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Novalis - Novalis CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.79 | 175 ratings

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3 stars Novalis' second album after 1974's 'Banished Bridge', this self-titled affair would see the group produce some of their most impressive work yet. Featuring a dreamy, synth-and-keyboard heavy symphonic sound, fluid guitars and motorik-grooved drumming, Novalis' sound actually has much more in common with the likes of Genesis, Yes and Druid than many of their German contemporaries, with the closest Teutonic touchstone being Grobschnitt in their more keyboard-orientated moments. Though the album does retain a spacey ambience, the psychedelic and experimental elements that dominate the krautrock genre are absent, with Novalis instead displaying a penchant for re-producing and updating classical sounds from the likes of composer Anton Bruckner and creating sumptuous, piano-led melodies imbued with German lyrics that fir surprisingly well. The group's most impressive member is keyboard- player Lutz Rahn, who drenches the entire album in a thickly-layered array of synthesized sounds but also gives the material a catchy, poppy lilt evident on the spiky opener 'Sonnengeflecht', a song that also features quicksilver guitars from multi-instrumentalist Carlos Karges. The group even have time to insert a few bluesy interludes on the long, winding 'Impressionen', whilst simultenously maintaining a shiny, futuristic sheen that gives the music a thoroughly contemporary feel. Though other albums would find Novalis fiddling around with this fluid formula, none of their later efforts would quite match the instrumental verve on offer here and the late 1970's would see a more commercially-orientated approach. However, on 'Novalis' at least, this quirky group did create something fairly special. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
stefro | 3/5 |


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