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Novalis - Sommerabend CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.77 | 189 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Novalis is one of the German symphonic bands that only knew from this site. At the time I was not aware at all about this band and I think it tends to be overlooked by most proggers that I knew or probably I was out of date? The band created good symphonic progressive rock built around keyboard and guitar themes augmented with aural soundscapes. As you might expect from old symphonic prog bands, Novalis uses soaring guitars floating along synthesizer, Moog and organ. The music is highly emotional and engaging, and full of memorable melodies. What I enjoy about the band in addition to its composition, is the language they use using native German. To me, this is a big plus in terms of projecting a good atmosphere of their music - even though I know nothing about German language. It does not matter to me, 'coz music is emotion! Some reference I retrieved about the band, "Novalis" was named after the pen name of the German romantic poet Karl Friedrich von Hardenberg and adapted many of his German language poems into their music throughout their career.

This album might be what you'd expected from old school progressive bands with its musical tendency on symphonic style. There is another factor that also represents the early prog music: dark. Yes, you can find dark nuance all over the segments of three tracks musical journay of NOVALIS Sommerabend. When I tell you this, you might imagine that this album is projecting a kind of music with complex arrangements and not a straight-line structure. Nope! You won't get that in here, I assure you. Almost all of compositions were made in its simplest form with relatively mellow tempo. There is nothing here that you find like Genesis' "The Return of The Giant Hogweed", or Yes "Roundabout" where they have an upbeat tempo. The music of NOVALIS Sommerabend is somewhat floating, ambient and spacey (sometimes) with keyboard-drenched style. Oh yes, if you like a kind of music packed with keyboards in symphonic style - this is definitely for you.

How can I describe the music of NOVALIS Sommerabend? It's a combination of Pink Floyd, Genesis, Camel, Eloy and a bit of ELP - but in slower tempo. Have you ever heard Symphonic Slam? It's probably like that.

The album starts nicely with a long instrumental piece "Aufbruch" (9:37). For those of you who enjoy slow moving music with multilayer and long sustain keyboard / synthesizer work augmented with guitar fills in the vein of Hackett, this is the track for you. Some of you might feel it boring - as is the case with my colleague collaborator Trotsky. But some might get emotioanally engaged with this song. Next track "Wunderschätze (Originaltext von Novalis um 1798) (10:37)" is another similar style with the opening track but this time with vocal. The album title track "Sommerabend "(18:17) is basically an epic that comprises five parts: a) Wetterleuchten (3:50), b) Am Strand (4:20), c) Der Traum (3:50), d) Ein neuer Tag (4:25), e) Ins Licht (1:52). It has a soft landing slow moving intro with a bit boring rhythm section (a combination of guitars, bass, synthesizer, drums in repeated chords). But again, this might be engaging for some of you.

Overall, this is a good addition of any prog music collection. Those who love vintage prog and even neo prog can easily enjoy this album. The strength of this album relies on melodies as well as floating keyboard / synthesizer themes combined with guitar fills. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 3/5 |


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