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Tangerine Dream - Inferno CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream


Progressive Electronic

3.21 | 35 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Burning beauty

I really did not think tangerine Dream were capable of surprising me. Yes they occasionally incorporate stray instruments into their music, but the ethereal floating keyboard sound they make is as familiar and predictable as the ebb and flow of the tides.

With "Inferno" however, I have to say they have created something of quite astonishing beauty. This is the first part of a trilogy of albums (completed by "Purgatorio" and "Paradiso"), based on Dante Alighieri's "La Divina Commedia" (The Divine comedy). This was conceived in the 14th century, and relates to the relationship between mankind's living state and his spiritual one. This first part deals with Virgil's passage though hell in his quest for purification.

The recording of the album took place live in the St Marien Zu Bernau Cathedral in October 2001. The location immediately gives an indication of what might be expected. This is effectively an oratorio, with passing similarities to Rick Wakeman's "Gospels" albums. There are no less than seven trained female vocalists, including three altos, three sopranos, and one mezzo-soprano. While they are not present throughout the piece, their vocals do occupy a significant proportion of the recital. Tangerine Dream, who are effectively now Edgar Froese and his son Jerome, use their keyboards orchestrate the album. Only occasionally are there more familiar Tangs like passages, but even then they are very much in keeping with the beauty of the music.

The tracks merge together to form a continuous suite, indeed the track demarcations really only serve as reference points, this is a complete composition which demands to be heard as such.

While I find this to be a truly remarkable work, it is necessary to offer a word of warning. This is by no means a conventional prog album (is there such a thing?), or indeed a conventional Tangerine Dream release. This work has more in common with classical works than it does with modern music. The familiar synthesiser sounds may be here, but they lend themselves perfectly to the setting.

A quite remarkable piece.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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