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EPIDAURUS

Symphonic Prog • Germany


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Epidaurus biography
EPIDAURUS were a mid seventies German progressive outfit formed around 1976. Their first album showed that they were firmly rooted in the early 70's progressive style of YES, PINK FLOYD and fellow German rockers, ELOY. This album were Symphonic rock at its best, with mellotron, lots of keyboards and a beautiful female voice. "Earthly Paradise" is a classic prog album, serving a mellifluous mélange of melodic Mellotron and Moog.

A second album, "Endangered", featuring songs from 1978 rerecorded in the nineties, was released in October/November 1994. The first three songs are great, the rest almost drifts away to pop regions. This album, although carrying on in a similar vein to the debut, wasn't particularly well received either and the band split in 1995.

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Earthly ParadiseEarthly Paradise
Import
2002
Audio CD$20.13
$30.51 (used)
...Endangered...Endangered
Garden of delights
Audio CD$20.79
$14.99 (used)
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EPIDAURUS discography


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

3.51 | 78 ratings
Earthly Paradise
1977
1.84 | 12 ratings
Endangered
1994

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EPIDAURUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Endangered by EPIDAURUS album cover Studio Album, 1994
1.84 | 12 ratings

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Endangered
Epidaurus Symphonic Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

2 stars Much worse than their debut. The biggest changes that has happened in between are 1)dominant woman vocals (which became much more extensive) 2)simplified sound, even I've heard worse. This is certainly step in a bad direction and after this, this is yet another example of one album wonder + one disaster in form of follow-up.

Well, I was trying to find something good on this, but it's so hard. Cheap melodies (strong melodic element actually, but not a good one), almost to the point where it becomes very annoying.

2(-), not good, it really isn't worth of adventurous listener's attention, only for historical purposes and/or if you want to hear something unchallenging, easy-listening music.

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 Earthly Paradise by EPIDAURUS album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.51 | 78 ratings

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Earthly Paradise
Epidaurus Symphonic Prog

Review by Dobermensch

2 stars This album begins off very promisingly but is ultimately let down by the weak, one key, high pitched vocals of Christiane Wand.

I love the fact that there are no guitars present at all and if you're a fan of the Mellotron - you're luck's in here - as there's loads of it. Mind you, the setting seems to be stuck on choir and strings. The mighty Moog is also utilised in large chunks. There's also a fair bit of flute too which sounds nice. For such an unknown band on an obscure label, the production throughout is actually pretty good.

A real pity, as this is an album that could have been so much better if the band had managed to find a less irritating singer who didn't sound like 'Benji Mouse' from 'The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy. Her voice was probably intended to sound angelic, but to me it's torture noise from the depths of hell... The good news is that there's only vocals on two tracks.

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 Earthly Paradise by EPIDAURUS album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.51 | 78 ratings

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Earthly Paradise
Epidaurus Symphonic Prog

Review by Epignosis
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

3 stars Epipdaurus's debut is a keyboard-dominated one- expect little in the way of guitars here. That said, the band accomplished a brief but admirable album near the twilight of progressive rock's glory days. To my ear, Christine Wand sounds quite similar to Becky Stark (who played Margaret in The Decemeberist's 2009 masterpiece The Hazards of Love), but my only complaint is that she's not always on top of her notes and occasionally sounds flat. The music itself teeters on generic and minimalistic for symphonic rock, but I still find it a pleasure to hear nonetheless.

"Actions and Reactions" The album wastes no time launching directly into phenomenal symphonic rock waters. Various keyboards provide a smooth ride buoyed by a capable rhythm section. Over sparse instrumentation, the operatic female vocal enters. The synthesizer solo is accomplished though repetitive.

"Silas Marner" Wind and twelve-string guitar, soon joined by a lonely flute, create a mythical piece of music. The synthesizer is a fantastic addition. It picks up tempo and changes face, introducing organ, strings, and those operatic vocals. Stark Mellotron returns to listener to the bleak, windy twelve-string opening with flute flourishes.

"Wings of the Dove" Dirty, clicking organ in 15/8 gives way to Mellotron-drenched piano. Various keyboards take turns in the fore, including Mellotron, organ, piano, and a wicked synthesizer. The rhythmic changes keep the piece fresh.

"Andas" Austere piano opens the fourth track as experimental synthetic sounds take over abruptly. It leaps into a style and sound similar to early Yes, augmented by Mellotron, wild synthesizer, and flute. The piece takes discordant excursions I don't particularly care for, but otherwise, it is a very strong example of symphonic rock.

"Mitternachtstraum" The final piece maintains a steady bass line in 5/4 time with various keyboards swirling around it. For the most part, I am reminded of Camel.

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 Earthly Paradise by EPIDAURUS album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.51 | 78 ratings

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Earthly Paradise
Epidaurus Symphonic Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Nice symphonic-psych album from a German band!

This is another of those hidden gems that we find all of a sudden, that's the precious thing about progressive rock, it does not have limits, and there is plenty of music to discover. So with this album, I, once again, found interesting and well composed music from a band that I didn't know anything. The name of this, their debut album is "Earthly Paradise" and it is the only of theirs I know, but I have read that their second album lacks of creativity and challenging moments, so I believe with this record is enough.

A relatively short album reaching 32 minutes, with only 5 songs oscillating between 5-7 minutes, making a total time of 32.

It kicks off with "Actions and Reactions", and since the very first note we can imagine the music's destiny, I mean, it goes towards the symphonic realm, which is very clear when you listen to that amazing keyboard sound, of course I must mention that I has mellotron, so that gives an extra point. Later female vocals appear, with a unique style, and a minute later the keyboards return faster and challenging, really interesting mix of Eloy and Genesis. Then vocals appear again and the song calms down a little bit, the textures created as background are also well placed, an excellent song.

"Silas Marner" is the longest track and starts very different from the previous one, this time with some wind sound, a soft acoustic guitar and a delicate flute sound. A minute later synths appear with a different sound, but keeping the same atmosphere until minute 3 when drums enter and the song turns faster and a bit psychedelic. Vocals enter (good, but not my favorite vocals), mellotron prevails and a symphonic oriented sound shows the road to delight. The last part is the same as it began, wind effects, acoustic guitar and flute, pretty cool.

"Wings of the Dove" is another keyboard oriented track, but this time the mood is a bit nervous like a movie scene, you don't know what's happening and what's next, this song is great because it maintains you there expecting the next offer, there are several mini changes within this instrumental song, the drums are always great very well placed and the keyboards make it extraordinary.

"Andas" begins with some piano and all of a sudden a weird synth sound which turns spacey and even weirder, making the sound of a robot or something. Later the song changes and makes a rockier sound with guitars, nice bass sound and constant great drumming, but this is just in order to change again and due to the synth sound reminding again to some space or psychedelic act, such as Eloy. The drums are excellent, and the flute addition helps the track getting a new identity, great instrumental song without a doubt.

And last but not least, we have "Mitternachstraum" which supports the idea of labeling this album as a symphonic-psychedelic; you will notice it clearly in this song due to the synth elements, which provoke some great background effects that will be perfectly listened with god headphones, here, we can understand they were also influenced by some krautrock pioneers such as Tangerine Dream, great way of ending an album.

This is an excellent album, as I said, another hidden gem worth discovering, and absolutely recommendable, my final grade is 4 stars.

Enjoy it!

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 Endangered by EPIDAURUS album cover Studio Album, 1994
1.84 | 12 ratings

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Endangered
Epidaurus Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Well, after 17 years the german group Epidaurus came back with this CD. Make no mistake, their sound changed a lot! And not for the better, unfortunatly. Actually it is not bad music, but it is a completely different band. Most of the stuff here is simply too popish. Which is a pity really, since it is obvious they are terrific musicians and Christiane Wand has a beautiful voice.

The quality of their material is quite uneven too, jumping from prog to eletronic to pop without warning. It lacks direction and personality, as many tracks seem to be done by a different bands at times. Some songs are nice (October 1919 and Between The Lines, for instance are fine pop tunes, the former kind of a Genesis instrumental circa 1978 and the latter reminds me of Renaissance around the time of Song For All Seasons). But sometimes they just blow it (Seed Your Heart is terrible).

Conclusion: you better listen to this record before you even consider buying it. Although - for my taste - not a complete disaster, it is nothing like their promising, symphonic and very good debut in 1977. Two stars.

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 Earthly Paradise by EPIDAURUS album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.51 | 78 ratings

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Earthly Paradise
Epidaurus Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Very, very interesting album done by this obscure band project from the late 70´s. A kind of mix together Genesis, Eloy and Tangerine Dream. Of course it is mostly keyboard-driven, but with a fine rhythm section and some added guests on some numbers, like the female Annie Haslam-like vocalise on the first two tracks, flute on other two and even some uncredited acoustic guitars on Silas Marner. It all help to enhance the music, but the keyboards sound are really the stars: tasteful, great timbres and very well played.

Production is very good and clear, the arrangements are excellent and the melodies are catchy. It has no fillers anywhere, and the only bad part of it is the short running time (a little over 30 minutes). Unlike many 70´s instrumental works, this one has no self indulgence or any excess: the music is always captivating and grabs you from the very start.

A very nice surprise. Thanks to Gatot, for his review sparkled my interest. Every symphonic prog fan should listen to this album. Highly recommended.

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 Earthly Paradise by EPIDAURUS album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.51 | 78 ratings

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Earthly Paradise
Epidaurus Symphonic Prog

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Epidaurus is in fact a legendary band that came into scene of progressive rock in mid seventies, quite late as compared to the pioneers like King Crimson, ELP, Yes, Genesis or Pink Floyd who started their career around end of 60's. It was basically the duo keyboardists Günther Henne and Gerd Linke that made up the band and you can guess that the music is truly a keyboard-drenched style with many multi-layer sounds. The moogs, mellotrons, organs and pianos are key elements of their music. Those of you who like Tangerine Dream, Eloy, Symphonic Slam and in some way Triumvirat, might be able to digest and enjoy the music. In addition to keyboards, the bass guitar and drums are also used, strengthened by great vocal work by Christiane Ward whom the singing style is like a blend of Annie Haslam (Renaissance) and Jenny Kaagman (Earth & Fire).

This "Earthly Paradise" was recorded in mid 1977 and was considered as a studio project only. AS the sleeve mentions, the recording took two days: 25 and 26 June, 1977 and the mixing was done next day 27 June 1977, recorded at Hermes-Tons studio, West Germany. The music is a classic in terms of symphonic prog territory, where it had dynamic musical progressions and fine arrangements. In general, the album featured a beautiful, and sometimes it seems pretentious, with catchy melody, long sustain keyboard work that creates "symphonic" nature.

I am sure you will be amazed hearing the first track "Actions And Reactions (7:01) where a blast of long sustain keyboards work dominate the music overlaid by ambient female vocal. It's hard to deny that symphonic prog do not like this track. The next track is in fact much more ambient with intricate and atmospheric keyboard work augmented beautifully by flute-work, played by Peter Maer. "Silas Marner" (7:50) brings us to an upbeat symphonic music with stunning keyboard rhythms section and solo. It reminds me to band like Pulsar. What really impress me is when the album reaches track 4 "Andas" (6:15) where I can find the style of Ozric Tentacles is very obvious.

I highly recommend you to have this album, especially if you favor symphonic prog, it's a MUST have for you. The recording quality is also great. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

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 Earthly Paradise by EPIDAURUS album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.51 | 78 ratings

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Earthly Paradise
Epidaurus Symphonic Prog

Review by Sachis

4 stars This band from Germany is a rare one in the enormous field of progressive music, but their debut album-Earthly Paradise-is almost a landmark of symphonic progressive rock music. This album was for me, indeed, a pleasant surprise.

The music consists in high use of analogue synthesisers and Mellotron all sustained by strong rhythmic parts(the music is very similar to Eloy, Genesis and even Tangerine Dream). The first two songs is with female voice (a very beautiful and representative one). The last three songs are instrumental, and for me the last two, perhaps Mitternachtstraum is the best (excellent keyboard parts). Basically, the result is very good. I must say that the lack of electric and acoustic guitars didn't create a hole in the compositions themselves... the songs are purely based on drums and keyboards and all you can do is to realize the great music the five members did in 32 minutes (this is my single regret...they could add a few songs on it...). Anyway, you should take a trip to the Earthly Paradise...

It's hard to rate 5 stars, but I still recommend this album as an excellent one for a progressive music lover!

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 Earthly Paradise by EPIDAURUS album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.51 | 78 ratings

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Earthly Paradise
Epidaurus Symphonic Prog

Review by progadicto

3 stars Nice album. Not a masterpiece but not bad. Basically is a keyboard album full of proggy sections on mellotron and synthesizers a la Genesis even when the first two songs are closer to some Eloy or Renaissance stuff because the vocals of Christiane Wand. Both songs has a similar structure: a symphonic intro, Wand's vocals mixed with some epical keyboards sections and epic finale.

Anyway, my favourites are the three last songs, the instrumentals. Wings Of The Dove, Andas and specially Mitternachtstraum are full of excellent keyboards sections a la Banks, most of the time very proggy and epical perhaps Mitternachtstarum is closer to some kraut stuff but floating and very rhythmical. Definetively the best sonf of this album.

No surprises here but five decent prog songs from the 70's, specially for Genesis and female prog vocals fans...

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 Endangered by EPIDAURUS album cover Studio Album, 1994
1.84 | 12 ratings

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Endangered
Epidaurus Symphonic Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

1 stars Epidaurus released a good album in 1977 and then took a little rest...Seventeen years actually ! Times have changed in the meantime. So, did the band. And not for the best.

The album nicely opens on an a spacey instrumental. It sounds as a good start for a concept album, but unfortunately it won't be the case. I quite liked the special and high pitched vocals from Chrisitane Wand so what the heck do we need these weird male vocals during "Tonight" ? and even if "Tonight" is also pleasant, these vocals partially ruin it. Pop influence is already present. Symph pop ?

"October 1919" is my fave "Endangered" song. Another good instrumental even if it is a bit repetitive.

Now, most of the following numbers are not really great. Mellow and uninspired music. Vocals will have a more important role but I have to say that the fantasy of their first work is gone. Most compositions sound the same and when you listen to this album in a row, some sort of dull feeling prevails.

The "climax" is reached with "Between the Lines". Believe me, there is nothing to read between them. The worse here even if Christiane tries to save it a bit. Actually, in this song her tone of voice reminds me Jerney Kaagman (from "Earth & Fire").

Well, maybe that the worse was not reached, yet : "Seed In Your Heart" is particularly hard to diggest. Poor "commercial" song (although I doubt that the band could reach the charts with such a song). Pop / disco with trumpets and tutti quanti. Bad, bad, bad.

Even if the mood is still on the mellow side, the closing number is probably one of "best" song of the album. Nice acoustic intro (at last we got rid of those awful rhythms) !

Absolutely not essential of course. One little star and time for "Epidaurus" to call it quit (actually they should have done it after their first album, at least they would have been recalled for having released a good album).

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