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Virus - Revelation CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.64 | 52 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars This VIRUS sprang up in Bielefeld, Germany in 1970 and joined in the early Krautrock world of progressive psychedelic rock mixed with some early hard rock for this debut album REVELATION that featured the quintet of Werner Monka (guitar), Jörg-Dieter Krahe (keys), Bernd "Molle" Hohmann (vocals, flute), Reinhold Spiegelfeld (bass) and Wolfgang Rieke (drums). VIRUS is notable for having two albums that emerged in 1971 with two different lineups with this one being the first. REVELATION was released on the BASF label while the second album of the year "Thoughts" was released on Pilz which was a sub-label of BASF.

While named after a pathogen, unfortunately this VIRUS was asymptomatic as the infection rate was non-existent and the band despite sticking it out until 1973 failed to infect enough hosts to survive and went the way of the seasonal flu. The two albums from VIRUS were as different as the lineups that played on them. REVELATION was the much freakier of the two with an emphasis on "A Saucerful Of Secrets" era Pink Floyd styled psychedelic jams as heard on the two lengthier openers which includes the title track and the even more tripped out "Endless Game."

The title track starts off as a one of those Floyd inspired trips around the stars but surprisingly turns into a heavy psych cover of "Paint It Black," yeah, the Rolling Stones song which the entire track is actually built around however VIRUS took a lot of creative license to make it unrecognizable for the most of the track including the classical opening notes of the Spanish artist Isaac Albeniz. The track takes wild journeys into cacophonous roars and avant-garde extremes but manages to keep within the gravitational pull of Earth's obit and morph back into the familiar melody of the Stones' famous 1966 #1 hit. Although there are scattered vocals on REVELATION, the title track is completely instrumental but done quite well.

The following "Endless Game" also displays a classical intro only this time sounding more like a fugue from J.S. Bach before a more spaced out version of Mark II era Deep Purple with some pounding organs and blues rock guitar. The addition of the heavy fluttering flute runs anchors this album to this extremely creative period of prog rock that only lasted for a few short years in the 70s. This is also one of the best tracks on the album with lots of tempo shifts, variations in dynamics and a much more heavier hitting hard rock groove with some of the most satisfying satisfying psychedelic jamming moments that sounds like Birth Control had a lysergic session with Jon Lord from Deep Purple. Think of Pink Floyd's "Echoes" and you're on the right track with this one.

The rest of the album is much more of a mixed bag. "Burning Candle" sounds like Jimi Hendrix joined in as the guitar parts exhibit his unique bluesy guitar style and along with the drums and organ really sounds like Jimi's gonna burst in and start singing at any moment. Very competently performed actually but one of the less exciting tracks due not only to the rather unoriginal approach here but also because of Bernd Hohman's weak vocal performances which thankfully are few on REVELATION. "Hungry Loser" is another gem only this time takes the Hendrix guitar licks and makes them less Hendrixy. More organ drench heavy psych that drifts into a completely spaced out escape into the a softer piano roll fueled track that contains vocals but much better than the previous awfulness. This track slinks on for over ten minutes of heavy psych and Krautrock fueled variations.

"Hungry Loser" basically morphs into the closing "Nur Noch Zwei Lichtjahre" which finds a creeping psychedelic rock groove finishing out the album with spoken narrative prose in the German language accompanying. After all is said and done, VIRUS may not have been the most glaringly original band on the block during the early Kraut days but they certainly had the chops to craft a satisfying mix of heavier blues fueled rock with nice Floydian head trips. While the few vocal performances can be a bit harsh they are few and far between and often innocuous. While it's doubtful many caught this VIRUS that resonated for the decades to follow, this period piece perfectly exemplifies the mood of the era and done quite well. Personally i like this one a lot even if it doesn't measure up to the greatness of Amon Duul II, Can or Faust.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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