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Popol Vuh - Einsjäger & Siebenjäger CD (album) cover


Popol Vuh



4.02 | 120 ratings

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Eetu Pellonpaa
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album is practically a duo work by Florian Fricke and Daniel Fichelscher, both portrayed together in the back side of the LP, Djung Yun visiting only in few occasions for the celestial vocal parts. I understood from an interview that the recording methods with Daniel grew to a philosophy of having only one take for the songs, and mixing all singular recordings to the album. If so, I guess this would capture the true intuition of the playing moment to the records, but might also partly explain the slightly fragmentary feeling left from the first side of the album. The characteristic musical reference to the ancient cultures shimmer powerfully from the short war fanfare opening, which sticks in repetitive mantric loops of guitar and keyboards. The music on the album is transcendental as ever, but the themes are not drawn from religious vocabulary, but instead directing to Greek mythology, in spite of the record's Japanese-styled archer drawing on the cover. The sonic presentation of King Minos is positive and delightful exploration in quite rock-basis emphasized flight over royal pastures of Crete. Powerful crashes of cymbals give interesting divine shimmer to the rhythmic pulse, strengthened by more subtle percussions, and forming a fine basis for the multilayered guitar driven improvisations circling around the solitary key note. "Morgengruß" greets the dawn with gentle acoustic guitar layers, caressing a tender solo from amplified guitar, and setting the scenery for gambling sequence of "Würfelspiel". Piano and flute are emphasized on this track balancing the guitar presence, having also lovely melodies and fine rhythmic arrangements with drums. I also believe that in spite of the stronger rock association of drums, there is no bass guitar on the album, lower notes being played from the piano, and this giving another peculiar tone to the record's sound. The first side closes to slow grandiose visions of Promised Land, its illuminations carefully lingering on the piano keyboards, leading to the familiar ascension theme from previous "Seligpreisung" album's "Agnus Dei", this being certainly some sort of leitmotiv of spiritual climax for Florian.

The title track of the album occupies the whole B-side of the LP, and conjures an epic tale with Djung's vocals uniting the beautiful piano chords and waves of drum plates on the soothing opening sequence. The still scenery starts to wave with motion, and guitars join this delightful quest for sounds with the tom drums. I think the rock elements which burst on bloom on the earlier album have merged here pleasantly to the ethereal acoustic charms discovered on the monumental masterpiece "Hosianna Mantra". This synthesis of sounds wander here relaxed from one theme to another, flowing with prosperous logics and allowing the mental states flying on the wings of angels, being along with second album's "Vuh" one of the personal major highlights on Popol Vuh's recordings. I tried to decipher the possible meaning for the name of this wonderful song and album title with the clue from King Minos. Following the tales and myths related to him, one hunter could be Theseus, sent among seven men to the labyrinth of Minotaur, and slaying this mythic beast. Other possibility might be Orion, whom Zeus, the father of King Minos, set as seven stars to heavens for forming this singular star constellation. I most possibly go wrong with these guesses, but studying these matters from the history books might be one pleasant activity whilst listening to this enlightening album. Also anybody allergic to religious references can approach this album more easier than several other Popol Vuh albums.

Eetu Pellonpaa | 4/5 |


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