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Spektakel - Spektakel CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.82 | 39 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars An especially unknown band to most prog fans, this album came as quite a surprise to my ears. It's not a masterpiece, but I do get great enjoyment out of it and it contains some excellent symphonic and King Crimson-esque moments (especially in the opening track and the live bonus track). Two of the members (Eduard Schicke and Heinz Fröhling) of Spektakel would later go on to form the symphonic prog band Schicke, Führs & Fröhling (SFF), who are a little more well known in the prog world.

Now onto the album and the music itself:

The Eternal Question

A 15 minute epic of sorts (about death it seems)... and the most interesting track on the album, this track seems to fade-in, which is not something I'm used too. It starts off a little slow, but as soon as Heinz Fröhling's guitar playing kicks in, along with the keyboard runs of Detlef Wledecke, I knew I was about to hear some great music. This track has a jazz rock/fusion feel to it and sets my foot tapping immediately. The track seems rather explorative and reminds me of King Crimson quite a lot, especially Heinz Fröhling's guitar playing. However, there is a heavy symphonic feel to them that is different to King Crimson. There is also some rather nice percussion playing by Eduard Schicke. The vocals are a little weak, but they're pleasant enough. The only weak part of this track are the bells that come in 3/4 of the way through are maybe a little too much. The guitar playing at the end reminds me somewhat of The Allman Brothers' Band, which I really like. An excellent start to an album.

Big Boss' Eyes

This track is much more of a catchy and straight forward track, but don't let that put you off. Once again Heinz Fröhling's guitar playing is excellent (expect a very nice, but restrained solo) and the keyboard playing gets more of an airing here (in a much simpler form too, which I rather like). The way the keyboards and guitar unite on here are great and they work quite well together. Expect more mellotron and funky rhythm as well. The strong point about this track is the excellent bass playing and the really great ending (a guitar solo).

7 Pounds Tommy

This is the quirkiest track on the album and is even longer than the opener. This track sounds far removed from King Crimson at first, yet it still has that Spektakel sound. Again there is some excellent Mellotron throughout and some more great guitar playing (unsurprisingly!). The track does seem to take its time getting going though and continues on the same theme for quite some time, except for a few heavier parts here and there. Five minutes in, the track starts to get a lot more interesting and changes pace slightly. This is where the vocals really start to get a bit odd, yet I find, quite compelling. This track is about Tommy's (who is 7 Pounds!) journey to birth. The track around the halfway mark suddenly becomes very psychedelic and strange noises are started to be heard in the background... the keyboard playing is brooding and stays on the same theme... voices are heard... laughing and more voices... this is the creation of Tommy... from his mother's wedding (from what I can tell), to his actual birth. A clock finally goes off and the music proper starts again... odd stuff indeed. The track then returns to a keyboard driven catchy rhythm again and finally back into the same tune we heard before.

No No Not You

A bonus live track on The Laser's Edge CD release and the least exciting track on the album, as it is more of a psychedelic, space rock track and doesn't really progress that much and also seems to be more of a jam. Expect more King Crimson (Starless and Red era) sounds here though, due to the guitar, mellotron and percussion. I also hear some John McLaughlin style playing here as well, which is excellent. Still an interesting track nonetheless, but because it's a bonus and it's live, the track really doesn't fit in with the overall sound of the original album and also goes on for too long.

Where this album has faults, is in its production. I hear an evident buzzing noise in the background, but it doesn't deter too much, only on the quiet moments. Also, I feel they lack some creativity in composition and they could have made the tracks either shorter, or more compelling over all.

This album is recommended to those who want to hear where Anglagard got some of their ideas from, as I can definitely hear a similarity in places. I also recommend it to those who may like the works of SFF.

4.2 from me!

VanderGraafKommandöh | 4/5 |


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