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King of Agogik - Exlex Beats CD (album) cover


King of Agogik



4.02 | 15 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars KING OF AGOGIK is a project led by Hans Jörg Schmitz, who's primarily a drummer but plays also guitar, bass and keyboards. On this fifth album he's accompanied by guitarist Dago Wilms, bassist Gary Farmer, Erik Vaxjö on Mellotron, Steve Unruh on flute & violin and several other skillful musicians. The whole 77-minute album is instrumental, and exhaustingly full of ideas in a not-too- serious manner. One comparison is the multinational collective CORVUS STONE.

The opener 'Bronto's Navel' is muscular power rock. The first musical citation that I recognize comes at the seam of this track and the next one (a riff from 'Owner of a Lonely Heart'), and the 12- minute rollercoaster ride '11th Sense' is basically a potpourri of (mostly prog / hard rock related?) little allusions. Or so I presume, for I don't recognize all themes. The leaflet's page for the track says "for amusement only", and amusing it is. Schizoid perhaps, but so well done that it works. 'Nomouglea' is sheer beauty of both acoustically oriented, art music flavoured delicacy and more powerful melodic rock.

'The Chasteness', subtitled "Damsel's Love and King's Wrath", keeps shifting quite restlessly between romantic, adventurous and other moods. One thing is becoming clear by now: you don't get bored or sleepy with this album! Also for the sound it's very eclectic, there are polished Neo Prog, retro-sounding Symphonic, biting Hard Rock, gliding Fusion and delicate Art Music elements on this full buffet table. Andrew Marshall (WILLOWGLASS) guests on wonderful 'Sheol'. 'Lick Me' is an aggressive and slightly metallic rock piece, my least fave. The next track is an intelligent bass & drums study featuring Schmitz and Pantelis Petrakakis.

The nearly 23-minute 'Thin As a Skin' would almost on its own compete victoriously against an average prog release. This is full-blooded, complex prog rock to blow your mind. When Steve Unruh's flute joins in, a certain classic group may enter the listener's mind, but hold on... many other colourful sections to make MIKE OLDFIELD jealous follow each other, before quite exactly in the halfway it's revealed why it has such title: here and there come direct citations from JETHRO TULL's Thick As a Brick. Is this parody? I'd rather see it as an hommage, in addition of being totally impressive monumental prog epic.

On the brief closing track H. J. Schmitz plays all the instruments. Oh my, what an album. There are many moments that whisper "five stars" into my ears, but as it's likely that the WOW! factor wears thinner with repeated listenings, four stars will do. Listen to this and be amused & amazed!

Matti | 4/5 |


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