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Spaltklang - Surprise CD (album) cover





3.97 | 4 ratings

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4 stars Closer to 4.5 stars!

After a fabulous debut with Alpenglühen, Spaltklang returned two years later with their sophomore album entitled Surprise. The album's musical content in itself isn't a surprise, but it is surprising how much beauty and compositional skills are hidden within Markus Stauss's group of merry men.

The album may be called Surprise, but the music doesn't really come as a surprise. Musically, it picks up pretty much where Alpenglühen left off. Spaltklang have created their own unique style and they're sticking by it. I say all the more credit to them because they have truly created a fine blend of chamber music and scorching jazz rock. Surprise not only continues the legacy of Alpenglühen, but it is actually a step further in the group's development, with even more beautiful chamber melodies and even fiercer jazz rock playing.

It's so fresh to hear a band which is still capable of thrilling us with the quiet parts as well as the louder ones. The quiet segments seemed to have almost disappeared in the last years due to compression and modern production, but Spaltklang still deliver on this front, creating some very intense chamber moments, as well as some fierce jazz rock playing. Again, the musicians all put in stellar performances, helping to bring Markus's vision to life.

As I've said, regardless of the title, I'm not really all that surprised by what I hear here. Spaltklang have already proven themselves and this effort just reinforces their credibility as composers, arrangers and performers. Surprise is yet another excellent work, which gives me great pleasure every time I hear it. Spaltklang have already created their own sound with their previous effort, so this isn't that original, but in terms of sheer beauty and enjoyment Surprise certainly tops Alpenglühen.

maribor | 4/5 |


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