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Eclectic Prog • Germany

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Sophistree biography
SOPHISTREE are an art rock band from Hamburg, Germany. The genesis of the band could be traced back to autumn 1994, but the band was destined with bad luck of constant line-up changes, deteriorating the band's focus on artist work and preventing them from publishing more than just one album.

The story, more or less, started with two friends, guitarist and bassist, soon reinforced by Stefan Dittmar (drums). Lars Köster replaced the first bass player, shortly after Frank Wollenburg (vocals)and Markus Schümann (keyboards)joined. The first guitarist had left the band, and he had been replaced with Jan Petersen. At this stage no-one of original line-up remained in the band, but after all the changes (mostly due to studying in some another town), the band became stabilized at the end of 1995, and they started working on their live program.

At this stage they coined the name SOPHISTREE. After a number of performances, the band started recording their debut album in the summer of 1997. The album was named "Seed" and presented in September of 1997. Shortly after, Petersen had left the band, and Holger Jenczewski (keyboards) popped in and out for a while.
Despite the numerous changes, the band wanted to do another album, which was announced for 2001, but it never saw the light of the day.

SOPHISTREE are playing an eclectic mix of styles - a mix of KING CRIMSON, GENTLE GIANT, neo-prog, even touching the 80's synth pop. Recommended.

Moris Mateljan, compiled and edited from

Sophistree official website

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SOPHISTREE discography

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

3.90 | 11 ratings

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

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Seed by SOPHISTREE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.90 | 11 ratings

Sophistree Eclectic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 4.5, In one word - captivating

Now I'm talking about a true lost gem in progressive rock realm, belive me one of the better examples of solid song writteing, inventive arrangements and a kick ass voice all those elements are Sophistree. Formed around early '90's in Hamburg - Germany, Sophistree released so far a single album named Seed in 1999, who turns to be their swansong. Sad because they realse only a single album, because this band made a promissing debute and had huge potential in progressive rock world. The band is similar to my ears with for ex Saga, Everon or even Galleon in places. All those 3 bands combined are Sophistree but with a lot of original ideas and excellent songwritting. The voice of Frank Wollenburg is the cherry on the cake, he has almost same tone and range with Sadler from Saga but aswell some moments when he is like Oliver Philipps from Everon , we can find him later on in a band called Beyond the blue who release The ray of spring few years ago. So, about the music, who is very well written, very strong arrangements, quite unique in their own way, with super guitar works and splendid keyboards. The music is eclectic meets neo here and there and some crossover moments with nice passages, elaborated and long pieces, with fantastic vocal parts, just check out: The Snail's Shell , The Seed Of My Smile and aswell The Seven Seas , 3 of the best tracks I ever heared, impressive songwritting and above all beautiful and warm vocal passages, excellent music. One of the most amazing albums of the '90's in progressive rock scene , yet not really discovered or rediscovered by wider public, quite unnoticed and unfairly underrated band with solid as rock compositions. I will give easy 4 stars, almost close to a masterpiece in my opinion, but not quite there, anyway an essential album in anyone's collection, belive me. Recommended.

 Seed by SOPHISTREE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.90 | 11 ratings

Sophistree Eclectic Prog

Review by progarctica

4 stars i give 4.5 stars ,close to masterpiece...A bid surprise to me for my first listning a say 'good' but not more but whit 4 and 5 listning!!! Wow very nice!!! Is call Art rock but a think we have a little neo ans symphonic prog aspect... I don't have many band in my head for compare with Sophistree ,, very original,maybe sometime pop influence .. On each song you can find many change of tempo many good riff and some beatifull melodi... The vocal is also a big talent.. is make more and more backing vocal and the result is brillant!!!! A recomanded for everyone!!
 Seed by SOPHISTREE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.90 | 11 ratings

Sophistree Eclectic Prog

Review by Greger
Prog Reviewer

4 stars SOPHISTREE are a progressive art-rock band from Hamburg, Germany that was formed in 1994. Starting out as a band with a KING CRIMSON style they later became more melodic and poppy, yet keeping their progressiveness. Their progressive side is shown in their complicated compositions with odd meters and tempo changes. This is their strong debut album from 1998, and it's a pleasant surprise. Their influences are SPOCK'S BEARD, UK, GENTLE GIANT, MARILLION, SAGA and TEARS FOR FEARS. Although the pop influences are very present this is true progressive rock. They are showing a high quality musicianship and the vocals are good too. The songs are long just as you'll expect from a progressive band, yet there's a lot of strong and catchy melodies. The highlights are "The Seed of my Smile", "The Seven Seas" and the epic composition "Big Love, Big Fake" that is split into two sections "i: The Kite" and "ii: Hear the Child Scream". It's also the longest track that clocks in at 14:57. It's a great album from a promising band and I wont be surprised if they are one of the future big names in progressive rock. I'm already looking forward to the new album that will be released in 2000. Until then I just have to put this one into the CD player again. Recommended!
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to clarke2001 for the last updates

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