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HANUMAN (LIED DES TEUFELS)

Krautrock • Germany


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Hanuman (Lied des Teufels) biography
Early 70's krautrock band from Berlin, Hanuman was formed by Peter Barth (flute, sax, vocals), Jörg Hahnfeld (bass), Thomas Holm (drums) and Wolf-Rüdiger Uhlig (organ, piano, vocals). In 1972 the band will change the name to Lied des Teufels. Rüdiger Uhlig will join the legendary heavy progressive rock band Murphy Blend. The band released an unique album in 1971, largely made of extravagant, colourful, tastefull hybrid rockin' compositions with discreet influences from Van Der Graaf Generator.


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HANUMAN (LIED DES TEUFELS) discography


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3.89 | 19 ratings
Hanuman
1971
3.17 | 11 ratings
Lied des Teufels
1973
0.00 | 0 ratings
Lied des Teufels 2: Höllisch heiße Rockmusik
1975

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HANUMAN (LIED DES TEUFELS) Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Lied des Teufels by HANUMAN (LIED DES TEUFELS) album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.17 | 11 ratings

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Lied des Teufels
Hanuman (Lied des Teufels) Krautrock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

3 stars After Hanuman released their one and only unique Krautrock album in 1971, the crowded world of the burgeoning progressive rock scene in Germany didn't exactly open up for them and with the lackluster response of their very good album came the first hemorrhaging of band members. The main instrumental leader and organist Wolf-Rüdiger Uhlig jumped ship and instead of replacing him with another keyboardist, the band carried on by not only replacing him with a guitarist (which the first album lacked) but also decided to go for broke and change the band name to LIED DES TEUFELS (Song Of The Devil). The change is profound as it totally changed the symphonic prog Krautrock aspects of the band into a more heavy blues rock style that still incorporated progressive rock elements but clearly put them on simmer as the songs on the second eponymous album under a different band name were more melodic and focused on catchy riffs rather than the kaleidoscope of Kraut that Hanuman utilized.

The results of this change are mixed. There are clear weaknesses and there are clear sophomoric improvements. The positive aspects are tighter instrumental performances that offer more memorable hooks and would certainly appeal to anyone who puts melodic developments first and foremost above progressive elements that display complexity for complexity's sake. The downside comes due to the fact that these guys weren't quite capable of pulling off the melodic hard rock with progressive overtone music that they were striving for. While the musical chops are all in order, my main complaint is that the vocals of Peter Barth aren't quite ready for prime time and the proof is in the pudding if you compare the vocal segments to the instrumental ones on this album. Personally i feel this album is strongest on the first three tracks and then loses steam and becomes a tad redundant. 'Wenn Du Fragst' (When You Ask) is a nice little bass hopper that has a groovy rhythm and nice break with sustained backing vocals and tasty songwriting strategies and although at a less than four minute timing displaying a less progressive leaning, the band is quite effective in retaining a Krautish heavy rock atmosphere.

The real progressive treat is on track number two 'Nichts' (Nothing) which at 9:43 is the powerhouse of the album despite 'Ich Bin Nur Ein Kind' (I'm only a child) clocking it at 10:17 because 'Nichts' is actually interesting. It begins with a nice bass line followed by cymbals and then has some beautiful vibraphones join in. It brings a nice lounge lizard jazz cat's vibe into fruition as the guitars back the groovy ever strengthening rhythmic section and then at 1:43 the jam gives way to a heavy guitar riff that plays off an alto sax run with cool drum rolls. It all stops again and turns into a psychedelic slow atmospheric build up with Peter Barth reciting a spoken word litany in the German language. These different sections trade off and sometimes run together. This is my favorite track on the album as it weaves a jazzy vibe in a rock context but instead of creating a normal type of fusion makes it feel like the two styles are merely dancing with each other instead of getting married. The guitar sections are strong as are the sax solos.

'Steht Nicht Abseits' (Don't stand aloof or alone) is probably the catchiest track on the album, one where the ear worms are so strong i can't get this one out of my head the rest of day after i hear it. This is due to the ÜBER-catchy chorus. It's all catchy actually as it begins with a nice guitar riff and slow build up to the chorus. This is the point where you realize that LIED DES TEUFELS is going for a more mainstream heavy rock sound which when sung in German is often referred to as Deutschrock. The song is fairly straight forward rock in style with flute incorporated but it is stretched out and parts repeated to get 7:08 out of it. I'm loving the song for its cheerful upbeat feel but it is apparent that this type of rock requires a more versatile vocalist than Peter Barth is capable of delivering.

The second half of the album is decently done but is a tad less captivating than the first half as it sounds like the band are going through the motions and becomes even more cringe worthy in the vocal department which is my main complaint for this album although there are some outstanding instrumental sections that are excellent in their execution. The songwriting definitely holds up well but unlike the Hanuman album where the vocals weren't the main focus and the instrumental prowess was, this album is made to focus around a strong vocalist that unfortunately isn't on board. The goofy underwhelming lyrical delivery becomes more clear on tracks like 'Gott, Geld Und Freiheit' (God, Money and Freedom). My imagine runs wild when i listen to this and can hear a much more dynamic vocalist breathing untold life into the many of these tracks. Unfortunately LIED DES TEUFELS didn't catch on even within Germany and released one more ridiculously obscure album and then disappeared never to be heard from again. Too bad. The band had a knack for really brilliant songwriting and with a more gifted vocalist on board could have been as popular as the Scorpions, well talentwise, with all the usual luck and breaks that create such success.

3.5 but rounded down for PA because this just doesn't hold up in the progressive arena as did the debut

 Hanuman by HANUMAN (LIED DES TEUFELS) album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.89 | 19 ratings

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Hanuman
Hanuman (Lied des Teufels) Krautrock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars HANUMAN were a band out of Berlin, Germany and this is their sole release from 1971. The band did though carry on under the different name LIED DES TEUFELS and released 2 more studio albums. Keyboardist Wolf-Rudiger Uhlig had just left the band MURPHY BLEND before joining HUNAMAN. The music has German vocals which I'd call fairly charming, maybe an acquired case so some say. We get plenty of organ, flute, sax and drums with not a guitar in sight.

"Schadelstatten" features drums and some beautiful sounding organ runs as the flute joins in. The organ pulses as the drums pound and the flute plays over top. Vocals before 2 1/2 minutes but they stop before 3 minutes. A calm with flute leading the way before 5 minutes but then the organ and drums return back to the fore. Vocals are back briefly then the sax leads after 7 1/2 minutes. Another calm after 9 minutes but a minute later they are ripping it up. My favourite song right there.

"Machtwechsel" has a dark atmosphere to start as bass, flute and clashing cymbals come and go, organ as well. Some dissonant sax 2 minutes in then we get piano, sax and drums before it all settles in with flute, drums and piano leading. Vocals 5 minutes in then it turns more powerful as the organ kicks in. Vocals continue then back to that bass, flute and drum section. The sax replaces the flute for a while. Sounds like an upright bass along with drums before the vocals and flute return after 8 1/2 minutes.

"Lied Des Teufels" has a nice drum solo to start before the piano and flute join the drums as it mellows out. Vocals before a minute. This song reminds me of JETRO TULL. "Taue Der Fremdheit" opens with piano as sax, drums and vocals join in. An organ solo after a minute then a sax solo before 3 minutes.

"Sonnenaufgang" is the closer and the longest tune at 11 1/2 minutes. It's experimental to start with organ, sax and drums coming and going. It's building after 2 minutes then kicks in before 4 minutes with the sax out front. Then these determinded vocals join in. Nice bass before 5 1/2 minutes as it turns instrumental again. Vocals are back after 6 minutes as we get a calm. The sax is back after 7 minutes as it all picks up. Vocals too. I like the drumming here. The organ leads after 8 minutes.

I think this is really well done and they mix it up enough to keep me interested.

 Hanuman by HANUMAN (LIED DES TEUFELS) album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.89 | 19 ratings

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Hanuman
Hanuman (Lied des Teufels) Krautrock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars HANUMAN is a German band from Berlin that released this one album under this moniker that is taken from the name of the Hindu god who was a devotee of the god Rama in the Hindu epic Ramayama before changing their name to Lied Des Teufels (Song Of The Devil) for their second release. The band was formed in 1971 and soon released this album on the Kuckuck Label which hosted other totally obscure Krautrock bands including one of the few more known ones Out Of Focus. The band consisted of founder Peter Barth (flute, sax, vocals),Jörg Hahnfeld (bass), Thomas Holm (drums) and Wolf-Rüdiger Uhlig (organ, piano, vocals). Uhlig was fresh out of the heavy prog Murphy Blend which married progressive rock with the jazz and blues sensibilities of the other members.

The wide spectrum of Krautrock is unfathomable encompassing everything from the totally lysergically spaced out like the musical meltdowns of early Guru Guru and Amon Düül II to the jazz-rock hybrids of bands like Embryo. Bands like HANUMAN borrowed a little bit from all the camps but primarily focus on highly melodic developments with a few freak outs interspersed within some of the tracks. The album begins with highly rhythmic percussion bringing Can to mind however it is also drenched with heavy organ runs and beautiful flute accompaniments. The dramatic vocals are sung exclusively in the German language adding a somewhat alienating feel for non-speakers to the album for the time when most European bands except the Italians were jumping like lemmings into the English speaking world to extend international exposure.

The music is complex but very easy on the ears and fairly easy to follow drawing comparisons to Van Der Graaf Generator but never delving into the complexities that VDGG achieved but still very much in the offbeat camp. HANUMAN does however change up the styles by drenching the listener with time sig changes and alternations of instrumental duties where different parts drop out to let others steal the show for a while. There is a strong jamming vibe to the album where every little melodic development is allowed to fulfill its potential before moving on to something new. Three of the tracks are well over nine minutes long so this is progressive rock in the truest sense encompassing many aspects of jazz-fusion, Krautrock, heavy rock as well as a sense of the eclectic without ever tipping the scales totally in that direction.

This is an album that has grown on me. It's true that Peter Barth's vocals sung in German can be an acquired taste and that the band didn't exactly reinvent the Krautrock genre or anything of the sort but what they did master quite tastefully is mixing and melding different aspects of the genre into their own vision. The music changes it up often by having jazz-rock sections, heavy rockin' segments, beautiful piano runs reminding me of Italian groups of the early 70s, freak outs and rhythmic spastic sections that bring Can to mind all the while finding room to mix in Doors type keyboards parts, Out Of Focus type horn parts and nicely composed song structures. While not quite an unabashed masterpiece it does present itself to be more than a worthy redeemer of excellent listening. It has only grown on me and i hope this can dig its way out from under the huddle of heavyweights that are piled upon it. After this release Uhlig would leave the band and they changed their name to Lied Des Teufels for their second album.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Rivertree for the last updates

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