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Epidaurus - Earthly Paradise CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.51 | 108 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars This album really took me by surprise, given it was originally released privately, and worth tons of money if you're to seek out the original LP. Anyway, EPIDAURUS was in a long list of German symph bands (that included ELOY, GROBSCHNITT, NOVALIS, RAMSES, SFF, etc.), who released this album, "Earthly Paradise" in 1977 (they would later reunite in 1994 and released "Endangered", which is allegedly crap). This band, for the most part circled around the duo keyboards of Günther Henne and Gerd Linke, with Heinz Kenert on bass, and Moog Taurus bass pedals, and Manfred Struck handling the drums on side two (the last three cuts), and Volker Oehmig handling the drums on the first side (first two cuts).

Often I've seen this album compared to GENSIS, but to me, they actually remind me more of RAMSES, but with much better production, and the music is better than RAMSES, in my book. The synth work is simply unbelievable, and same goes to the Mellotron, this is everything that I enjoy of the late '70s prog scene (an era where the prog rock scene was dying elsewhere, especially in England, but still seemed to be going strong in Germany at this point). The biggest problem I have of this album is female vocalist Christiane Wand, who sings on the first two cuts only ("Actions and Reactions" and "Silas Marner", the rest is instrumental). The problem is her squeaky voice that many might find grating (I got used to her voice, imagine if Annie Haslam sung an octave higher, you get Christiane Wand). The last two cuts, "Andas" and "Mitternachstraum" are a bit more original, "Andas" being a somewhat fusion influenced piece, with some killer Moog solos, and "Mitternachstraum" is basically Günther Henne and Gerd Linke's time to shine, as this is a largely synth and Mellotron-dominated piece.

Despite the minor flaw of including Wand on two of the cuts, this album is truly amazing, and the production is top rate (something I don't usually expect from privately released albums). And a label called Pennar Records (later called Garden of Delights) had reissued this on CD, so you don't have to pay big money for the original LP. So if you're an analog synth freak, love the sound of Mellotron, and like German symphonic prog, you can't go without this album.

Proghead | 5/5 |


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