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Novalis - Flossenengel CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.28 | 64 ratings

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3 stars It is largely true that the most popular German prog bands of the 1970s remained steadfast to their roots and vision right through the decade. One could argue cynically that they were popular with this style, so why change it, and, if punk and new wave were known to these groups, which they must have been, this did not represent an either/or situation. Prog bands could continue to ply their trade and share the spotlight with the upstarts. ELOY and NOVALIS demonstrated this, and the scene was accommodating enough to allow ANYONE's DAUGHTER to release their first album in 1979.

Notably, NOVALIS' entry at the end of the decade seems to have been a concept work about nature and its woes thanks to man, and how they could reconcile. The lovely cover of a cetacean tail beckons us within, and the album remits many delights. The contrasts between light and heavy are more pronounced than on the prior "Clown", and the group does not handle the rawer tunes as well. But "Im Netz" is a striking spacey ballad with a killer hook, and the title track is an enchanting ballad that could have crossed over to the charts. The best of the upbeat numbers is the instrumental "Walzer für einen verlorenen Traum", which shows that NOVALIS can still enrapture with mellifluous delights. If "Sklavenzoo", "Alle wollen leben", and "Ob Tier, ob Mensch, ob Baum" are shoddy rockers that show the group is losing touch with some of the intricacies of the last album, the melodically profound "Rückkehr " implies that their mellow touch is perhaps stronger than ever.

While "Flossenengel" is not as consistently enduring as "Clown", it closes the decade on a high note, with the group apparently healthier than many of its compatriots. Allow yourself to be touched by this "fluid angel".

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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