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THE HEALING ROAD

Neo-Prog • Germany


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The Healing Road biography
THE HEALING ROAD is the moniker used by German composer and multi-instrumentalist Hanspeter Hess when releasing his musical creations.

He started recording his own compositions in 2005, and with contributions from friends and aquaintances 2006 saw the release of the first album "The Healing Road".

Hess took part in the "Hope | Omid" project instigated by the the German Spock's Beard fanclub "The Bearded" in 2007 by contributing a song from his debut album, and later the same year the second production issued under The Healing Road moniker, "Timanfaya", was released.

2008 saw this project signed to French Label Musea Records, who subsequently re-released "Timanfaya", and in December 2008 the third creation "Tales From The Dam" was released; issued as a LP and CD bundle.

WHY IS THIS ARTIST LISTED AT PROGARCHIVES:
German project band THE HEALING ROAD mix influences from vintage symphonic rock, art rock and new age oriented music into an atmospheric brand of progressive rock that should interest followers of symphonic progressive rock in general and the Neo Progressive variety of it in particular.

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THE HEALING ROAD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
The Healing Road
2006
3.49 | 15 ratings
Timanfaya
2007
3.58 | 19 ratings
Tales From The Dam
2008
3.29 | 15 ratings
Backdrop
2011
3.97 | 14 ratings
Birdbrain's Travels
2014

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THE HEALING ROAD Reviews


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 Birdbrain's Travels by HEALING ROAD, THE album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.97 | 14 ratings

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Birdbrain's Travels
The Healing Road Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars German band The Healing Road has been around for a while but 2014's "Birdbrain's Travels" is my first experience, having reconnoitered it on www.progstreaming and being impressed enough to purchase it. This is multi-instrumentalist and composer Hans-Peter Hess' fifth vehicle for expressing his symphonic tendencies, manning Roland V-drums as well as an arsenal of various keyboards, ably assisted by a tight crew of gifted guitarists, a bass and drums support group , as well as extra soloists on ivories. Two longish tracks, basically part 1 and 2 and both beyond the 20 minute mark, give Hans-Peter the opportunity to create sweeping , multi-faceted suites that stretch the progressive boundaries, ebbing and flowing like a river seeking oceanic freedom. Strangely perhaps, there is some resemblance to the British band the Inner Road, in that both espouse instrumental landscapes that rely on some serious axe shredding, closer to the Vai/Satriani school then say, Steve Hackett, fully dependant on lavish symphonic backdrops and tight rhythmic drive. Another possible distant relative would be US band Majestic but without the vocals.

"Birdbrain's Travels Part 1" immediately kicks off in a marimba-like sequence, pushed along by a shifting drum beat and an elephant blare guitar. Evolving into a quick Genesis- like symphonic expanse that harkens back to Golden Era classics, the tide quickly turns to more explosive modernisms that threaten to rumble along unbridled and just as suddenly fades into a bass-led groove that careens like some crazed rally car going out of control, screeching guitars leaving the densest rubber marks. A serene synth flurry cavorts alongside the brooding bass in a temporary lull, until it just explodes into a flowery frenzy, then reverting to a mechanical clock feel, always twisting and turning until that marimba/calypso vibe returns to roost. Almost like a movie soundtrack, the orchestrations seem to continually follow some unknown script, giving the guitarists ample room to display their shimmering techniques. Of course, Hans Peter wouldn't really be a true German if he did not throw in some electronic ambient parts, though it must be said, they are few and far between, preferring to accentuate the instrumental prowess of the soloists. There is also a fair amount of judicious Pierre Moerlen's Gong influence as the vibraphone enjoys grabbing the attention. This is spirited music with all the prog ingredients deeply involved, so it never gets trite or blasť, Hans Peter is a skilled drummer and the crew is absolutely solid, creating material that is often bold and even aggressive. The placid moments are nearer to classic period Oldfield with dense overlapping, dreamy sequences that have nevertheless a flurry of notes, counterpoint and harmony. The dual guitarists Thommy Frank and Axel Zabel know how to shred, rip, twist and squeeze, elevating the sonic pressure with restrained power and obvious glee.

Birdbrain's Travels Part 2 yearns to kick it up a notch or two, as it starts off with some clever little memories of times gone by, first a slight wink at Deep Purple's "Sweet Child in Time" before the thundering piano decides to revisit a nod to "Firth of Fifth", which then morphs into a bass synth-led mood piece still featuring the amazing piano work (Is it Hans Peter or guest Chris Grundmann?) but slashed by some synth squalls that seem to be inspired by Cape Horn, tempestuous to say the least. Misty vocal effects then lead to a colossal guitar sortie, very panoramic and nearly psychedelic in that it seems to scour every corner of the zone in between the two speakers. The electronic Roland V-drums do wonders here, a mix of Ultravox-styled robotics a la "Mr.X" and Floydian swoon, giving the entire work a sleek and modern sheen. What some experimental moods? Ok but soon after comes, a Spanish guitar from out of nowhere, picking up a moody wisp of dust clouds and an unmistakable feeling of forlorn doom. I am such a sucker for this kind of design, phew, until I realize to my utter horror that the music is about the news broadcasts of that mass murder in a school in 2009 in Winnenden, Germany. The pain, the fear and the revolting disgust is aptly expressed by the rampaging guitar, the speeding bullet bass and drumming. The Hammond L-122 organ solo played by Markus Roth defines the sheer pain of it all. This was the story of a 17 year-old mass murderer who killed 15 people for 'fun' and then himself. The mournful piano cannot soothe the agony and the symphonic arrangement only highlights the absurdity of such insanity. The music ends on tearful notes of tragedy.

A thrilling album cover that resembles Can's rather impressive "Soon Over Babaluma", this is first-rate instrumental music, vivid soundscapes that induce a palpable sense of voyage and trip, even though the context is extraordinarily sad.

4.5 Insane voyages

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 Tales From The Dam by HEALING ROAD, THE album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.58 | 19 ratings

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Tales From The Dam
The Healing Road Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars After landing on Musea and with a secured contract, Hanspeter Hess could release his own works with more comfort.So, a second attempt followed ''Timanfaya'' in 2009, the new album carried the title ''Tales From the dam''.With only guitarist Thommy Frank and drummer Stefan Dittmar present from the first album, Hess recruited also three more guitarists, Claus Flittiger, Gilbert Cyppel and Matthias Zalepa, while the voice parts were carried out by Hermann Voges.It seems that the album had been recorded in various home studios around Germany.

The Healing Road's sophomore output is a more ambitious attempt on approaching Progressive Rock with two very long, vastly instrumental tracks offered.The opening 22-min. ''Tales from The Dam Part 1'' is both similar and different from the tracks of the debut.It delivers the familiar lovely Neo/Symphonic Rock of Hess with good keyboards parts, including some haunting Mellotron waves, and strong electric guitars, but it also contains a trully cinematic atmosphere with an OLDFIELD-ian vibe, created by the Electronic soundscapes, the Classical piano lines and the choir-like vocals.Lots of tightly connected variations and some impressive melodies guarantee a great composition, that lies somewhere between LIKE WENDY and KEN BAIRD, fronted basically by its bombastic synthesizer lines.Second track, the 19-min. ''Tales from The Dam Part 2'' is a bit darker with even some Avant-Garde parts in the first half and a couple of dissonant moments with vibraphones and haunting piano, although the mood is on par with the first part.Again some floating multi-layered synths (maybe a bit SPOCK'S BEARD-ish) are leading the way with interesting guitar moves and solos supporting, but its more atmospheric passages are quite sinister and unique.Somekind of dark chants and the definite orchestral movements throughout deliver a beautiful composition, full of impressive musicianship, shifting climates and sudden changes.This is a great combination of melancholic tunes with grandiose moments.

Great work by Hess and his team.Not too stretched, neither tiring, this album explores the limits of Progressive Rock in two long, conveincing and well-executed compositions, that will please the major fan base of Prog music.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Backdrop by HEALING ROAD, THE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.29 | 15 ratings

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Backdrop
The Healing Road Neo-Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars A new band to me, but I interviewed Hess some time ago and I got the concept. Hence, I purchased this album.

The Healing Road is listed as a Neo-Prog band. In that case, Hess & Co has made a career change on this album. Backdrop is divided into Backdrop # 1 and Backdrop # 2.

# 1 is a nice melody with a lot of references to Camel, Clearlight and Mike Oldfield. The twenty-four minutes ebbs and flows very nicely. There are some Keltic music influences here too. This part of the album is most definate pretty new-age sounding in addition to the heavy symph prog leanings. A very good piece of music, this is.

# 2 has a lot more Keltic influences and is more dynamic than # 1. There is also a lot of Jethro Tull influences at the end of these twenty-two minutes. # 2 is in general more leaning towards prog folk than new-age. Again, this is a very good piece of music.

My only regrets with Backdrop is the lack of any really great or even superb melody lines. But Backdrop is still a very good melting pot (stew) of prog folk, symphonic prog and new age. One of the best stews I have ever consumed. It is recommended to those who loves this type of music. I have to exlude myself from that group. But it is obvious that Hanspeter Hess & Co is onto something good with The Healing Road.

3.5 stars

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 Timanfaya by HEALING ROAD, THE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.49 | 15 ratings

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Timanfaya
The Healing Road Neo-Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

3 stars OK, that's not exactly the look of a prog artist that you would expect, but it's someone producing surprisingly interesting music. Even not as much as I expected. There are layers in all of songs presented here and so, they're structured, completely with graduating composition, climax and aftermath that follows. However, there's something bad and instead of other albums I've reviewed today (and didn't like certain elements and was able to name them), I'm not able to describe it here. It should be interesting, it's not typical neo, but should be shouting on each of my prog senses and saying that this is very good record, but instead, I find myself without a word (I'm sometimes talking to myself, or others, or animals, trees, you know the stuff), not pleased, nor angry. Just with empty feelings

3(+), I suppose will be appropriate to describe my feelings + prog value I see in this record + how interesting this music is. Not bad, not good, average.

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 Tales From The Dam by HEALING ROAD, THE album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.58 | 19 ratings

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Tales From The Dam
The Healing Road Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This third album by German project The Healing Road is a most impressive one - just a few details short of perfection.

There's just two tracks offered here - both of them epic creations clocking in at somewhere around 20 minutes, both of them mostly instrumental ventures.

The first of them blends neo-progressive rock with new age-tinged atmospheres; and is an ever evolving composition gradually building up a mood and atmosphere from a humble start to a majestic, detailed finish and then moved on to the next theme.

The second track continues pretty much in the same manner; but adds in some exotic sounding themes in the first half; at times reminding of Ozric Tentacles; before heading back to the modern symphonic tinged explorations blended with new age elements.

A strong album, well worth checking out by fans of modern symphonic prog of the instrumental variety.

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 Timanfaya by HEALING ROAD, THE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.49 | 15 ratings

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Timanfaya
The Healing Road Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Compelling production from this German solo artist, who's crafted a highly intriguing album with the help from a multitude of musical friends here.

The compositions are mostly keyboard driven, with the piano as a central melodic element in carefully crafted multilayered arrangements; where organ, floating synths and multiple keyboard layers all contribute to a greater or lesser extent to flesh out a detailed, nuanced sound rich in textures and with a good amount of tension. Contrasting elements are utilized in a skilled manner; focusing on minor details rather than the big contradicting sounds. Drawn out guitar chords and acoustic guitar licks add even more details and nuances to the performances, and the drums are used in at times rather creative and innovative fashion to serve some rather unique sonic explorations.

In style we're talking a variety of Neo progressive rock, with added elements from vintage progressive rock as well as new age; lush and mellow but often majestic and rich in atmosphere at the same time; and rather energetic on a few occasions. Well worth checking out by fans of instrumental music with symphonic progressive rock as the main musical foundation.

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Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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