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Second Movement - Blind Man's Mirror CD (album) cover

BLIND MAN'S MIRROR

Second Movement

 

Symphonic Prog

3.54 | 21 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars A forgotten gem of the glorious 70's.

Exactly one week ago, a friend of the forum suggested and obscure German 70's band called SECOND MOVEMENT to the Symphonic team, to be honest, never had even heard their name, so started to investigate about their debut called Blind Man's Mirror, found references to Krautrock, Psychedelia and Greg Lake, but very few about Symphonic, so the next step was to get the album and so we did?What a surprise.

SECOND MOVEMENT is one of those strange and obscure cult bands from the early 70's that refuse to completely abandon Psychedelia and 60's Hard Rock, but are enamored of the pompous and complex Baroque keyboard sound and Symphonic structures, we are talking about guys who didn't wanted to leave their past roots behind, but were ready to give the first steps towards a new and more elaborate sound blending the best of both eras in a rich and well-crafted style.

The first thing I must say is that I find no Krautrock reference in their music (except the nationality), which is mostly oriented towards Symphonic with reminiscences of the past and some really delightful acoustic moments. But the spine of the band is formed by the excellent keyboardist Siggi Zeidler (Why did this guy vanished?), Harald Kesselhack who reminds me of Greg Lake (with a lower range). And last but not least, the brilliant acoustic guitar solos by Thomas Möck who creates mystical atmospheres and Flamenco flashbacks mixed with frantic distorted guitar passages, simply outstanding musicians.

The album is opened by Strange Shore with a heavy breathtaking introduction where Manni Greiner (Bass) and Matthias Helk (Drums) take the lead until Kesselhack starts to sing, after this point, we can expect anything, from lush guitar solos, to jazzy passages and a bit of ambient to calm the mood, a beautiful combination of genres, styles and moods that introduces us to this rare forgotten band.

Blind Man's Mirror is a 12 minutes mini epic that starts with all the band playing a fluid musical section with lush keyboards, frenetic drumming and an acoustic guitar, this is what I expect from Prog, people who are "Determined to strive beyond existing stagnant music forms" (Phrase taken from Steve Hackett). And this is what the musicians of SECOND MOVEMENT were doing, they were not particularly complex in comparison with the coetaneous musicians but were ready to blend what shouldn't be blended and make it sound great. 12 Minutes of pure Prog Rock with clear Symphonic tendencies.

Shangai starts as an extremely beautiful acoustic guitar interlude somehow in the vein of Steve Howe, but then the electric guitar marks a radical change, from there on is a festival of sounds with heavy guitar combined with lush keyboard passages clearly inspired by Rick Wakeman. Again a risky experiment that went well.

Back in Town is another long song (9.05 minutes), but for the first time, they fully embrace a pristine Symphonic style with music that flows gently despite the many instrumental solos (including a beautiful "Thijs Van Leer style" flute by Manni Bierbach), everything is in it's right place, even the few dissonances created mostly by the organ in the vein of Keith Emerson, but always showing great respect for the melody, one of the best tracks I have heard in years.

The album is closed by the mysterious Different Autumn which is the cherry in the top of the cake. This time the members of SECOND MOVEMENT crossed the line (thanks God they did) and created some sort of Frankenstein piece, that goes from Medieval Folksy sections to vibrant heavy passages all enhanced by a Baroque organ that keeps us in Symphonic territory. A great closer.

After listening the album, a question tortures me?Why did they only pressed 700 copies of this album? If they had reached the British market we would be talking about an icon of the genre, because they had the skills, the ideas and the talent, things like this make me really sad.

Almost forgot the rating?But this is only an anecdote, I was tempted to go with 5 stars, but it's obvious that SECOND MOVEMENT needed to polish a bit the rough edges, so I will go with 4 very solid stars that would be 4.5 if the system allowed this.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |

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