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Burning Candle biography
Founded in Fuerth, Germany in 1974 - Disbanded in 1978

Interesting German power trio formed around 1974 in Fürth - Bavaria by Hans Peter Neuber (keyboards) Klaus Schmidt-Drempetic, (guitar, bass, vocals) and Rolf Vitzthum (drums), they became a well-known act, Their sound was clearly influenced by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER with a jazzy feeling.

The natural leader was Hans Peter Neuber a talented keyboardist with classical training, well supported by Klaus Schmidt-Drempetic an excellent bass player and Rolf Vitzthum, who has a very jazzy style. The first two made solo careers in rock and classical, but couldn't find any information about Vitzthum.

Apparently disbanded in 1978 but reunited in 1981 to self-release "Burning Candle" which was released by Steirer Disco and became a collector's item due to few copies existing.

If you find a copy, don't let it pass, it's worth the price.

Iván Melgar-Morey :::: Perú

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3.83 | 14 ratings
Burning Candle

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 Burning Candle by BURNING CANDLE album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.83 | 14 ratings

Burning Candle
Burning Candle Symphonic Prog

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

4 stars Lost in time

Once in a while, and when I believe I have heard every Symphonic band from the 70's, an old forgotten band like BURNING CANDLE appears out of nowhere and gives me a chance to recover some of the astonishment I felt in the 70's, not without a bit of nostalgia.

This good power trio didn't impressed me at the first listen, even when it was obvious that Hans Peter Neuber is an amazing keyboardist, well supported by two excellent musicians like Klaus Schmidt-Drempetic and Rolf Vitzthum, because I thought they were another German ELP clones, but after a couple listens, discovered interesting things that made them very original and up to some point unique.

In first place, the music doesn't rest almost exclusively in the pyrotechnics of a keyboardist like Keith Emerson, the three members have a well-defined role and work together as a perfectly oiled machine instead of being an ego contest like many others.

As I said before, Hans Peter Neuber is the key member, but he manages to avoid excesses allowing his band-mates to shine as a much as him, but even better, allowing the group to sound as a band. Klaus Schmidt-Drempetic not only provides a solid bass but also adds his very good voice (somehow reminiscent of Greg Lake) but Rolf Vitzthum takes the project into another dimension adding a clear jazzy drumming that gives the band a special flavor.

The album starts with Stranger, a clearly ELP oriented track with abundant keyboard solos, but always with that jazzy feeling that takes them in another direction than most power trios of the 70's.

Eternal Faith is a beautiful piano intermezzo that only reinforces the idea of Hans Peter Neuber being a classically trained keyboardist. A good change after the frantic opener.

The Appearance of the Ghost is a magnificent track that offers us everything that we can expect from a Prog band from the golden era. The introduction is vibrant and energetic with fluid organ and moog solos, but around the 1:20 mark it changes radically into some sort of power ballad with Klaus Schmidt-Drempetic giving us a very solid vocal performance that reminds me a bit of From the Beginning..

But the surprises don't end here, again the keyboards take the lead just before a drum solo after which we enter into Jazz territory. One of the best and more versatile songs I heard lately, just what any Progressive Rock fan with blood in his veins will enjoy.

When the listener believes that there will be no more surprises, the band gives us Mosella, an acoustic track that really broke all my schemes, never expected something like this in a keyboard-driven album, but enjoyed the balance they created.

The album is close with Expedition to the Sun, a 14 minutes epic that shows us what this guys were capable of, a fusion of sounds, styles and genres that enjoyed from start to end.

After listening Burning Candle from start to end, I can't understand why this guys never became an important act, because they had everything to cross their frontiers and enter into the British market, but most of all, is incredible to discover that no label has taken the risk to release a CD with this tracks and probably lost material that the musicians must have somewhere in their houses waiting to be listened.

PS: Almost forgot, my rating it's four solid stars, even when I was tempted to give them five.

 Burning Candle by BURNING CANDLE album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.83 | 14 ratings

Burning Candle
Burning Candle Symphonic Prog

Review by Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is truly one of the most obscure prog rock bands out there. The fact this band released their sole album in 1981 on the Steyrer Disco label (this is the same label that originally released Rousseau's Flower in Asphalt) and never been reissued in any form making the purchase of the original LP your only option to hear it on a solid format. Really, this kind of album is begging for a reissue, like on Musea (which apparently they're not interested in) or Garden of Delights.

Apparently this band was working on material in the 1970s, broke up in 1978 and then returned in 1981 to get the album out and released. Given how bad shape symphonic prog was in 1981, this is truly one of the bright shining gems. It's been described as a jazzy ELP, but to be fair I noticed elements of such other German groups as Eloy, Novalis, Ramses, Tritonus, and even Jane, especially with the ultra typical heavily accented English sung by German vocalist you expect from said acts (except for Novalis, as their sung in their own language, except for Banished Bridge when they discovered singing in English wasn't a strong point for them). "Stranger" shows that this music is clearly in the German school of symphonic prog, with ELP or Triumvirat-like organ moves, nice use of the Korg synth played in similar manner to a MiniMoog, and string synths, with a jazzy passage on electric piano tagged at the end. "Eternal Faith" is obviously Hans-Peter Neuber's show, as it's entirely a piano solo piece showing a rather obvious classical influence. "The Appearance of the Ghosts" is back to high-octane symphonic prog with great themes played on organ and synths, and then a drum solo from Rolf Vitzhum, then a more Camel-like passage, guitar playing is a bit like Camel, although not with the same clean tone Andy Latimer utilizes. "Mosella" is a solo acoustic guitar piece, I guess they wanted something similar to "Mood for a Day" (Yes/Steve Howe), or "Horizons" (Genesis/Steve Hackett), which leads to the last piece "Expedition to the Sun" another full-blown symphonic piece. I really love that one creative synth passage.

When you think you've heard it all, it's nice to find gems like this that few have ever heard of. Like Burning Candle. Certainly the album isn't exactly original, it's your typical, but excellent mid to late '70s German symphonic prog album with some fusion elements (despite being from 1981). I still highly recommend it, so hold on your turntables. Four stars it is.

Thanks to Ivan Melgar M for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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