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Novalis - Sommerabend CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.77 | 189 ratings

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3 stars Wonderful German symphonic.

Sommerabend is a melodic example of 70s symphonic which brings to mind Camel or possibly a more sunny answer to Animals era Floyd.

"Aufbruch" is a nice instrumental piece moving at a mid-tempo with repeating electric guitar and lush keyboard. The guitar line does seem quite similar to the lead from the Snow Goose and is effective. Drumming is respectable although nothing mind-shattering.

"Wunderschatze" begins in similar fashion but with pleasant acoustic guitars before the first vocals begin at about 1 minute. The German vocals are pretty good although somewhat robotic in sound. The pace here is fairly slow and deliberate. At about 4 minutes the pace picks up and things begin to rock for a while but soon the acoustic and vocals return and this pattern continues.

The 18 minute title track is last and begins with some spacey sounds over serene keyboards. Things build very slowly and it could be debated whether opportunities are missed here, or whether they are masterfully sticking to the game plan. The song again goes through series of serene passages and rocking ones before floating away peacefully. It does work for me but this is not exactly "Close to the Edge" intensity.

Sommerabend can seem one dimensional at times as though nothing extraordinary is happening. Those seeking groundbreaking composition could be disappointed by this. I think they are successful at creating a very nice mood for those who simply want to kick back and enjoy some melodic prog. The title translates to "Summer Evening" and indeed the music conveys this aesthetic. For me this is a 4 star album which I enjoy very much without even understanding the vocals, but I can't recommend that highly "for any prog collection" because frankly it will bore some. The cover art is simply perfect for the dreamy and lush music inside.

In conclusion, a must for lovers of melodic 70s prog but not essential for more adventurous thrill seekers. 3.5 stars.

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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