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Parzival - Legend CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.70 | 49 ratings

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3 stars This is the only Parzival album I’ve ever listened to, and since this is supposed to be their best work and their only real progressive album, I doubt I’ll go out of my way to find any more. But as a period piece and especially for a German album it is interesting to hear something from that time that isn’t Krautrock, heavy rock, or proto-electronica. So props for that. I know very little about the band and their fine album artwork is clearly misleading since it houses an only average album, so let’s get on with it.

“Resignation” is Beatles-inspired except with decent cello and flute, or maybe ELO from their first or second album (which I guess is pretty much the same as saying Beatles-inspired).

“8 Years Later” is all instrumental for the first half, and possibly the best track on the album. Solidly in the progressive camp, but even here the organ, violin and viola do remind me quite a bit of a Disney soundtrack. I don’t know much about these guys but get the impression there was a fairly concerted effort on the part of renowned producer Conny Plank to try and make them commercially appealing. As a result some of the arrangements almost sound too polished, and lack all that much passion or conviction.

A good example of this is the Vietnam protest song “Senseless No. 6” which features Apocalypse Now-like discordant strings and very creepy flute along with some odd organ effects. But the vocals turn what are supposed to be biting and idealistic lyrics into what sounds more like cheesy rock theater. The blue-grassy cello at the end doesn’t rescue this track at all.

“Wall Bungalow” is an instrumental, and would be the strongest track were it much more than just under three minutes long. Great piano and for the first time on the album the flute flows across the arrangement instead of being used to punctuate it with staccato mood snippets. “Empty Land” is pure filler and the dull, thudding drums and bored strings just go on and on with no real point or climax.

And speaking of filler, “Groove Inside” does has a catchy groove to the percussion and rhythm, but this thing wanders around the disc for more than sixteen minutes with almost shockingly little variation or purpose. The flute and cello seem to play tag with a half-hearted melody line, but the fade away into a short cover of the Beatles “When I’m 64” is just goofy.

The two bonus tracks “Change Your Mind” and “Sarah Girl” suffer from poor production, but aside from that are more aligned with a psych folk sound than the rest of the album. Historically a bit interesting, but musically these are both quite forgettable.

So I’m not overly impressed here, although admittedly this album has a decidedly German feel to it that may culturally be an acquired taste. If that’s the case then I guess I can recommend it to fans of Jethro Tull because that’s probably the closest comparison. Otherwise I’ll say this is okay, certainly not great, and just barely worthy of three stars.


ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |


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