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Rachel's Birthday - An Invitation To Rachel's Birthday CD (album) cover


Rachel's Birthday


Eclectic Prog

3.76 | 31 ratings

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5 stars Stuttgart-based German band, originating from the 80's act Emerald and found in early-90's by keyboardist Alfred Mueller, bassist Michael Six, drummer Jurgen Haegele, guitarist Bernd Mueller and singer Ralf Glasbrenner.In 1992 Rachel's Birthday won the local rock contest Headliner, then they were discovered by the major prog label Music Is Intelligence to release their debut ''An invitation to Rachel's birthday'' in 1996.

Despite a very dull and childish front cover, there's no doubt that Rachel's Birthday recorded what appears to be one of the most interesting Prog albums of the 90's.Their music was basically a symphonic-oriented Neo Prog with slight theatrical tendencies, which still contains room for some Pop sensibilities and heavier movements.The fact that the band was writing at the time both short and melodic tracks as well as stunning epics was just a proof how unique they were.There's a certain IQ and MARILLION feeling listening to the album, definitely based on the best material of GENESIS, but they still sounded extremely flexible and diverse, their sound was full of changing climates, romantic textures, powerful symphonic keyboards and electrified passges.The 25-min. ''Waves'' is a monster prog epic and one of the best finds during the 90's, excellent composition with stunning melodies, dramatic keyboards, poppy flavors and epic instrumental deliveries.This work can only be compared to the best stuff by COLLAGE, GALAAD or ABRAXAS, fairly symphonic and well-crafted music with a modern sound.However, these elements wouldn't be enough, if the band hadn't one of the most gifted vocalists in the core, Ralf Glasbrenner and his ultraclean, expressive, warm and theatrical voice, a really excellent frontman.And besides these tremendous instrumental and vocal offerings in the long pieces, the short ones sound equally attractive, featuring some amazing vocal harmonies and delicate, soft instrumental background, memorable and trully emotional music.

Alfred Mueller left the band after the album to continue as a solo artist under the Soniq Theater moniker.The remaining members added Jens Oliver Soerup (vocals, mandolin) in the line-up and switched to folkier paths, releasing ''The english roses'' EP in 2000, nothing to do with the progressive sound of their debut.After a final concert in 2005, Rachel's Birthday disbanded, building their own legacy with a killer album.Believe me, this is excellent Neo/Classic Prog of the highest quality, reaching perfection at moments.A must-have for any serious prog fan.

apps79 | 5/5 |


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