performed by Alfred, 'Wheel of Fortune' which is nearly ten minutes long. Loads of different styles and effects throughout really keep the listener involved. But, it is also an example of why Alfred should really consider getting back into a band situation as while this is good it would be so much better if there were real drums, real bass, real guitar and a proper singer such as Ashley Holt who would be extremely well suited to this. So overall, another very consistent album from Alfred and if you enjoy pure solo synth albums then this may be of interest. www.soniqtheater.de

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 Stardust Memories by SONIQ THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.21 | 8 ratings

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Stardust Memories
Soniq Theater Crossover Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team

3 stars Soniq Theater is, in fact, a one man band - the German musician Alfred Mueller. Soniq Theater is supposed to be a blend of Progressive styles, but is mainly focused on Symphonic Prog. It's very common of one-man bands, especially the ones driven by keyboards, to go towards the Ambient, New Age and Progressive Electronic paths. In Soniq Theater you'll have those too, but not in abundance. Up till now Alfred has released 13 albums since 2000. It means one album by year, which is a remarkable achievement. Even if he records and releases the music himself in an independent and semi-pro way, it is of a very good overall quality. All of his albums can be downloaded on the 'Name your price' scheme, you can pay whatever you want for the albums (even nothing), on his Bandcamp page (soniqtheater.bandcamp.com/). Or you can also buy the CD-Rs (soniqtheater.de/order.php).

Stardust Memories (2013) is his latest album, released in January 2013 and it has 13 compositions. The album follows a calm pace where the slow and romantic melodies are the main focus. Don't expect any miraculous riff or any extreme weird tempo signature. That's not the goal here.

All of the songs on Stardust Memories (2013) were composed and recorded in the last year with 3 exceptions: 'Globular Cluster' was recorded back in 1986 and it's a Space Rock/Progressive Electronic mini journey. 'Infinity' was recorded back in 1987 and closes the album, again in a space mood. And 'Break The Frame' was recorded in 1997 with the guitars from Jens Klenk.

Listening to Stardust Memories (2013) is certain that Alfred is a very good composer and he certainly knows how to choose his keyboards sounds, all of them very nicely inserted in the songs, in the right moments. Alfred uses a bunch of 'toys' to make his music, for example Ensoniq TS10, Ensoniq EPS sampler, Yamaha SY85 Synthesizer, Roland JV1080 soundmodule, E-MU Vintage Keys, E-MU B-3 Hammond Organ module, E-MU Orbit soundmodule, Alesis DM5 drummodule and many others (you can take a look at his list of equipment (soniqtheater.de/about.php). But it is also certain that Alfred would do better in Soniq Theater with a real band to collaborate with. I can clearly see his music in the hands of a good band with him on keyboards of course. That would make his album a really strong one. Not that his music is weak because he's doing it by himself, not at all. But I certainly can see it even stronger with a real band. For example, in the track 'Break The Frame' where we have the guitar player Jens Klenk and some real drum sounds. It's not the best track on the album, but it's more 'real'.

But I guess after thirteen years doing music by himself Alfred is pretty much settled down with his work, and that's what he likes to compose, play and record. And that, my friends, is being true to yourself.

Musically speaking, Stardust Memories (2013) comes like a glove for the lovers of Jean Michel Jarre or the later period of Rick Wakeman. Lots of layered keyboards working on the melodies, sampled drums and basses and lot of interesting ideas. Among all the tracks there are three songs that go towards Progressive Electronic: 'Hyperion', 'Alien Civilisation'and 'Metropolis On Mars', which are the weaker ones. It's a nice effort in the keyboard field that deserves to be listened at least once by every keyboard Prog fan.

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 Overnight Sensation by SONIQ THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.45 | 6 ratings

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Overnight Sensation
Soniq Theater Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars 'Overnight Sensation' was the 12th album by Alfred Mueller under the Soniq Theater name, and as with the majority of his solo albums is one where he provided all of the instrumentation himself. Again, here is an album where the influences of Jean Michel Jarre and Vangelis are readily apparent although Alfred is much more than a mere copyist. He has an incredible work rate, usually releasing an album each year, and there is no doubt that this is one of the highlights of his career. I do feel that if he could bring in some additional musicians (such as a live drummer in particular) then there would be an additional facet to his work, but even as it is there is a great deal here to enjoy. The music is layered and complex yet with a simplistic almost na've approach which allows the listener to really get into the album very quickly indeed. It is approachable and welcoming, drawing the listener into Alfred's world. While the recordings are only available on CD-R these do not reflect the quality of what is contained within and yet again this is an album of his that is definitely worth much more investigation. www.soniqtheater.de

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