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NOVALIS

Symphonic Prog • Germany


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Novalis biography
During the mid-seventies, the Hamburg-based band NOVALIS established themselves as leaders in the field of German-language romantic rock. The quartet called itself NOVALIS after the most important German poet of early romanticism. They created a rock music of poetic, lyrical with german lyrics and instrumental beauty. Their music, a heavy organ rock, was compared to the sounds of bands such KING CRIMSON and PINK FLOYD. They released a few albums of lush, keyboard-dominant prog rock during the seventies. The keyboards created majestic layers on which the guitar builds airy melodies.

Starting with heavily organ-accentued art rock a-la KING CRIMSON (and on their debut, "Banished Bridge", including English lyrics), NOVALIS later developped their own unique style, a mixture of progressive, classic, folk and rock. "Banished Bridge" (1973) showed their KING CRIMSON influences... in a dreamy, laid back progressive rock. This 1975 self-titled album was their 2nd album and continues to show their own style take on these influences. "Novalis" (1975) and the classic "Sommerabend" (1976), both are actually much better than the comparatively disappointing fourth album, "Brandung" (1977). They did very well down musically and commercial in the second half of the 70's. "Flossenengel" (1979) was the last good one. "Rock on Brain" (1978) is an excellent document of the first 6 (and best) years of this great band.

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NovalisNovalis
Import
2004
Audio CD$6.89
$6.86 (used)
SommerabendSommerabend
Import
Universal Import 2001
Audio CD$6.17
$11.91 (used)
AugenblickeAugenblicke
MADE IN GERMANY MUSI 2012
Audio CD$10.36
$8.50 (used)
Banished BridgeBanished Bridge
Import
Repertoire 2002
Audio CD$44.95
$19.99 (used)
FlossenengelFlossenengel
MADE IN GERMANY MUSI 2012
Audio CD$9.69
$7.98 (used)
Vielleicht Bist De Ein ClownVielleicht Bist De Ein Clown
Import
Repertoire 2002
Audio CD$64.95
$63.95 (used)
BrandungBrandung
Import
Repertoire 2002
Audio CD$81.95
$60.37 (used)
Letztes Konzert 1984Letztes Konzert 1984
MADE IN GERMANY MUSI 2012
Audio CD$10.36
$17.73 (used)
KonzerteKonzerte
Brain / SPV 2009
Audio CD$95.05 (used)
BumerangBumerang
MADE IN GERMANY MUSI 2012
Audio CD$10.23
$7.22 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
EDITH MATHIS Schubert 19 Lieder CD 1988 Novalis Karl Engel +kurt weber clarinet US $16.98 Buy It Now 16h 2m
Novalis - Flossenengel CD US $18.88 Buy It Now 21h 37m
NOVALIS konzerte JAPAN LP OBI 22S-36 kR4 US $22.49 Buy It Now 23h 38m
Novalis - Konzerte (2009) - Used - Compact Disc US $95.03 Buy It Now 1 day
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NOVALIS**SOMMERABEND**CD US $11.95 Buy It Now 1 day
LP NOVALIS Sommerabend KRAUTROCK, 2nd GERMANY, MINT/MINT- US $17.16 [7 bids]
1 day
JS Bach Brandenburg Concertos 1-6 WIENER AKADEMIE HASELBOCK NOVALIS 150035 2LP US $19.99 Buy It Now 1 day
NOVALIS CD 150027-2: Mozart Haffner & Sym 32, Sir Colin Davis- OOP 1988 SWISS SS US $39.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Mozart Violin Concertos 1-3 SITKOVETSKY ENGLISH CHAMBER NOVALIS 150 012 SEALED US $17.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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SITKOVETSKY Violin * MOZART Violin Concertos Nos.1,2&3 * NOVALIS Digital US $27.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Novalis - Banished Bridge (CD 1973/1997) US $4.12 [3 bids]
1 day
Mozart: Violin Concertos - Sitkovetskey, English Chamber (CD Novalis Import, AM) US $2.45 Buy It Now 2 days
LP NOVALIS Brandung KRAUTROCK, 2nd GERMANY, MINT- US $8.52 [6 bids]
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DMITRY SITKOVETSKY MOZART VIOLIN CONCERTOS 1 - 5 NOVALIS DMM 2LP SET NM+ US $14.99 [0 bids]
US $19.99 Buy It Now
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NOVALIS novalis VG/EX GERMANY BRAIN1070 | 14-0124-021 US $45.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Novalis '78 lp vielleicht bist du ein clown orig brain germany prog synth lyric! US $34.00 Buy It Now 2 days
SEALED NOVALIS 1990 DIGITAL Tchaikovsky JUDD Serenade for Strings 150057-1 US $14.00 Buy It Now 3 days
NOVALIS BANISHED BRIDGE BRAIN UXP-736-EB Japanese Pressing PROMO OBI Vinyl LP US $12.50 [3 bids]
3 days
NOVALIS BRANDUNG BRAIN SUX-74-EB Japanese pressing PROMO OBI Vinyl LP US $7.00 [4 bids]
3 days
Novalis Deux - First Cadence [CD New] US $20.01 Buy It Now 3 days
NOVALIS-AUGENBLICKE-JAPAN MINI LP SHM-CD Hi25 US $41.99 Buy It Now 3 days
NOVALIS konzerte LP Mint- 60.065 Vinyl 1977 German Prog Rock Original Brain US $36.00 Buy It Now 3 days
NOVALIS-FLOSSENENGEL-JAPAN MINI LP SHM-CD Hi25 US $41.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Neunecker (horn), etc. Mozart (Quintet KV 407; clarinet quintet) Novalis 150 006 US $12.00 Buy It Now 4 days
Mahler: Symphonie Nr. 1 (CD, Novalis)1988 Full Silver US $12.99 Buy It Now 4 days
GALAXY NATURE'S CLEAR WELL SWISS GERMAN PROG ORIG LP WANIYETULA EDEN NOVALIS US $38.88 Buy It Now 4 days
C.P.E.Bach Sonatina II Wq109,Concerto L'Organo Wq34 Music Cassette Novalis Label US $6.80 Buy It Now 4 days
NOVALIS:BUMERANG/PROG US $11.91 Buy It Now 5 days
LP NOVALIS Konzerte KRAUTROCK, 1st GERMANY, MINT- US $1.77 [2 bids]
5 days
TON KOOPMAN - JS BACH organ works NOVALIS 6xCDs box NM US $34.99 Buy It Now 5 days
NOVALIS Novalis CD US $9.95 Buy It Now 5 days
NOVALIS - SOMMERABEND CD US $9.95 Buy It Now 5 days
Novalis - Banished Bridge cd US $11.99 Buy It Now 5 days
Brain Metronome Sampler Japan Promo Vinyl LP Novalis Birth Control Grobschnitt US $79.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Ton Koopman Sebastian Bach vinyl LP Novalis Records EX [DMM Christian Muller] US $15.00 Buy It Now 6 days
RABINOWITSCH/HIRSCHHORN/GERINGAS BRAHMS PIANO TRIOS OP.18+36 SCHWISS NOVALIS US $9.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Novalis - Sommerabend (CD, Jan-1998, Repertoire) LIKE NEW US $12.95 Buy It Now 6 days
Novalis by Novalis (CD, Nov-1997, Repertoire) LIKE NEW US $12.95 Buy It Now 6 days
Spohr: Concertante Nr. 2 W.A. Mozart: Konzert C-dur KV 299 CD Novalis Classical US $5.99 Buy It Now 6 days
The Great Bach / KOOPMAN, GILBERT, PRESTON, HASELBÖCK, SITKOVETSKY 5 CD, Novalis US $39.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Brain-festival Essen LP (Germany 2 LPs Gate, Novalis, JANE, GURU GURU +MORE US $24.99 [0 bids]
6 days
Dvorák: Serenade, Op. 22; Sextet, Op. 48 CD Novalis Classical Symphony Orchestra US $5.99 Buy It Now 6 days
NOVALIS - AUGENBLICKE NEW CD US $22.58 Buy It Now 6 days
NOVALIS-CD-LP-SOMMERABEND-1992-RARE GERMAN PROG ROCK-PLAYS LIKE NEW. US $12.26 Buy It Now 6 days
PROMO LABEL / NOVALIS KONZERTZ / WITH OBI KONZERTE US $59.99 Buy It Now 7 days
PROMO ONLY NOVALIS BIRTH CONTROL GROBSCHNITT BRAIN JAPA US $59.99 Buy It Now 7 days
Young Novalis - Head & The Heart [CD New] US $11.98 Buy It Now 7 days
NOVALIS - FLOSSENENGEL US $33.99 Buy It Now 7 days
NOVALIS - AUGENBLICKE / 1980 JAPAN OBI US $39.99 Buy It Now 7 days
Mozart-Violin Concertos 1, 2 & 3/Sitkovetsky-Swiss Novalis Full Silver No IFPI US $6.40 Buy It Now 7 days
NOVALIS - VIELLEICHT BIST DU EIN CLOWN GERMAN SYMPH PROG LP BRAIN LABEL US $30.00 Buy It Now 7 days
Dmitry Sitkovetsky BACH Violin Concertos - Novalis 150017-1 US $20.00 Buy It Now 7 days
SITKOVETSKY Violin * MOZART Violin Concertos Nos.4&5 * NOVALIS Digital US $29.99 Buy It Now 7 days
Mozart Overtures Leopold Hager Music Cassette Novalis Label US $4.69 Buy It Now 7 days
Novalis - Augenblicke CD US $18.88 Buy It Now 7 days
Mozart Posthorn Serenade KV320 & Serenata KV239 Music Cassette Novalis Label US $4.69 Buy It Now 7 days
Sitkovetsky+Davidovich. Brahms (violin sonatas). Novalis 150 019 dig. NM US $45.00 Buy It Now 8 days
Sitkovetsky. Mozart (violin concertos 1-3). Novalis 150 012 dig. NM US $40.00 Buy It Now 8 days
EDITH MATHIS W.A MOZART Lieder Karl Engel Piano CD Novalis Import 1986 MINT US $39.99 Buy It Now 8 days
Mahler: Symphonie Nr. 1 (CD, Novalis) US $2.00 Buy It Now 8 days
NOVALIS Bumerang CD US $11.99 Buy It Now 8 days
NOVALIS Novalis CD US $11.99 Buy It Now 8 days
Spohr: Concertante Nr. 2; Mozart: Konzert C-dur, KV 299 (CD, Novalis, Germany) US $19.99 Buy It Now 8 days
Mozart: Haffner-Serenade KV 250  Symphony No. 32 KV 318  Novalis  Minty CD US $7.50 Buy It Now 8 days
Novalis Novalis MUSIC CD US $43.98 Buy It Now 8 days
YOUNG NOVALIS - HEAD & THE HEART NEW CD US $17.94 Buy It Now 9 days
Beethoven: Piano Sonatas op 53 & op 57 - Nikolayeva Last Recording NOVALIS NEW US $31.99 Buy It Now 9 days
Dvorak SERENADE IN E/SEXTETT IN A Camerata Bern Novalis 150011 Swiss imp. NM- US $9.95 Buy It Now 9 days
Jagdmusik Hunting Music- Musique De Chasse CD 1989 Novalis~Switzerland used MINT US $10.95 Buy It Now 10 days
NOVALIS Sommerabend LP German Prog Rock on Brain (green label) MINT-- cond. US $49.99 Buy It Now 10 days
NOVALIS Banished Bridge LP German Prog Rock on Brain (green label) US $44.99 Buy It Now 10 days
Albert,Johannes - Hotel Novalis [Vinyl New] US $36.98 Buy It Now 11 days
Albert,Johannes - Hotel Novalis-The Remixes [Vinyl New] US $16.98 Buy It Now 11 days
Suk Elgar Fuchs Romantic Serenades camerata bern vinyl new still sealed Novalis US $14.99 Buy It Now 11 days
NOVALIS BANISHED BRIDGE 1973 kraut prog gate lp brain!! US $47.00 Buy It Now 11 days
Mozart: Haffner-Serenade; Symphony No. 32 (CD, Novalis) US $29.99 Buy It Now 11 days
2 LPs NOVALIS 1989 DIGITAL Switzerland Bach BRANDENBURG VIENNA ACADEMY 150035-1 US $17.00 Buy It Now 11 days
NOVALIS DIGITAL VIVALDI CONCERTI CELLO VIOLIN BASSOON OBOE CAMERATA BERN DEMENGA US $11.24 Buy It Now 11 days
Novalis Digital Stereo MOZART Violin Concertos V=NM US $4.76 Buy It Now 12 days
Ursula Holliger - Spohr & Mozart Harp CD Novalis Import US $9.00 Buy It Now 12 days
NOVALIS: Sommerabend LP (Germany, original green label, laminated cover light l US $45.00 Buy It Now 12 days
Camerata Bern SUK/ELGAR/FUCHS Serenades - Novalis 150022-1 SEALED US $20.00 Buy It Now 12 days
LP NOVALIS KONZERTE 1977 BRAIN GERMANY PRESSING VG++ / NM PROG ROCK US $29.98 Buy It Now 12 days
LUTZ RHAN (NOVALIS) SOLO TRIPS German electronic space KRAUT prog progressive US $40.00 Buy It Now 12 days
NOVALIS: Banished Bridge LP (Germany, original green label, laminated gatefold US $45.00 Buy It Now 13 days
Mozart: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 2 3 Dmitry Sitkovetsky (CD, 1987 Novalis) US $10.95 Buy It Now 13 days
NOVALIS Flossenengel RARE 1991 GERMANY Castle Legends CD issue US $44.00 Buy It Now 13 days
NOVALIS: Konzerte LP (Germany, orange label, laminated cover in loose 'Jem' out US $30.00 Buy It Now 13 days
NOVALIS DIGITAL JS Bach TON KOOPMAN Organ 150 005-1 US $9.75 Buy It Now 13 days
GUNTHER KAUNZINGER - LISZT Organ works NOVALIS CD STILL SEALED US $12.99 Buy It Now 14 days
NOVALIS: Novalis LP (Germany, 2nd pressing orange label few light sleevemarks o US $40.00 Buy It Now 14 days
Trio Novalis/Bruch-8 Pieces for Clarinet/-Viola-Piano/Ades 14.041SEALED LP/t US $15.00 Buy It Now 14 days
Novalis Deux - First Cadence CD US $20.02 Buy It Now 14 days
Albert Johannes - Hotel Novalis The Remixes Rmxs LP Vinyl Record Single US $22.21 Buy It Now 14 days
Albert Johannes - Hotel Novalis LP Vinyl Record US $40.02 Buy It Now 14 days
RAMSES LA LAYLA TOP GERMAN KRAUT PROG US ORIG LP NOVALIS ANYONE'S DAUGHTER US $28.88 Buy It Now 15 days
Classical Highlights Camerata Bern Music Cassette Novalis Label US $5.10 Buy It Now 15 days
Novalis - Letztes Konzert 1984 CD US $17.52 Buy It Now 15 days

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NOVALIS shows & tickets


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NOVALIS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.58 | 68 ratings
Banished Bridge
1973
3.76 | 116 ratings
Novalis
1975
3.71 | 130 ratings
Sommerabend
1976
3.43 | 55 ratings
Brandung
1977
3.02 | 44 ratings
Vielleicht bist Du ein Clown ?
1978
3.29 | 37 ratings
Flossenengel
1979
3.28 | 28 ratings
Augenblicke
1980
2.19 | 14 ratings
Neumond
1982
2.12 | 13 ratings
Sterntaucher
1983
2.04 | 13 ratings
Bumerang
1984
1.24 | 10 ratings
Nach uns die Flut
1985

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

3.96 | 32 ratings
Konzerte
1977
3.20 | 5 ratings
Novalis Lebt !
1993
3.33 | 6 ratings
Letztes Konzert 1984
2009

NOVALIS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

3.96 | 4 ratings
Wer Schmetterlinge Lachen Hört
1978
3.00 | 3 ratings
Sonnenwende
1978
4.00 | 2 ratings
Rock On Brain
1978
4.00 | 1 ratings
Visionen
1982
0.00 | 0 ratings
Castle Masters Collection
1990
0.00 | 0 ratings
Atlanto
2000

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

NOVALIS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Sommerabend by NOVALIS album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.71 | 130 ratings

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Sommerabend
Novalis Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Carlo Karges was not destined to spend much time with Novalis and soon the band find itself working for the next album with a shortened line-up, where all keyboard duties were run by Lutz Rahn and all guitar parts by Detlef Job.New effort ''Sommerabend'' was recorded for the Brain label in February 1976 at the Musikstudio in Hamburg, again under the production guidance of Achim Reichel.

10-min. opener ''Aufbruch'' is a clear example of Teutonic Symphonic Rock, propably the best piece of the album and one of the best recorded by the band.It's all instrumental Progressive Rock with some nice psychedelic undertones and often a spacey atmosphere through the use of synthesizers, built around a neurotic groove with some deep bass work.Guitar solos are beautiful and the keyboard work of Rahn passes from light organ runs to intense synthesizers.The second 10-min. display of the opening LP side, ''Wunderschaetze'', reminds me a lot of STERN COMBO MEISSEN.It is a more downtempo piece with a nice laid-back guitar intro and expressive, multi-part vocals, carrying on in a more GENESIS-like vein with quirky Hammond organ and edgy electric guitars, before another acoustic intro give rise to a more pounding and fast ending tempo, highlighted by Rahn's angular synthesizers.The 18-min. sidelong title-track is a well-constructed suite, propably not on absolute par with ''Banished bridge'' from the first album of the group, but it definitely contains some very good moments.It's first parts comes in a very ELOY-like vein with stretched, cosmic synthesizers, acoustic overtones and hypnotic rhythms, interrupted only by Detlef Job's voice.Second part follows a typical Novalis vein with Classical showering during the spacey synth parts, poetic vocals and even some fiery sections with full-blown proggy exercises, based on powerful, dual keyboard pyrotechnics and the very dynamic rhythm section.

Another consistent album by Novalis.Propably the best for all starvers of long, Prog epics, showcasing the group on an upgraded sound between Symphonic and atmospheric Space Rock.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Augenblicke by NOVALIS album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.28 | 28 ratings

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Augenblicke
Novalis Symphonic Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars Novalis' seventh record "Augenblicke" from 1980 gives the listener some nice tunes and musical landscapes but it marks an obvious decline in the group's music that was still extravagant and symphonic on the record before. The musicians are the same as before: Hartwig Biereichel on drums, Detlef Job on guitars and vocals, Fred Mühlböck on vocals, guitars, flute and variophon, Lutz Rahn on keyboards and Heino Schünzel on bass.

What can be recognized as typical Novalis is the poetical sound that is even present here in the less interesting 80s. Four tracks are instrumental and the band does no intentions to be a pop band. But it's not progressive either so it's hard to classify. The record maintains nine songs and we know the vocalist's strong power from before. But no composition is bombastic here. I must say I listened with very bad sound quality so perhaps I didn't get it right. The glorious sound seems to be hard to reach with a short song format. It ends when it has just started in the songs. All songs have good things and my favourite tracks are "Herbstwind" with beautiful vocals in a poetic way and the album's longest track "Als kleine junge" which also contains great vocals. But it's clear that Novalis has become inferior. Five year's earlier they stood on the top so I recommend those records.

It was interesting to hear this record. It's allways funny to se how a great prog band manages to do music in the 80s and Novalis does that quite well when they yet doesn't intent to do hits. But song format has been changed and the bombastic glory unfortunately has faded. Three week stars!

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 Flossenengel by NOVALIS album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.29 | 37 ratings

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Flossenengel
Novalis Symphonic Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

4 stars Now Novalis' sixth studio record has come in my hands(not phisically but...) and ears and craves to be listened to. Well thats not a problem. The cover is blue and shows a whale that is splashing a wave towards the city. It is a very happy and joyfull picture."Flossenengel" was released 1979 and the musicians were Hartwig Biereichel (drums, percussion), Detlef Job(guitar), Fred Mühlböck(vocals, guitar), Lutz Rahn (keyboards) and Heino Schünzel (bass).

Nothing has here been destroyed of Novalis' great symphonic sound, it is as good as on "Brandung" but this record is a little bit longer. I have just listened once but I allready like it very much. The record starts with "Atlanto", a melancholic and beautiful melody and this from the beginning makes us familiar with Novalis luxery sound. Then "Im brunnen der Erde" has a romantic text and gives the listener a powerful mood. In "Brennende freiheit" and "In netz" the music is much calmer and reminds me of the surf rock of the early 60s. "Flossenengel" is a harmonic piece with sweet singing and even falsetto. Great music! The remaining pieces are also worth listening. I would think Novalis' music is like a watershed. Some like it and others don't. I like it very much because of its grand expanses and pretentious organisations. They were doing some orgies on stage and that's what my ears want. This is a record that seems to be underrated as every Novalis record seems to be. I give this four stars because it is little hard to give a final judgement during the first listening. I recommend you to try Novalis' music. It is romantic, flamboyant and sweet.

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 Brandung by NOVALIS album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.43 | 55 ratings

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Brandung
Novalis Symphonic Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

5 stars This is Novalis fourth record and the third in German language. The five gentlemen of the band do here an excellent job to entertain the audience. The spices to make that work is beautiful melodies, symphonic tendencies and a great rock voice(Fred Mühlböck). My feeling is that they were trying to make the symphonic mood popular. The music is synth driven(Lutz Rahn) but also a powerful gitarr (Detlef Job) is a strong reason this music is so good. We also have Hartwig Biereichel on drums and Heino Schünzel on bass. It is great they are singing in German, many good prog bands do the misstake to sing in English which lower the genuineness in the apperences.

"Irgendwo, irgendwann" is the starter, a powerfull song which perhaps was meant to be the hit. The languishing guitar plays an easy but strong melody. Then "Wenn nicht mehr zahlen und figuren" is an acoustic and wonderful short song is a classical style and with a poetic text. Unfortunately I don't understand so much German. "Astralis" is perhaps the most symphonic piece on this record with a big reach and pretentious drama. I love it! Of course we alse have a one-side-long track in "Sonnenwende" but it is divided in four parts, all different to each other. This composition is not a masterpiece but very enjoyable. The first and the last parts are the best here; Brandung is wonderful, perhaps the greatest on the whole record and instrumental. That part reminds me of medieval folk music and a little of Gryphon. As a unity I can't give Brandung less than five stars. Here we've got a marvelous record which I warmly recommend.

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 Bumerang by NOVALIS album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.04 | 13 ratings

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Bumerang
Novalis Symphonic Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

2 stars Due to noticing that the Novalis album `Bumerang' has been given a new CD release, I decided to give my old LP a spin and see how it turns out. Not having listened to it in years, but not remembering it too fondly, it seemed like a good time to revisit the album. By the time it came around in 1984, Novalis had constantly been refining and essentially removing the more interesting elements of their music. Here we're left with a stylish but somewhat bland fancy pop band very much influenced by much better prog/pop artists like Roxy Music, Queen and Genesis, and especially solo Phil Collins with plenty of awful bashing booming 80's drums.

Let's get one thing out of the way - this album could not be further away from the classic double of `Novalis' and `Sommerabend', but that doesn't mean it's completely useless. `Bumerang' is comprised of sophisticated 80's adult pop, three instrumental pieces (don't get too excited though, prog fans) and a couple of truly cheesy and wretched duds. The album has a super polished production, and it's well played with driving guitar work, upfront bass playing and forceful if basic drumming, while the keyboards/synths are used very sparingly. Vocalist Fred Muhlbock adopts a deep Bryan Ferry romantic croon which you'll either love or hate. To be honest, even on their earlier more progressive albums, I've always found him to be a wildly inconsistent vocalist.

Side A's `Nimme Meine Hand's has somber and eerie synths over the top of solo Phil Collins-style plastic programmed percussion. Drifting lonely sax, Fred's Bryan Ferry-like dark croon and eventually a massive stomping 80's drum beat kicks in and brings the piece comes to life. `Seitz Dich Zu Mir' sounds like a cross between The Police and Roxy Music with aggressive and super thick leaping bass and a dancing drumbeat. `Spazieren Im Morgan' is a placid ballad with a lovely lead vocal and pleasant flute solos - probably one of the better tracks. `Torero Der Nacht' has strange and bent spacey keyboards over more Roxy-influenced vocal beckoning. Sounds like something off their `Flesh and Blood' album.

Side B's title track `Bumerang' frequently gets your hopes up. The piece alternates between eerie synths and cold electronic sections that build a floating and mysterious atmosphere, while being obliterated by Bryan Ferry, oh, I mean Fred's come-hither yearning and more plodding drumwork. Probably one of the better pieces on the album that really had some potential. `Horoskop' is a boppy and bouncy cheesy dance number with an admittedly catchy pop chorus, but it's still vile and far too cheery. Only the oddly heavy and aggressive guitar playing and some sprightly bass moments keep it bearable...sort of. At least the band wraps the album with the more downbeat `Talisman'. Nice murmuring bass, glistening synths and a somber vocal. It's stylish pop for grown ups and actually displays a little bit of subtlety. More of this and the title track, and we could have had a much more satisfying album overall.

As for the three instrumental pieces, they're mostly insipid and vapid vocal-free rock with no real purpose. Not unlistenable, just completely shallow and empty, if kind of bearable. `Ubert Stock Und Stein' has a soaring but repetitive guitar line wailing over a horrid plastic drumbeat and handclap percussion, Alan Parsons Project style synth washes and chiming guitar. There's impossibly loud and echoing `In The Air Tonight' booming drum-solos throughout the second half too. `Wien' has disco-like funky guitar over wailing solos and more lifeless drumming. Much of `Expresso' sounds like an instrumental version of Queen's `Radio GaGa', but once again Detlef Job's confident and forceful guitar work gives the tracks a bit of taste.

I've always found it fascinating when prog bands try to attempt a balance between progressive inventiveness and commercial appeal. I didn't look on this album as an easy target for a 1 or 2 star rating, I really wanted to approach it fairly and consider it's strengths and weaknesses here. However, It's only fair to mark the album down for having far more pop elements than prog ones, and after all, this is a progressive rock website!

While `Bumerang' is far from a jewel in the Novalis discography, it's still a pleasant if undemanding sophisticated pop album with some tasteful arrangements, especially among the two or three darker pieces. You can still hear the talent of the musicians, even if what they're playing isn't overly involving or complex. It's nothing mind-blowing, but not bad for a pleasant background listen if you can forgive the 80's pop trappings and questionable trends present.

Two stars.

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 Novalis by NOVALIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.76 | 116 ratings

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Novalis
Novalis Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars The future of Novalis did not seem bright after their debut.An extensive tour both in Germany and abroad was too much for singer J'rgen Wenzel and the recordings of a second album were abandoned.Two years later though Achim Reichel rediscovered Novalis with a different line-up featuring two guitarists, Detlef Job and ex-Tomorrow's Gift Carlo Karges.Reichel helped the new Novalis sign again with Brain Records and a sophomore effort with Heino Schunzel handling also the vocals was released in 1975.It was simply entitled ''Novalis'' to notify the band's brand new start.

The now five-piece Novalis kept plenty of elements from the previous style, but the presence of the two guitarists made them sound richer and more flexible.This is still keyboard-driven Symphonic Rock, but synths are used constantly at the expense of the Hammond organ, while there are enough melodic guitar lines to offer an additional color.Eventually the band sounds a lot like the early works of SCHICKE FUHRS & FROHLING.Fans of their organ-driven debut sound won't be dissapointed either.The album contains plenty of Classical-influenced themes, delivered by the organ of Lutz Rahn and the synths are usually used in a very symphonic way.But there are also some deep Kraut/Space textures presented in ''Novalis'', either delivered through hypnotic synth-drenched preludes or by the striking guitars of the Job/Karges duo.Rahn though is always there to keep an overall romantic feeling, that dominated ''Banished bridge'', through his work on keyboards.

Very interesting German Symphonic Rock, not a pure masterpiece, but generally an album with beautiful and well-crafted instrumental adventures.The comeback of Novalis is of course strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Sommerabend by NOVALIS album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.71 | 130 ratings

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Sommerabend
Novalis Symphonic Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Romantic Rock, Symphonic Rock, call it what you want: the third album by Novalis is pure German Prog, plain and simple. And it may well be their best album, from the lovely art nouveau cover illustration (sadly diminished in a CD jewel case) to the music itself, none of it too original but performed with gusto.

In classic Prog Rock fashion the album contains only three long tracks, beginning with the energetic instrumental 'Aufbruch' (Departure) before moving to the escalating melodrama of 'Wundersch'tze'. The latter borrows its text from the band's 18th century namesake poet, who might have been pleasantly surprised at how easily his words were adapted to modern rock music vernacular.

And then there's the flipside of the original LP, devoted entirely to the five-part title suite, arguably the band's finest moment on record, and the perfect realization of their so-called (and now somewhat dated) Romantic Rock ethos. The long, gradual development of the song, with Detlef Job's repetitive acoustic guitar mantra played over the spacey string ensembles of Lutz Rahn, is particularly effective, more so at least than the awkwardly sung rock 'n' roll chorus further in.

Here and elsewhere the rhythm section can be somewhat clunky (imagine a Teutonic PINK FLOYD). But the combination of lush keyboard accents, delicate guitar work, and stirring vocals can be hard for an old-school Symphonic Rock fan to resist. And, unlike too many other German Proggers at the time, Novalis made a conscious effort to separate themselves from their obvious English role models by singing in their native tongue. Thank you producer ACHIM REICHEL (of A.R. & Machines fame) for suggesting the change in language, after the band's Anglophilic debut album three years earlier.

Obviously the decision must have worked: 'Sommerabend' was the biggest selling Novalis LP to date, a hit both at home and abroad. They would continue recording albums for several more years, but we all know what happened to Progressive Rock after 1976: diminishing relevance, commercial compromise, gradual oblivion...an all- too familiar story at the end of that decade.

These days it takes a pair of ears finely tuned to the aspirations of the middle 1970s to hear the album without criticism. But having made that mental adjustment it's only another small step toward uncomplicated enjoyment, a valuable reward in itself for an otherwise disregarded relic from Prog Rock's salad days.

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 Sommerabend by NOVALIS album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.71 | 130 ratings

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Sommerabend
Novalis Symphonic Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Although they would drift into the realms of syrupy pop-rock as the 1970s wore on, the first few releases from Hamburg-based symphonic outfit Novalis - guitarist and vocalist Detlef Job, keyboardist Lutz Rahn, bassist Heino Schunzel and drummer Hartwig Biereichel - contain some of the finest German progressive rock of the era. A brave and talented group, Novalis went somewhat against the grain by performing rather unusually in their own native German tongue from their second album onwards. Their English-language debut 'Banished Bridge' proved a rather patchy affair, yet both follow-ups - the self-titled second album 'Novalis' and this beautiful 1976 effort - found a group in much more confident form, unshackled by the demands of writing and singing in a foreign language. Alongside the epic double-live release 'Konzerte', this trio of albums represent Novalis at their very best, with Lutz Rahn weaving dense, keyboard-drenched symphonic melodies and classical motifs into a truly mesmerising brew of elegant symphonic progressive rock. 'Novalis', an album adorned with snazzy synthesizers and spacey sound effects, improved hugely on 'Banished Bridge'; 'Sommerabend' went even further. Made up of just three lengthy compositions, this is an album dripping with star-kissed melodies and intricate keyboard patterns, blending the mysterious ambience of mid-seventies era Tangerine Dream with the symphonic flourishes of Yes and Genesis whilst the German lyrics add - for non-German listeners at least - a sense of mystery which heightens the albums overall mystique. The album's key piece is near twenty-minute title-piece, a carefully-crafted, lushly-produced epic which curls and twists beautifully through it's several intertwining sections thanks to the seamless interplay of both Rahn and Detlef Job, yet both the melancholy 'Aufbruch', and the passionately-played 'Wunderschatze' also exhibit the groups classical leanings and bravura instrumental abilities. A wonderfully atmospheric slice of German symphonic prog, 'Sommerabend' proves to be Novalis' key release. Later efforts would eschew the intricate compositional approach in favour of more hook-laden melodies, yet for a brief while this was a group who could more than rival their musical colleagues across the continent in Britain and France. A truly sumptuous album indeed. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012

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 Banished Bridge by NOVALIS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.58 | 68 ratings

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Banished Bridge
Novalis Symphonic Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Read some of the other reviews here of the debut album by Novalis and you'll notice comparisons to many (and more familiar) English bands: Camel, King Crimson, Procul Harum, Pink Floyd, so forth and so on. Proof, perhaps, that they weren't the most original outfit in Europe at the time.

But of course the same criticism applied to just about every secondhand Prog Rocker on the Continent in 1973. And while this first album certainly carried a heavy debt to their cross- channel role models, the young German quartet at least wore those influences in a more disarming, down-to-earth fashion (minus, for example, the obvious Floydian Space Rock clichés of other imitators).

The lack of an electric guitarist gives the music a relaxed pastoral quality, as heard in the gentle birdsongs introducing the side-long title track, before it kicks up a notch and becomes a fairly dynamic organ and synth-powered juggernaut. The epic 17-plus minute length is misleading, however: it's actually a six-minute song played twice, with a spacey spoken-word bridge in between.

And, despite the heavy emphasis on keyboards, there's a refreshing absence of spotlight- hugging pyrotechnics. Maybe for good reason: Lutz Rahn was clearly no Keith Emerson, and his organ solos (notably in "High Evolution" and "Laughing") were always more tasteful than tacky.

But the English-language vocals were a miscalculation, and not just because of the trite lyrics, although a song like "Inside of Me (Inside of You") can be ruined if you pay close attention to the words. Obviously it was a bid for wider geographic (i.e. British and American) sales, but the band's own cultural identity suffered as a result. Thankfully they learned their lesson quickly, and on future albums would reinvent themselves as a very German rock group.

As illustrated in the empty cover art there's nothing too distinctive here. But the album is nevertheless a very pleasant experience, especially for Prog fans wanting a well-oiled time machine to the Golden Age of European Symphonic Rock.

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 Konzerte by NOVALIS album cover Live, 1977
3.96 | 32 ratings

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Konzerte
Novalis Symphonic Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Novalis were a excellent German symphonic prog outfit often bracketed under the 'krautrock' banner yet in truth much closer to the likes of Yes and Genesis in both sound and style. Starting out during the early-seventies as a psychedelic rock group who sang in English, Novalis would take the brave and rather unusual step of singing entirely in German from their second release onwards, thus limiting their commercial appeal to that of their homeland and a few surrounding countries. They would produce a handful of attractive, keyboard-drenched albums during this time, including their classic self-titled release and it's ethereal follow-up 'Sommeraband', before gradually pursuing a slightly more commercial sound as the decade wore on. However, for the 1977 show from which this superb double live-album is culled, the group went for a full-blown symphonic rock approach characterised by slick, snazzy synthesizers and richly-textured keyboards that showed Novalis really could rock it up with the best of them. The undoubted highlight of the set is the main track from 'Sommeraband', played in all it's glorious four-part beauty, capping off a remarkable performance from a group performing at the peak of their powers. The sound is full and crisp, and the CD digipak reissue features an extra fifteen-minutes worth of material that includes the anthemic synth-rocker 'Astralis' from the group's underrated 'Brandung' album, a worthy addition indeed, capping off what is essentially the definitive Novalis release. Impressive.

STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012

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