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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


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

3.00 | 4 ratings
Soniq Theater
2000
2.34 | 4 ratings
A Second Of Action
2002
3.00 | 5 ratings
The Third Eye
2003
2.49 | 6 ratings
This Mortal Coil
2004
3.00 | 4 ratings
Pandromania
2005
3.02 | 3 ratings
Enchanted
2006
3.00 | 4 ratings
Seventh Heaven
2007
3.43 | 6 ratings
Life Seeker
2008
3.00 | 5 ratings
Vision Quest
2009
3.00 | 5 ratings
Unknown Realities
2010
2.93 | 8 ratings
Force Majeure
2011
3.45 | 6 ratings
Overnight Sensation
2012
3.21 | 8 ratings
Stardust Memories
2013
3.26 | 8 ratings
Heroes Of The Past
2014
3.00 | 5 ratings
Guitarissimo
2015

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
 Guitarissimo by SONIQ THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.00 | 5 ratings

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Guitarissimo
Soniq Theater Crossover Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

3 stars I've been listening to Soniq Theater for a while and I've heard the whole discography Alfred Mueller (the name behind the group) put out so far.

Now, when it comes to Guitarissimo (2015) this change the game a bit. I've said in earlier reviews that Alfred's music sometimes lacked some live elements and he finally got on this one. The album was recorded in 1990 by Alfred and Stefan Grob, the latter recorded guitars (thats why the name of the album) throughout the whole album and it makes a huge difference to the band's sound.

Now, saying that, please notice that this album has almost no Prog in it at all. There are many interesting moments and many intrincated passages, but in all in all it's not really a Prog album.

But anyway, I think Alfred would benefit greatly if for his next album he shared credits with other musicians as he did on this one. Cause this is one of his strongest releases.

3.5 stars

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 Heroes Of The Past by SONIQ THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.26 | 8 ratings

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Heroes Of The Past
Soniq Theater Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars The studio project SONIQ THEATER is the long ongoing project of German composer and keyboardist Alfred Mueller. He's in the habit of releasing one new album each January, "Heroes of the Past" is his fourteenth production and dates back to 2014.

The music of Soniq Theater isn't one that will have a broad, universal appeal, as the limitations of using keyboards only to create a full, rich rock expression results in some odd-sounding emulated instruments. His compositions are well made however, and if you are able to mentally fill out the gaps of his atmospheric instrumental compositions and you suspect you'll enjoy an artist existing on the border between symphonic progressive and e-music that might also be described as new age, the music of Soniq Theater is available for free on his homepage.

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 Guitarissimo by SONIQ THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.00 | 5 ratings

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Guitarissimo
Soniq Theater Crossover Prog

Review by floflo79

3 stars Soniq Theater is a one-man band (like Nine Inch Nails or Synergy). But Guitarissimo is a compilation of all the songs Alfred Mueller (the man behind Soniq Theater) made with the guitarist Stefan "Groby" Grob. There's really good songs like Starlight Madness, Moon In June (no links with the Soft Machine song), or Downtown L.A. But there's weaker moments like Metropolis 1990, Harlequin or Seregenti Walk. For me, the biggest problem is the sound. The sound is too much synthetic. Take for example the song Metropolis 1990. It sounds like a 80's movie car chase soundtrack (that's why there's a 2014 remix on the album). All the instruments sounds fake, and it's a shame, because some compositions are great.

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 This Mortal Coil by SONIQ THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2004
2.49 | 6 ratings

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This Mortal Coil
Soniq Theater Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Come 2003 and Soniq Theater return with a brand new album, titled ''This mortal coil''.This was the second work by Alfred Mueller to include some vocal work, his collaborator Suzann provides voice samples on ''Flashpoint'' and Mueller himself sings in ''Break the frame''.

The material presented in ''This mortal coil'' is slightly better compared to the previous ''The third eye'', but insisting on sampled instrumentation eventually won't bring the awaiting progress.Once more Mueller prooves to be a good composer in the field of Symphonic and Electronic Rock, offering music with a deep sense of melody, a mood for bombastic orchestrations and a touch of Classical Music in the piano parts, but the drumming is unacceptable to say the least plus the guitar still bursts this totally fake aura and the sampled orchestral interludes sound completely thin.The addition of vocals in the aforementioned pair of pieces is definitely welcome, just decent and far from enganging, but every addition of natural sounds, even if this is just a human voice, can do only good to such a digital-dominated style.Stylistically the album is still grounded in the field of Neo/Symphonic Prog with electronic vibes and Mueller's flashy keyboard solos are pretty nice, while his compositions could have sounded quite great if performed by a normal band.The result kind of reminds me of BACKYARDS, ALIMAR or even THE INNER ROAD with ''Minas Tirith'' being the absolute highlight, finally with an acceptable guitar sound and a very bombastic keyboard performance.The rest of the album is ok, but far from trully interesting.

Visit Soniq Theater's website to download the album and display your own thoughts on the project's development from album to album.To my ears Mueller still struggles to come up with a trully recommended release, although part of his ideas is competetive and well-played...2.5 stars.

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 Heroes Of The Past by SONIQ THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.26 | 8 ratings

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Heroes Of The Past
Soniq Theater Crossover Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions 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
3.26 | 8 ratings

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Heroes Of The Past
Soniq Theater Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

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 Honorary Collaborator

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
2.49 | 6 ratings

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This Mortal Coil
Soniq Theater Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

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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