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Twenty Sixty Six And Then - Reflections On The Future CD (album) cover


Twenty Sixty Six And Then


Heavy Prog

4.27 | 109 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
5 stars So you kind of dig those early hard-rocking so-called "proto-prog" bands but don't think they musically explore enough, or you love the early works of the classic Symphonic Prog bands but wish they had a bit more hair on their chest and weren't afraid to make a bit more noise? Then German band Twenty Sixty-Six and Then and their English language debut album `Reflections on the Future' from 1972 might be just what you're after, a Mellotron and Hammond-dominated rocker that incorporates traces of early Genesis and Van der Graaf Generator to their crossover of late Sixties/early Seventies rock sounds, plus a touch of Beggars' Opera and Nektar with traces of psychedelic and space rock explorations also worked into their punchy fuzzy tunes.

`At my Home' is a fairly typical `proto-prog' up-tempo and relentless rocker, all Gagey Mrozeck's wild snarling electric guitar, Veit Marvos and Steve Robinson's Hammond organ (both are credited to keyboards throughout) , Dieter Bauer's mud-thick bass, Konstatin Bommarius's thrashing drums and a confident, raucous vocal from Geff Harrison (who is actually English, and would later be involved with other German prog-related groups such as Tritonus and King Ping Meh). It's a reliable and addictive opener that Atomic Rooster and Deep Purple fans are sure to love, but the best is yet to come!

`Autumn' holds a dreamy introduction of electric piano tiptoes and Mellotron wisps that rise into grand symphonic veils over humming Hammond organ. It kicks to life with chugging guitars full of bite and reveals a heavy symphonic piece full of frantic little bursts, and listen to the way Harrison emulates Peter Gabriel's raspy croon in the final minutes! Retaining a trace of flighty hippie-rock to its fantastical lyric, `Butterking' constantly bombards the listener with booming Mellotron blasts, instantly reminding of the heavier moments of Van der Graaf Generator, and there's plenty of lengthy passages of runaway piano soloing, sillier vocal spots that again invoke Peter Gabriel and frantic organ pomp and whimsy backed by boisterous rumbles of drums to remind of `Trespass' era Genesis.

The flip-side's almost seventeen minute title track `Reflections on the Future' is mostly a free- wheeling Beggars Opera-like fancy and prancing vocal/organ tune that gets attacked with a throat shredding lead vocal and long bouts of histrionic guitar wailing, but it eventually drifts into ambling deep-space freeform sonic explorations ala early Pink Floyd or Nektar's `Journey to the Center of the Eye' debut. Finally, drenched in scratchy Mellotron and glorious piano, short closer `How do you Feel' both vocally and musically reminds of the stately Van der Graaf Generator and Genesis moments with its murky regal dignity, instantly calling to mind both Peter Hammill's overwrought drama and Peter Gabriel's wounded melancholic wail, and the chorus could have easily fit on the first few Genesis albums.

Despite additional recordings to what ended up on the LP (some of the bonus tracks here hint at a strong E.L.P/The Nice/Triumvirat-like bombastic dexterity), the band would sadly split up mere months after its release, leaving behind only this first-rate work that's in desperate need of some belated extra attention! If the above described mix of Sixties/Seventies sounds and proto/symphonic styles sounds enticing, then there's no higher recommendation than `Reflections on the Future', something of a lost classic from the vintage prog period.

Five stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 5/5 |


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