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Flaming Bess - Tanz Der Götter CD (album) cover


Flaming Bess


Symphonic Prog

3.30 | 48 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
4 stars Released around the same time as ANYONE's DAUGHTER's "Adonis" album, this album falls into the same broad category of CAMEL-influenced accessible German symphonic prog, and confirms the German commitment to the style long after it had fallen from grace in the New World and the UK. It's all instrumental except for narrated introductions, and as such is highly suggestive of the ANYONE's DAUGHTER 1981 release "Piktors Verwandlungen", so much so that one can infer that AD listened to FLAMING BESS and even adopted some of their jazzy leanings. It's heartening to know that such high quality, if not top notch, material from the now distant past remains to be discovered along with newer gems.

While the spoken sections require an appreciation of German for best results, they have wisely been separated out as "intro" tracks on the remastered version, and between them all the material is at least good, some of it surprisingly funky, acoustic, spacey, or jammy, and in fact all of these on the masterful "Bedrohung". The album culminates in the title cut, which parlays the rhythm of middle section of CAMEL's "Lunar Sea" to new extremes of controlled improvisation. Even saxophones enhance the colorful interplay. In fact if you are a fan of the aforementioned "Moonmadness" sans the singing, this one is nearly a sure bet, even if FLAMING BESS cannot compare from a compositional perspective.

"Tanz Der Götter" merits 3.5 stars on its own, rounded up or down as fancy dictates, but I have to add a half for the bonus material, which is somewhat misleading in that it implies subtle remixing. In fact the "Oasis" remix is quite a new take on the original, infinitely spacey and one of the moments that recalls ELOY's symphonic/spacey period or the calmer sections of GROBSCHNITT's "Solar Music Live", and the remix of the title track is even more punchy than the original. "Start und" begins as an almost folky melody in the style of KEBNEKAISE or OUGENWEIDE before it returns to tried and true cosmic funk more like EELA CRAIG. Yes this is derivative but also sports a fresh face, even heard for the first time so long after its release. Hence 4 stars for the debut of an act that hasn't yet flamed out.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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