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Stern-Combo Meissen (Stern Meissen) - Weisses Gold CD (album) cover


Stern-Combo Meissen (Stern Meissen)


Symphonic Prog

3.43 | 36 ratings

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2 stars As a fan of German symphonic prog in general, I was of course eager to pick this one up based on recommendations from peers. The keyboard orientation, the majesty, the spaciness, all the ingredients are here, and it would seem to require only a rubber stamp on my part to propel this into the 3 star realm, with 4 stars being likely. This was a pretty early Stern-Combo Meissen album, and I don't know what developments occurred afterwards, but I regret to say that I find "Weisses Gold" to be a thoroughly bloated effort that combines the most pompous flaws of Emerson Lake and Palmer and Rick Wakeman with the calculating coldness that sometimes permeates German music.

Apart from the tedious narration and the keyboards firing on all cylinders through most of the album, its weaknesses are most evident on the longest tracks, "Ouverture" and "Zeifel", the first being a complete shlemazzle of semi-interesting hooks thrown together and the second sounding like an interminable theme for a thankfully unscreened television series. The lack of a guitar really seems to haunt the overly synthesized work, with only the relatively short "Der Traum" and the title track providing a recurrent theme of majestic proportion that stands on its own, twice. If I had to stretch, I would say that "Die Erkenntis is a decent song even if it does seem overblown.

So, Weisses Gold is hurt by too much precious and not enough metal, and can only be recommended to German prog completists or people who still think that unbroken keyboard monstrosities are worth seeking out 30 years on.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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