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Epidermis - Genius of Original force CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.36 | 30 ratings

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3 stars A rather cult and unknown band,EPIDERMIS were the German answer to GENTLE GIANT's sophisticated and multi-influenced rock music.They appeared in late-70's featuring Michael Kurz on keys,Rolf Lanz on guitars, Reiner Neeb on drums and Wolfgang WŁnsche on bass,while all four members contribute on the vocal sections.The original debut album was pressed on the small Kerston label,having a totally different cover from the one posted on progarchives and Music is Intelligence was smart enough to re-issue the album on CD format with a bonus track in early-90's.

From the very first track,the long ''The non-existent surroundings of god'' all the magnificent GENTLE GIANT-ish ingredients of a great prog track are there:complex interplays,jazzy bass lines,smooth guitar work,changes tempos and tons of multi-vocal harmonies,yet with a slight German accent.A very nice opener.Echoes of the Horner Clavinet D6 will open for the ''A riddle to myself'',which also contains some folkish flutes.Some nice vocal harmonies are met again,while Lanz easily transforms his playing from ANDY LATIMER-like emotional chords to ROBERT FRIPP-ian complicated riffing.While on the first two tracks EPIDERMIS try to deliver even a touch of personality,this is completely gone on the eponymous track,where is almost impossible to believe that the band playing are not GENTLE GIANT.This track maintains the high quality and demanding musicianship of the previous compositions,but all vocals,mass of breaks,the strong sound of clavinet and the changing climates come like a complete rip-off of GENTLE GIANT's style,which will be a little annoying for dedicated fans of the band (including me).''Prime origin'',the closer of the original album'',happens to be the shortest but also the most original track of all with a KING CRIMSON-esque atmosphere on guitars and structure blended with nice keys and really strong drumming in an interesting Symphonic/Jazz mix.The bonus track is almost out of place,compared to the other tracks.This is a very nice ballad,dominated by sweet flute solos and calm piano,before a rather simple electric solo leads the listener towards the end.Another interesting track in the line.

So,having heard the album plenty of times,I think the right title should be ''Genius of unoriginal force''.Genius,because is really hard to deliver such complex music but managing to capture the listener's attention without getting him bored...yet ''unoriginal'' because everything in this album seems like it has spread out of a GENTLE GIANT record.However this effort will always be a great listening for those into intricate and artistic progressive rock....and one last thing:Amaterus of prog should better stay away.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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