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FAITHFUL BREATH

Symphonic Prog • Germany


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Faithful Breath biography
German band FAITHFUL BREATH was formed in Bochum in 1967, founded by Heinz Mikus (vocals, guitar) and Horst Stabenov (bass) when they left MAGIC POWER in order to set up a new band. They were joined by Reinhold Immig (guitar), Walter Scheuer (guitar) and Jürgen Fischer (drums).

The choice of band name came from another person though, namely Georg Grebe (bass); who was briefly involved with the band as a replacement for Stabenov while he was away for a few weeks. A musician called Boggie Kopec was also briefly involved with the band at the start, and some time later in 1967 Ulrich Bock (saxophone) joined for a somewhat longer tenure.

In 1969 Immig left, and a few months later Fischer was out too. Immig was never replaced, and it took the band two years to get a replacement for Fischer, namely Jürgen Weritz (drums), who joined the band in 1971.

When 1972 was written on the calendar Block had left the band for health reasons, and at the end of the same year Scheuer left the outfit as well; replaced by Manfred von Buttlar (keyboards), formerly of MAMA WERWOLL.

The addition of von Buttlar saw the band change musical directions, and they started exploring a more typical symphonic rock oriented sound at this time. When they entered the recording studio in 1973 the result of this was a fine progressive rock album named "Fading Beauty". Renate Heemann (backing vocals) was briefly involved with the band at this point in time.

1977 saw FAITHFUL BREATH enter the recording studio again, this time as a five-piece following the addition of Jürgen Renfordt (vocals). The results of this session was the single "Stick in Your Eyes / Back on My Hill" issued in 1977 and then the full length production "Back on My Hill" released in 1980. After this second album FAITHFUL BREATH disbanded.

Mikus and Stabenov continued working together though, and when they hooked up with Uwe Otto (drums) they revived their old band name, now pursuing a more distinct heavy metal sound similar to ACCEPT - a style the band would continue exploring in the 80's.

1981 saw the release of the first heavy metal album by FAITHFUL BREATH, "Rock Lions". Otto left shortly after, and when the band issued their fourth production "Hard Breath" in 1983 Jürgen Düsterloh (drums) had hooked up with the band. 1984 saw the addition of Andy Honig (guitar) to the line-up, and the release of their fifth album "Gold 'n' Glory". Shortly after Stabenov and Honig left, with Th...
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Fading BeautyFading Beauty
Audio CD$21.27
$24.99 (used)
Rock Lions/Hard BreathRock Lions/Hard Breath
SIREENA RECORDS 2012
Audio CD$10.21
$10.80 (used)
Back On My Hill/LiveBack On My Hill/Live
Private
Audio CD$10.00
Back On My HillBack On My Hill
Import
Atm Eur/Zoom 2009
Audio CD$19.58
$47.11 (used)
SKOL [LP VINYL]SKOL [LP VINYL]
HI RECORDS
Vinyl$35.00
live LPlive LP
NOISE
Vinyl$25.00 (used)
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FAITHFUL BREATH discography


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FAITHFUL BREATH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.12 | 26 ratings
Fading Beauty
1973
3.35 | 15 ratings
Back on My Hill
1980
1.79 | 5 ratings
Rock Lions
1981
1.07 | 5 ratings
Hard Breath
1983
1.69 | 7 ratings
Gold 'n' Glory
1984
1.62 | 6 ratings
Skol
1985

FAITHFUL BREATH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

1.08 | 4 ratings
Live
1986

FAITHFUL BREATH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

1.08 | 4 ratings
Double Thing
1989

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

3.00 | 1 ratings
Stick in Your Eyes / Back on My Hill
1977
1.00 | 1 ratings
Die Mörderbiene / Keep Me Away
1981
1.00 | 3 ratings
A Million Hearts / Gold 'n' Glory
1984

FAITHFUL BREATH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Fading Beauty by FAITHFUL BREATH album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.12 | 26 ratings

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Fading Beauty
Faithful Breath Symphonic Prog

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars This Germany band was initially a progressive rock band and it later turned out to be a heavy metal one. There is not much that I can get on the history this band which was formed in 1967 as stated in metal library. Fading Beauty is their debut album with the music is mainly comprising long keyboard-drenched music which to me like a jam session. As it was came out in the era of vinyl LP I can understand that the music was produced to fit the LP duration i.e roughly 2 x 22 minutes. Therefore the band made it two tracks at the first side and another long epic at the second side. The first two tracks Autumn Fantasia: Fading Beauty (12:06) and Autumn Fantasia: Lingering Cold (10:26) are actually quite boring to my ears as they are very weak in composition: there are no segments that the band have expressed the music well as they turn out to be like jamming with no prescribed or predetermined tagline melody to follow. It's fine actually if they can demonstrate good musicianships along the way that they produce good composition. Only at the last track Tharsis (21:30) the band is quite successful in creating an interesting music even though not compelling enough to my ears. It seems to me that the band actually can make the music just with 10 minutes duration. In order to fit the full side 2 then they continue the other 10 minutes as the last portion of Tharsis. It is not well done actually, that's why the later part sounds awkward to me.

Overall, this is only good for those who want to have an archive of vintage music and not too much paying attention on how good the composition is. This one deserves two stars. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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 Fading Beauty by FAITHFUL BREATH album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.12 | 26 ratings

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Fading Beauty
Faithful Breath Symphonic Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars AFAIAC, this is FB's only album worth hearing, or even considering for this site's musical scope. Some consider this album one of Germany's better 70's symphonic prog album, and it's not entirely wrong to think so, but there are moments when they sound like they didn't even care if they borrowed openly and with total impunity. Indeed, if the intro of the opening track does not refer you directly to Genesis' Watcher Of The Skies, you're due for an ear and brain check-up urgently?. And you'll find a fair bit more of these moments throughout the album's three tracks. But that's not to say that everything on Fading Beauty sounds borrowed or derivative of some English prog bands. Despite a certain amount of "cloned" ADN, the band did manage some moments where their developed their own personalities at times. In many ways, FB's music is flattering enough to 70's prog lovers that the "inspired dimension" of their music can pass down the throat and be digested fairly easily.

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 Fading Beauty by FAITHFUL BREATH album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.12 | 26 ratings

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Fading Beauty
Faithful Breath Symphonic Prog

Review by seventhsojourn
Special Collaborator RPI

3 stars Let me tell you about a dream I've been having lately. A kneeling figure, the personification of 'Fading Beauty' perhaps, trembles below a sword that hangs above by a single horse- hair. I don't know the meaning of this dream but it nonetheless disturbs me.

I'm also trying to make sense of Faithful Breath's bandpage and I'm genuinely curious about what other members will have made of the recent spate of 1- and 2-star reviews for these German orphans. I'm only familiar with their two prog albums so I have absolutely no comment to make on the merits or de-merits of their non-prog output. Faithful Breath was actually one of the earliest German symphonic bands and this album comprises two sprawling epics that rely heavily on Mellotron and Hammond organ. Keyboards-player Manfred 'Carl' von Buttlar is generally credited with having steered the band in a symphonic direction so it's no surprise that their progressive leanings bit the dust when he left after their second album.

The album itself induces a certain feeling of melancholy and the despairing emotional currents of the hymnal music are matched by its sombre, morbid lyrics. Take for example the narrative of 'Tharsis' in which the planet Earth is the titular bird's egg that will one day hatch, an inevitable event that is heralded by frequent earthquakes. The main themes of this story - the virgin birth of a winged goddess whose spouse, in this case the wind, is an invisible unknown; creation and destruction of the world; the idea of death as a rebirth - have strong echoes of Greek creation myth and the cosmogonic cycle. Talk about being pretentious; I'm sure I've seen this album described somewhere as 'overblown nonsense' but isn't that part of the dictionary definition of symphonic prog? If not, it should be.

Anyway, it's a pity that this highly schismatic band's later output seems to have taken the shine off their first couple of prog albums. 'Fading Beauty' apparently has legendary status as a lost classic in some quarters but just because it's obscure doesn't make it a masterpiece. At best it's a fairly average symphonic album. The material on the sophomore 'Back On My Hill' is actually stronger and more dynamic despite it being a largely song-based album. I seem to be in a minority of one in liking that album though; it's lonely sometimes in the wondrous city of Cloud Cuckoo Land.

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 A Million Hearts / Gold 'n' Glory by FAITHFUL BREATH album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1984
1.00 | 3 ratings

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A Million Hearts / Gold 'n' Glory
Faithful Breath Symphonic Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

1 stars 'A Million Hearts / Gold n' Glory' - Faithful Breath (Single)

Taken from Faithful Breath's 'Gold n' Glory' album, the 'A Million Hearts' single and title track are a selection of two of the best tracks from the record. Faithful Breath was a band who originally played a symphonic brand of progressive rock, but as the two tracks here show, by the time the 80's rolled around, they had resorted to changing their style to a generic brand of cock rock heavy metal. While these are the best two songs from that album however, the quality of these tracks still reveals Faithful Breath as a clone of the more successful band Accept. Faithful Breath were smart to change their sound to appeal to a larger audience, but the way they did the music was not original in the slightest. 'Gold n' Glory' is a fairly typical heavy metal track that does not make it hard to visualize some hairy men wailing around in a room with guitars and a hefty stockpile of liquor. The better, more memorable track here is 'A Million Hearts', and for all intents and purposes, it is a fairly good song, although once again, it is a rehash of the power ballad formula. 'Gold n' Glory' was not a great album, but it was a decent piece of clone-formula heavy metal. This single may hae the best tracks, but on the merit of this band's songs alone, it's difficult to recommend them track-by-track.

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 Skol by FAITHFUL BREATH album cover Studio Album, 1985
1.62 | 6 ratings

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Skol
Faithful Breath Symphonic Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

2 stars 'Skol' - Faithful Breath (3/10)

Faithful Breath is a German band that put out a progressive rock record in the early 70's, and just as quickly, changed their sound into something else entirely. Fast forward a decade or so, and the band is barely recognizable from what they used to be. While its established that many surviving prog rock bands from the 70's changed their sound in order to keep up with the crowds in the 80's, most of those bands became pop outfits, whereas Faithful Breath went down the route of heavy metal. While this would tend to be a more personally promising prospect than hearing a prog band dumb down their sound to the four chord wonder, my first experience with the band's heavy metal material 'Gold n' Glory' indicated to me that there was not all too much to be excited about here. 'Skol' was released the year following 'Gold n' Glory', and right before they decided to change their name and start fresh as the speed metal act Risk. 'Skol' is a weak album from the proggers-turned- hard rockers, and virtually drowned in dated 80's hair appeal. While I still can't call Faithful Breath's material 'horrible', this is a clear step down from the comparatively fun 'Gold n' Glory'.

While I still was not a big fan of Faithful Breath on 'Gold n' Glory', I could enjoy it at least as fun, concise heavy metal; an obscure album that was all too lost in its era. 'Skol' changes their sound up a bit, but for the worse; the songs here sound like they have been taken down a notch in terms of speed and relative heaviness. Instead of a purely heavy metal album, this has now dipped beneath the threshold, into hard rock. The songs are more mid-tempo, there is less excess with the solos, and most things seem to have been toned down, if only a little bit. In any case, this is enough to make 'Skol' a weaker incarnation of Faithful Breath than its predecessor. The lyrics here are laughable, and the songwriting is extremely formulaic, relying mostly on the repetition of the usually gang-chanted choruses, wherein the band usually calls out the title of the song. Sound pretty familiar?

The band's performance here is not memorable, although its not bad at all, for what it is. However, the lacking sense of identity on 'Skol' does nothing for me, and Faithful Breath would remain a lacking Accept clone to the very end. Luckily, their music under the new name of Risk would be better.

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 Double Thing by FAITHFUL BREATH album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1989
1.08 | 4 ratings

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Double Thing
Faithful Breath Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

1 stars A rather obscure 2 for 1 compilation album which includes their final two albums Gold 'n' Glory and Skol before they changed their name to Risk.

Both albums includes some very dire heavy metal in the vein of Accept. So much that both albums are Accept clones. The difference is the quality. Both Gold 'n' Glory and Skol must surely be two of the worst ever heavy metal albums. Incompetent musicians, horrible music, lyrics who could had been written by primary school children and pretty shoddy sound too. This is exactly what you expect from a band from behind the Iron Curtain before the end of the cold war........ or from a band from Mongolia. But not from Germany. Make that West Germany. Everything about this album is so cheap. Everything but the obscene high prices it trades for on Ebay.

In short; if you have a perverse sense of humour or is a manic collector; stay away from this album. Spend the money on buying a three bedrooms flat on Manhatten, New York instead.

1 star

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 Gold 'n' Glory by FAITHFUL BREATH album cover Studio Album, 1984
1.69 | 7 ratings

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Gold 'n' Glory
Faithful Breath Symphonic Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

2 stars 'Gold n' Glory' - Faithful Breath (4/10)

As the 70's faded away into the prog-phobic 80's, many progressive rock acts realized that the only way they would be able to keep swimming would be to swim with the rest of the fish, and by that; meaning to change their sound to appeal to the new market. As was the case for Genesis and Yes, many bands went the route of going from prog to pop, a move which in some cases turned to be quite disastrous on an artistic level. Faithful Breath was a German prog rock band from the early '70s that did indeed change their sound, but not in the way that so many other proggers did. Instead of pop, Faithful Breath went for the new growing sound of heavy metal, and shown on their album 'Gold n' Glory', it is clear that they were not at all afraid to jump headfirst into this new style. Although Faithful Breath's decision to evolve into a heavy metal act was much better than the pop alternative they could have been however, the band's execution of the style is hopelessly derivative and cheesy, although I will say that there is some enjoyment to reap from this album from the once- proggers.

Anytime Faithful Breath's heavy metal material is mentioned, the German titans Accept are bound to be mentioned, and this is for no small reason either; Faithful Breath seems to have thrown down their old style in the favour of another band's. While it is taken for granted that every musician is influenced by something or someone, Faithful Breath's closeness in sound to Accept goes far beyond mere similarity. to the point where they easily fall within the territory of the copycat; a clone. Complete with rock n' roll lyrics with more cheese to them than a French cuisine platter, these tracks are fast, highly reliant on big choruses, and always have a little guitar solo or riff to keep in line with formula. Truth be told; the songs are not poorly written for what they are, but there really is not much to the music here to be worth more than a couple of listens at best. The necessary inclusion of the token power ballad 'A Million Hearts' is probably the highlight here simply for the fact that it is a breath of fresh air from the rest, but nothing here is bound to lit my heart anytime soon.

Faithful Breath's 'Gold n' Glory' is not a terrible album, but it sounds immensely dated, to a nearly humourous extent; the songwriting and performance here is never impressive, but always functional. Really, 'Gold n' Glory' is a fairly enjoyable piece of generic 80's heavy metal, but nothing more than that, really.

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 Live by FAITHFUL BREATH album cover Live, 1986
1.08 | 4 ratings

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Live
Faithful Breath Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

1 stars The live album from this German heavy metal album.

This album was released after they had changed their name to Risk and gone speed metal. This live album is a thank you to the Faitful Breath fans (both of them) and the closing of the Faithful Breath chapter in this band's life.

This album is a straight forward live album with shoddy sound. It is also possibly a kind of best off too. But that is hard to tell because their creative output is so abysmal bad. Most, if not all of the songs are from their third last albums. The music is over the top heavy metal from a band who were either so mentally deranged that they took themselves seriously or a band whose this were just a Spinal Tap/Bad News like parody on heavy metal. I really cannot decide if they were a parody or dead serious. If they were serious, they were very probably the worst ever recording heavy metal band this planet has ever witnessed.

Style wise, Faithful Breath can be compared to Accept, but with any traces of quality removed. And that is everything I can say about this live album. Shoddy sound masking horrible music.

Five.... no, make that one star.

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 Skol by FAITHFUL BREATH album cover Studio Album, 1985
1.62 | 6 ratings

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Skol
Faithful Breath Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

1 stars The final Faithful Breath album before they changed their name to Risk and music style to speed metal. The Risk albums is far better than the metal albums they released under the Faithful Breath name, btw.

But we return to this album named Skol. Is it named after this famous beer brand ? A cheap beer with dubious contents. Is it sold here in the UK anylonger ? I do not know. I never buy beer any longer due to a more healthy lifestyle.

To the music........ Faithful Breath has slightly changed style again from their previous Accept copycat album. Accept was a much more aggressive German heavy metal band than Faithful Breath has morphed into on this album. The music on Skol is much more traditional German metal, although still with a lot of very obvious Accept connotations. Accept-Light, I would brand this album.

The lyrics is as usual laughable bad. Nothing has changed there. Unfortunate they are so much in the front of the mix that it is impossible not to notice every single word. Which frankly is painful for the listener. Or if you like, a hilarious experience. The music is so standard heavy metal and so low on quality that this album becomes an involuntary hilarious album. The band has copied other bands in everything and there is hardly any fibre of origiality on this album. No wonder that I as an avid metal fan at that time did not know about this band at all. They were simply never good enough to get noticed.

In short; this is another abysmal bad album from a band which tried their best, but fell short by many country miles. Thankfully, the story has a happy ending with the success Risk got.

Avoid unless you have a weird sense of humour.

1 star

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 Rock Lions by FAITHFUL BREATH album cover Studio Album, 1981
1.79 | 5 ratings

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Rock Lions
Faithful Breath Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars The first album from their heavy metal era.

I am a bit miffed to say at least. Where the follow up to this album Hard Breath was a pretty braindead all out heavy metal album, this album is a pretty well crafted heavy prog album.

From what I understand; two members of Faithful Breath reconvened again after the succesful Back on My Hill album and went in a totally opposite direction from that album again. The new Faithful Breath became a hard rock band and later an all out heavy metal band. They then changed name to Risk and released six reasonable successful speed metal albums. I have one big question: Why the heck did they not change their name to Risk after the Back on My Hill album ? It is like Coca Cola closing down their soft drinks bottling plants and opening up some wineyards under the same name. Stupid !

Angry rant over.

Rock Lions has a braindead cover artwork which it is hard to bypass without any prejudice about the music here. And it is the music I am reviewing here.

What hides behind the cover artwork though is a pretty good hard rock album. Yes, that is hard rock and not heavy metal. Hard rock as with references to Bad Company and in particular; Kiss. The new version of Faithful Breath must have been listening to the five first Kiss albums and copied their music. But there are still some Bad Company references here too and they are not as primitive two bars focused as Kiss were/still is. Faithful Breath is better musicians than Kiss. You can also find some early Ac/Dc connotations in their music.

The result is a pretty good hard rock album with some decent songs to boot too. A song like Down, Down is a good song with an infectious drive and verse. I just wish the band had stayed within the hard rock scene and not gone totally off the rails as they did on the following two albums. If they had developed this sound a bit, they could had become a good band.

This is a decent album from a band who lived of copying other bands and trends. What a waste of talent.

2 stars

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