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Epidaurus - Earthly Paradise CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.53 | 124 ratings

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3 stars An instantly likeable album full of analog syths and mellotron, with occasional high pitched female vocals, "Earthly Paradise" doesn't stand up all that well to repeated listens. If such a category as generic German symphonic prog exists, Epidaurus might be an unwitting reference point.

That said, it contains plenty to enjoy, particularly in the standout track "Silas Marner", which begins with flute sounds, acoustic guitars and synthesizer before shifting into high gear for the elegant vocal and keyboard melodies. Christine Wand's vocals are definitely not for everyone, but I happen to like their fluidity and insistence in remaining in the high octave nether reaches come what may, and they are highly compatible with the backing. The song does stretch out more than most of the material on the disc, and is quite reminiscent of early Novalis in parts. The choral mellotron with the flute flourishes also strengthen the work. The opener "Actions and Reactions" is good, but like a recipe that looks better than it tastes on your fork.

The lack of vocals on later tracks actually make them seem more aimless, but "Wings of the Dove" features enough good playing to easily rise above the fray, even if the subsequent "Andas" is a low point for the album. "Mitternachtstraum", while overly repetitive, does have a certain Tangerine Dreamy quality.

For those who enjoy keyboard laden German Symphonic prog, I think you will enjoy it, and perhaps love it. As a listener who is very partial to this style, I confess I remain earthbound by its charms.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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