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Nautilus - 20,000 Miles Under The Sea CD (album) cover

20,000 MILES UNDER THE SEA

Nautilus

 

Symphonic Prog

3.42 | 36 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!

A Swiss quartet (the standard guit+kb) that obviously made a fixation on Jules Verne's novel, Nautilus released their first album (the present) in early78 on the small label Turicaphon and hasn't received a legit CD reissue yet. The group is lead by keyboardist and singer Ralph Stucki and seconded by guitarist (often acoustic) and lead singer Christian Bauer, while Lerch (bass) and Eichenberger (drums) are an apt supporting rhythm section. With an obvious submarine artwork that appears to have 40 000 miles deep and reached the realm of Hades and hell.

Opening on the enthralling title track, the group's proto-symphonic prog hits the right buttons, with Stucki's excellent Hammond, driving the band into dramatic territory with his very correct Bauer vocals and fine guitars, they sound like Uriah Heep doing a sister track to July Morning. The following Sleeping In The Wind starts on guitar arpeggios and synth string layers, before the rhythm section comes in, then the moog overtakes the lead instruments and makes a showcase, but this sounds too much like one and (IMHO) sounds forced and clumsy. Stucki's vocals are not quite as good in this one, to be honest, Like A Bird shares the same flaws, even if the two tracks are differently built. Deep Inside Of Me only confirms the clumsy and second-league Swiss school (far behind Circus or Island, but on par with Flame Dream), but without being embarrassing with the Yes inspiration.

Much of the album's flipside is brewed in the same barrels and the general feeling is of a lesser BJH, despite the odd moment of excellence (Bauer's electric guitar sound and Bauer's Hammond interventions) but often annihilated by all-too obvious influences and other (mainly vocal-related) imperfections. Stucki doesn't really fare better vocal-wise in To The Sky, but it is a refreshingly different voice, even if not that far from Bauer's own timbre. Despite a good opening title track, this album is certainly not my cup of tea, and should you make a reasonable offer, I might want to part with my superb bootleg CD copy ? I got rid of my Flame Dream albums that way

Sean Trane | 2/5 |

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