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Paternoster - Paternoster CD (album) cover





3.61 | 67 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!

One of those early (and rare Austrian groups, this standard prog quartet released their sole album on a small label , and it became one of the most expensive and sought-after items until its reissue in Cd on the small Ohrwalsch label in the early 90's. Behind the cool drawn artwork hides a slice of heavy and depressive organ-driven hard-prog. In some ways, the doom and gloom of the music (mostly the lyrics and vocals) reminds me of Sabbath's debut album with an early Floyd spacey feel (Saucerful) and the second rate The Nice (the organ work), even if the music is fairly different to those albums.

The vocals are the first (but not only) depressive thing, with Wippel's voice sounding like a cross of depressive Brooker (Procol Harum) delivery and Moran Neuműller (Out Of Focus) timbre, carrying on about life's spiritual sense, even insulting organized religion. Next depressive thing is Wippel's organ, often sounding church-like (offering an intentional liturgical feel to the album, look at their name for confirmation of this) and contrasting heavily (but not shockingly) with Walter's fuzzed-out guitar parts.

From the gloomy a-capella chants of the opening eponymous track to the Mammoth Opus closing track, the album is fairly monotonous (musically speaking as well), quite even, but manages to remain interestingly apt, complex and even a bit inventive. If I must name a better track, it would be The Pope Is Wrong (my atheist feelings not interfering here), because they clearly kept their better musical ideas for the strong message of the lyrics. Also worthy of note is the opening two minutes of the closing tracks.

If you have suicidal or depressive tendencies, you'd better stay away from this album, otherwise the album is a curiosity and is original enough to be a must hear at least once. But most likely, once the novelty is worn off, you'll not be spinning this very often even if you are a fan of early 70's organ-driven prog.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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