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WERWOLF (WEREWOLF ART ROCK)

Prog Folk • Germany


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Werwolf (Werewolf Art Rock) biography
WERWOLF (WEREWOLF), a band from Olpe in the Sauerland in Germany, was formed in 1970 by Peter Besting (born 2/4/1951 in Olpe) on drums and vocals, Hartwig Kugoth on guitar and Peter Lorenz on bass. Before, Peter Besting had already been playing for a year in the band Age. The band name had no deeper meaning but was simply a reference to STEPPENWOLF whose recordings the original member of WERWOLF appreciated a lot. They bought their first large PA equipment form the SCORPIONS' mastermind Rudolf Schenker in the early seventies. After rehearsing in a self-built and soundproof wooden hut with freezing temperatures during the winter, WERWOLF changed their rehearsal room into Peter Besting's newly built house in Wenden in 1972. In the course of time other musicians joined the band: Jürgen Göckler from Olpe on keyboards and as background singer, Michael Schlimm from Olpe on saxophone and on cross flute and singer Ellen Wiederstein from Attendorn. When Peter Lorenz quit, Hartwig Kugoth played double-neck guitar combining bass strings. Similar to the DOORS, Jürgen Göckler played the bass accompaniment on the keyboard whenever Hartwig Kugoth played the high notes. With this line-up, WERWOLF recorded a thirty minute demo tape in the Studio Eden in Lüdenscheid in May 1979 in order to gain a record deal, but without success. After several changes of the line-up, WERWOLF independently released the album "Creation" in 1982 in a limited edition of 1000 copies with Peter Besting on drums, Gerd Heuel on guitar, Burkhard Huckestein on bass, Wolfgang Unthan on keyboards, Gitta Löwenstein as singer and Jürgen Göckler as occasional guest keyboarder. WDR and SWF presented the album which is a collectors items worth more than USS50 now.

In 1992 "Creation" was reissued in the USA on CD with a new cover artwork (the Laser's Edge LE-1013). Having been a collector's item before, lately after that time a wider reputation followed and the original records sold for big bucks. Then finally, in 1997, the three tracks of the demo tape saw the light of day and were published by Garden of Delights in Germany (PGCD 03).

In the mid-eighties WERWOLF split after they had started releasing some songs in German language. In total WERWOLF performed about 150 gigs, among them as support acts for BIRTH CONTROL, ELOY, GROBSCHNITT and the FRANKFURT CITY BAND, some of which are available as soundboard recordings.

This CD-edition now contains the complete record "Creation" of 1982...
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WERWOLF (WEREWOLF ART ROCK) discography


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WERWOLF (WEREWOLF ART ROCK) top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.14 | 31 ratings
Creation
1982
2.83 | 6 ratings
Mystic Land
2014

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WERWOLF (WEREWOLF ART ROCK) Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Creation by WERWOLF (WEREWOLF ART ROCK) album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.14 | 31 ratings

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Creation
Werwolf (Werewolf Art Rock) Prog Folk

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A charming symphonic fantasy prog journey

First opus by German obscure quintet WERWOLF, "Creation" offers a nice musical trip in the vein of their progressive symphonic fellow countrymen. Despite being released in 1982, the style and instrumentation remind the aforementioned German bands of the mid/late 70's, such as ELOY, for the cool bass lines. Although not as complex as their English elders', the compositions features different ambiances, alternating pastoral, spacey, enchanting and hard rocking moments. A bit late for the 80's, however really good, accessible, inspired and rather homogeneous in terms of quality. Furthermore, the dominant female vocals enhances the fairytale impression.

Side 1 is the most remarkable. The instrumental "Flying High" could have very well escaped from ELOY's "Dawn" with its synthesizers and sonorities typical of the late 70's. A good space-rock opener! Best track of the disc, "The Journey to the Land of the Flying Pigs" is a genuine magical voyage. Opening with a medieval acoustic guitar, this gentle fairy song possesses a very catchy melody, supported by various soft and energetic passages. Beautiful! "Way to paradise" follows the same style, on a more heroic tone. The beat and overall orchestration slightly approaches neo-prog at times.

Side 2 is a bit weaker but still good. The instrumental "Daydream" can be divided in two parts: the first half sounds like typical mid-70's ELOY, with its vintage spacey keyboards and fast-paced guitars, while the second half is slower and melancholic. Pleasant. On the contrary, "The game is over", another instrumental, is quite soapy, despite its jazzy accents. My least favorite title of the record. The album concludes with its longest track, "The Eighth Day". Less rocking than the other compositions but more varied, this ender contains numerous different sections and tempos, as well as charming folk incursions.

The 1997 Garden of Delights CD reissue is rather worth the listen. It features the three mini-epics recorded in 1979 for the band's first demo. Although called this way, "The song" is instrumental. Not bad but does not really catch attention and too lengthy. The two other demo tracks are more interesting. With its 11 minutes, "My story" is more original and elaborated. The title is quite heroic, rockier, but folkier too, including many changes within the song and... a saxophone! Furthermore, Gitta Loewenstein's voice goes pretty raging here! Also featuring the wind instrument, "The dreamer" opens with surprisingly fast heavy guitars. Cool!

German musicians are definitely unpredictable. In 1982, darker and more aggressive styles such as cold wave or heavy metal became more and more popular, prog's decline started long ago. Then finally WERWOLF released its first opus, the deliciously dated and charming symphonic "Creation". Not very original and five years late, but really nice and inspired, with gorgeous bass lines and delightful melodies. A rich and colorful music, as well as a genuine promenade through the fields of an imaginary land, in a world of fairy tales....

You are very invited if you enjoy mid/late 70's German symphonic / melodic space rock, especially ELOY's "Dawn".

Personally, I'll do the journey once again...

 Creation by WERWOLF (WEREWOLF ART ROCK) album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.14 | 31 ratings

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Creation
Werwolf (Werewolf Art Rock) Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Werwolf were named actually after the famous band Steppenwolf, which drummer Peter Besting liked a lot at the time (around 1970).Original crew included also Hartwig Kugoth on guitar and Peter Lorenz on bass.The band hailed from Olpe and was rehearsing regularly at Besting's newly built house in Wenden since 1972.Around mid-70's they were joined by Jurgen Goeckler on keyboards, Michael Schlimm on saxophone/flute and Ellen Wiederstein on lead vocals, this formation minus Lorenz recorded a 3-track promotional demo, but no label showed particular interest in Werwolf.Apparently this led to the dissolution of this formation with Besting gathering new members to save the band, Gerd Heuel on guitar, Burkhard Huckestein on bass, Wolfgang Unthan on keyboards and Gitta Loewenstein as lead vocals.Finally, in 1982, the band privately pressed about 1000 copies of their debut ''Creation''.

Werwolf played an elaborate and polished Symphonic Rock with strong CAMEL and RENAISSANCE influences, as many German bands did at the time, when facing the new era of New Wave and Synth Music, but refused to betray their progressive roots.They sound similar to EDEN, REBEKKA, SIRIUS and so many other groups of the late-70's/early-80's, they did use the synthesizers at a normal rate, but they still sinked into the organ sounds and the beautiful, melancholic guitar moves of the Teutonic Prog wave.Lengthy tracks with shifting climates, ethereal female vocals, some beautiful guitar soli, great keyboard themes and a certain symphonic background, propelled by the electroacoustic changes, the synth-based monster layers, the pounding grooves on guitar and organ and the smooth lyricism.I can't say the material trully belongs among the best of the era, but the arrangements are well-crafted with clever use of the organ in both rhythmic and symphonic lines (the latter remind strongly of GENESIS) and the unmistakable and dominant spacious keyboards of German Sympho Kraut Rock.All texts are sung in English and the 10-min. ''Der achte tag'' shines through as an excellent piece of CAMEL-esque Symphonic Retro Prog.

With the original vinyl hitting triple-digit bucks at auctions and being rather rare, several issues have popped out throughout time, some of them contain the three pieces recorded from the 79' line-up.All three are excellent 70's Symphonic Rock, even more diverse and convincing than the tracks of the original album, highlighted by the occasional addition of flute and sax.The band sounded a bit folkier, but their music was highly symphonic with impressive thematic variations and some superb interactions between the instruments.GENESIS, CAMEL, NOVALIS and Swiss ISLAND are good reference points for this material.

Refined German Symphonic Rock from the 80's with strong Camel overtones.Add an extra half star for the bonus tracks' reissues with the three beeautiful mini-suites.Warmly recommended.

 Creation by WERWOLF (WEREWOLF ART ROCK) album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.14 | 31 ratings

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Creation
Werwolf (Werewolf Art Rock) Prog Folk

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Werwolf is an obscure progressive rock band formed in early '70's in Germany. AS previous reviewers said befor me, this is a pretty good album, with lots of instrumental passages, good arrangements and pleasent voice of Gitta Loewenstein. The only not good thing, probably IMO is the year of release, 1982, a year when prog was in underground and no one listening to this genre, with some exceptions of course, so this album was unnoticed back then and now awell. So what we have in 1982, musicaly speaking , progressive giants were in shadow, the new ones just take their had out of sand like Marillion, Iq or others, what about german scene, the new bands , who takes their influences from their own musical kings like Eloy, Grobschnitt or Novalis, this is the case here, influnces from this bands with some passages from Genesis or even in places some Pink Flkoys, but sporadic. overall is an ok album, my version has three bonus tracks recorded already by the band in 1979. So as I said an fairly good album, with some strong pieces and with some mediocre ones aswell. The musicianship is ok, the voice of female singer is good, what else then catalogued this release with 3 stars. Some complains, are the poor quality sound on some tracks, and sometimes the pieces are too long, and aswell the album together with those 3 bonuses is a little too long, and sometimes a little boring, but doesn't mean is uninstristing. The most solid tunes are to me Flying high, the instrumental Daydream , The dreamer from the bonus and The journey to the land of flying pigs is another winner. Also in some parts the band is toying with some folk arrangements that gives to the album a good atmosphere, more on mellow side but ok from musical side. 3 stars for this obscure album and band, they never made it prog circles, but maybe with the re issues on CD on couple of labels they will be more exposed to the prog listners.
 Creation by WERWOLF (WEREWOLF ART ROCK) album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.14 | 31 ratings

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Creation
Werwolf (Werewolf Art Rock) Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

3 stars This is a pretty decent album from a band that hung around for about a decade but released only this record in that time. Werwolf are typically grouped in with psych acts of the early eighties not progressive folk bands, but the pleasant occasional acoustic guitar and Gitta Loewenstein’s lovely vocals (not unlike those of Annie Haslam, although these guys don’t sound much like Renaissance), along with sometimes fanciful lyrics put them just inside of passable as prog folk.

Besides Ms. Loewenstein’s vocals, the highlights of the album all come from Gerd Heuel’s wailing guitar work and prototypical symphonic rock keyboards from Wolfgang Unthan (Jürgen Göckler also provides a rich organ solo on “Way to Paradise”). This is also one of those bands with a singing drummer (Peter Besting), and while he doesn't have much range or even a very distinctive vocal character I applaud any drummer who can manage to belt out vocals while keeping up a song's rhythm, so kudos to him for that. Bassist Burkhard Huckstein isn't very original, but his instrument is quite noticeably prominent throughout which is a bit unusual for either prog folk or psych bands of that era.

These are longer songs, all well-developed and full of interesting shifts and twists which tend to give them a feel of being more like mid-seventies tunes rather than music from the early eighties. The band first formed in 1972, and I believe a lot of these songs were written much earlier in their career than when they were recorded, which might account for the somewhat dated sound. “The Journey to the Land of the Flying Pigs” and the instrumental “Daydream” in particular would have been quite in character circa 1973 or 74.

The Garden of Delights CD remastered version (which is best and easiest version to find) contains three bonus tracks, all quite progressive and considerably more rocking than the original studio release. The thundering “My Story” features heavy vocals from Ms. Loewenstein and quite a few tempo shifts, although the middle section becomes a bit tedious and plodding at times. “The Dreamer” suffers a bit as well, this one from too much echo on the vocals and again a lackluster middle section featuring some unambitious drumming and some rather New Wave-ish keyboards. But the additional tracks make for an interesting historical snapshot of the band, and their inclusion doesn't really detract from the overall package.

These guys weren't anything special, but they weren't too bad either. Don't expect to uncover a lost progressive gem if you decide to pick this one up, but the guitar, keyboards and vocals are pretty tight throughout and the album as a whole is quite good though not exceptional. Easily three stars though, and recommended to hardcore prog rock fans looking for another conversation piece to add to their collection.

peace

 Creation by WERWOLF (WEREWOLF ART ROCK) album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.14 | 31 ratings

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Creation
Werwolf (Werewolf Art Rock) Prog Folk

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars I was quite interested to listen this German prog rock record from the exotic eighties, but alas I was disappointed. The record starts with an keyboard and guitar driven intro, which didn't give very good first impression. The melodies weren't very pleasant to my ears, and the rhythm chganges sound little irritating also. The overall sound resembles maybe little mid-70's Camel.

"The Journey To The Land Of The Flying Pigs" starts with fine classical acoustic guitar, which leads to an open ethreal soundspace, joined by piano and Gitta Loewenstein's vocals, which sound maybe little like lesser educated Annie Haslam. The composition envolves to slightly irritating directions, there are promises of harder sounding approach, which switch forth and back with the softer tunes, creating quite confusing feeling at least for me ("unpleasantly confusing"). "Way to paradise" is well connected to the previous song thematically, but also thus similary continues the style unpleasing. Short instrumental "Daydream" doesn't bring much extra value to the record, and the most interesting thing in "The game is over" was the start riff which can be heard also on Anekdoten's "Seljak" song, heh. The long "The Eighth Day" is stylistically very similar than the other songs, so the record is quite solid in it's approach.

There are three long bonus tracks in the CD version, which certainly grow the value of the album if you like it's style, as they don't sound as any poor leftovers but even slightly better than the shorter original vinyl album songs. If you are big fan of symphonic style rock music (my personal style impression only) or want to check out the German prog scene troughoutly, try listening this record. But I suggest doing that before the purchase decision. I didn't like this record, but there can certainly be other opinions to this, as my dislike was built on stylistical features, not lack of playing nor production qualities. It's also interesting to hear quite puristic prog music from the 80's always.

 Creation by WERWOLF (WEREWOLF ART ROCK) album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.14 | 31 ratings

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Creation
Werwolf (Werewolf Art Rock) Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars This review is based on the CD reissue with 3 long bonus tracks.

While folk influences are not hard to find in the Werwolf sound, I would classify this CD as far closer to symphonic prog than folk prog, but no matter, because it is entertaining, even if it lacks a bit of staying power and many of its ideas and methods easily go back 10 years.

Closest points of comparison might be countrymen Ramses and even Novalis, although Werwolf is more energetic than Novalis. Organs and melodic lead guitar lines dominate. But then we have the voice of Gitta Loewenstein, so that, particularly in the excellent "The Eighth Day", I can't help thinking of the 1970s Dutch band "Earth and Fire", which is definitely a compliment. The other highlight from the original LP is "Land of the Flying Pigs", which would suggest a Pink Floyd disposition, except I don't really get that sense, especially given the general idealism of the silly lyrics. Regardless, musically this track is engaging through its entire length.

The bonus tracks are all interesting and, while extended, generally do not bog down, especially "My Story", which is reminiscent of Sandrose in the vocal department and features saxes and flute and even some male spoken parts, and "The Dreamer", which starts heavily and becomes spacier. It is notable for mixed male and female vocals, more wind instruments and even a Ramses like organ solo backed by military styled drums which builds to a crescendo.

This is really 3.5 stars, rounded down because, although Werwolf has produced a progressive rock work of note, I do not find myself reaching for it a whole lot. It's a nice but non-essential creation.

 Creation by WERWOLF (WEREWOLF ART ROCK) album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.14 | 31 ratings

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Creation
Werwolf (Werewolf Art Rock) Prog Folk

Review by erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is an album from 1984, made by the German band Werwolf. My Black Rills Records version contains 6 compositions, the re-issue from Garden of delights (1997) three bonustracks. The two instrumentals "Hohenflug" and "Daydream" and the long track "The eighth day" deliver fine German progrock like early Eloy and Jane: soaring synthesizers, swelling and bombastic organ and a bit fiery, very flowing electric guitarplay (with echoes from John Lees from BJH). The best composition is "Die Reise ins Land der Flugschweine": an intro featuring beautiful classical guitar, then many shifting moods with pleasant keyboards (heavy organ floods, soaring synthesizers and tender piano) and raw guitar work. Unfortunately this album also includes two boring songs ("Way to paradise" and The game is over"), partly saved by good soli on organ and guitar but in general this is, as the other reviewer mentioned, enjoyable symphonic rock.


 Creation by WERWOLF (WEREWOLF ART ROCK) album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.14 | 31 ratings

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Creation
Werwolf (Werewolf Art Rock) Prog Folk

Review by blardonystewart

4 stars This German prog rock band was similar to Curved Air or Renaissance in having a female vocalist(singing in English).The composition in this recording are very enjoyable symphonic rock with both vocals and instrumentals.The sound is very good as are the performances and the album cover artwork but the lyrics are howlingly bad.Nevertheless it has to be recommended as an example of optimistic hippie prog during a low point for prog music-the commercial 1980s.
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