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ESTHETIC PALE

Neo-Prog • Germany


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Esthetic Pale biography
Esthetic Pale is a six member progressive rock band from Germany. Fronted by lead vocalists Katrin Litty and Claudia Speicher, the band's lineup also includes Claus Peter Fuhurman (keyboards), Joachim Habernoll (drums), Matthias Ibelshauser (guitars) and Andreas Vohringer (bass). The have been likened to bands such as Flamborough Head, Renaissance, Yes and Karnataka, but there are also traces of bands like IZZ of North America.

Esthetic Pale's 1994 debut release The Art Of Development piqued a lot of interest from the the progressive rock community, but had the usual pitfalls of a debut album. Their second album Tales From An Ancient Realm (1996) proved to be cohesive and complete, while reaching beyond Europe. The album Hope in 2000 was released outside Europe and drew attention from Renaissance fans in North America. 2006 saw Their long awaited follow-up Long Forgotten Words, which is a perfect blend of sensual female vocals over deep, rich progressive music.

Esthetic Pale are riding a nice wave of momentum with each and every release. As indicated on the band's website, they are dedicated to carry on and spread progressive music. A quote from their website states, "We are a rock band, dedicated to handmade complex songs. certainly, we write and arrange our own songs. what is special about us? pretty easy: harmonic originals, complicated rhythms, two female voices in harmony and the continuously present melodic red thread."

Eric Walker

Esthetic Pale official website

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ESTHETIC PALE discography


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ESTHETIC PALE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.04 | 4 ratings
Hope
2000
3.61 | 9 ratings
Long Forgotten Words
2005
3.50 | 4 ratings
Shelter From the Storm
2013

ESTHETIC PALE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.95 | 2 ratings
Tales From An Ancient Realm
1997

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
The Art Of Development
1994

ESTHETIC PALE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Hope by ESTHETIC PALE album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.04 | 4 ratings

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Hope
Esthetic Pale Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Through storms and winds came the second album of Esthetic Pale in 1999 and that's because the line-up was half-replaced.The remaining members Claus Peter Fuhrmann, Matthias Ibelshäuser and Melanie Auer would welcome new female singer Katarina Nonhebel, bassist Andreas Voehringer and drummer Joachim Habernoll.''Hope'' was recorded in just five days and released independently by the band.This was reissued however the next year, as the band was picked up by the QuiXote lsbel.

Musically Esthetic Pale followed a similar vein as on their debut, a melodic Neo/Symphonic Prog, which contained enough twists and turns to satisfy a prog fan.There are seven new pieces in this album, left aside the short title-track and the rest of the fresh numbers are seven minutes or longer, characterized by their elaborate arrangements, nostalgic Prog influences, symphonic keyboards and atmospheric breaks.With two female vocalists on board the band resembles to acts such as MAGENTA and SOLSTICE, the music is well-crafted with interesting themes and a good sense of changing moods, mostly dramatic instrumentals, 80's Neo Prog sharp keyboard workouts and even some grandiose intros and outros.I often get an early COLLAGE vibe listening to this album, which balances nicely between keyboard-based Prog and more symphonic-oriented inspirations.Some acoustic lines and ethereal lyricism in the vein of MOSTLY AUTUMN and KARNATAKA are still present, the band would never escape from such kind of comparisons, but the musicianship ranges from decent to beautiful, blending intricate, instrumental twists with melancholic ideas and melodic underlines.The lengthy tracks are equal regarding their value, some are more laid-back, others are more dynamic with some stunning guitar and keyboard moves, but all of them are composed with passion and talent.

Quite overlooked band.''Hope'' contains nothing less than what you will find in a very good Neo/Symphonic Prog album, and that is demanding music, memorable melodies ans semi-symphonic passages in tight and convincing arrangements, supported by a good production.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Tales From An Ancient Realm by ESTHETIC PALE album cover Live, 1997
2.95 | 2 ratings

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Tales From An Ancient Realm
Esthetic Pale Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars A German Prog band from Rheinland-Pfalz, producing Progressive Rock since early-90's.They seem to be led by keyboardist Claus Peter Fuhrmann and guitarist Matthias Ibelshäuser, always with support by female singers.In 1994 they released the 4-track demo ''The Art Of Development'', followed in 1997 by the private-released live CD ''Tales From An Ancient Realm''.By the time the line-up included also singers Melanie Auer and Anja Schmitt, bassist Hans Kühn and drummer Michael Reinhard.

This is actually a very decent production with a nice sound overall, showing a band performing some sort of elaborate Progressive Rock with emphasis on atmosphere and melody, not unlike the path taken by MAGENTA, SOLSTICE or MOSTLY AUTUMN.The compositions are mostly well-written, though far from trully original, with plenty of changing climates and a duo of female singers having crystalline voices and a certain Folk vibe on their vocal tunes.Keyboard and guitar work are both fine with series of soft interplays, great grooves, light symphonic soundscapes and a decent amount of energy.There is also a decent dose of acoustic-driven passages with an even deeper Folk atmosphere throughout along with dreamy female vocal lines, while Esthetic Pale seem to keep a fine balance between melodic and more intricate musicianship.Of course not all tracks stand at the same level with a few being not particularly conveincing, but the final feeling is definitely positive.

Melodic Progressive Rock with touches of Neo Prog, Folk Rock and calm Symphonic Rock is the proposal of Esthetic Pale on this rare-to-find album and if you come by a copy and/or you are a fan of female-fronted modern prog bands, ''Tales From An Ancient Realm'' deserves a place in your collection.Warmly recommended.

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 Long Forgotten Words by ESTHETIC PALE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.61 | 9 ratings

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Long Forgotten Words
Esthetic Pale Neo-Prog

Review by lellebebbel

4 stars this is an essential album and one of my favourites! i liked "hope" a lot but "long forgotten words" is harder, louder and more rock´n´roll without losing the sting towards progressive music.the instrumental parts sound better and the vocals swing better. you oughtta try this one - otherwise you´re gonna miss something...

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Thanks to ProgLucky; Eric Walker for the artist addition.

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