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Nosferatu Nosferatu album cover
3.54 | 49 ratings | 8 reviews | 10% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Highway (4:16)
2. Willie The Fox (10:48)
3. Found My Home (8:39)
4. No. 4 (8:47)
5. Work Day (6:59)
6. Vanity Fair (6:44)

Total Time: 46:32

Line-up / Musicians

- Byally Braumann / drums
- Christian Felke / saxophone, flute
- Reinhard Groh? / organ
- Michael Kessler / bass
- Michael Meixner / electric guitar
- Michael Thierfelder / lead vocals

Releases information

LP Vogue LDVS 17178 / CD Ohrwaschl OW 020

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Aussie-Byrd-Brother for the last updates
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NOSFERATU Nosferatu ratings distribution

(49 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (41%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

NOSFERATU Nosferatu reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I just got this CD last week and I was amazed about the music quality produced by the band. Unless proven otherwise, I believe this is a one-album-band that later we label the band as unsung hero. The band is really terrific and if they continued, I believe they become the band of their own identity. Their music really reminds us to the classic rock era of 70s. Using the framework that we can identify through references with other bands we have known thus far, I think NOSFERATU music is a blend of early KING CRIMSON, VAN der GRAFF, FOCUS, NATIONAL HEALTH, SNAFU, JOHN MAYALL, THE FLOCK, STEPHEN STILLS, AL KOOPER and MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD, and . probably JIMI HENDRIX, with some jazzy touch. Quite complex hah? Yeah, that's what I believe so. It's quite tough for me to describe their music. Even, the statement in the CD's sleeve notes by Tony Hendrik reckoned about the band: "Don't let me describe their music - all self-penned -, just listen and enjoy it as much ..". Let's enjoy ..

The opening track, HIGHWAY, is really an energetic tune in an upbeat tempo. At first, it gives an impression of typical classic rock music of the 70s. But when I observe in detail the chords they use especially in the way REINHARD GROHE plays his organ, it's definitely a prog track to the corner! Beside old-style organ sound they use, the guitar work is really fascinating especially in accompanying the organ sound. The vocal quality of MICAHEL THIERFELDER is excellent - it's a combination of HENDRIX and GREG LAKE voice, I would say. One of the catchy thing about this track is when the bass and drum perform their sound without other instruments. It reminds me to funky music of JAMES BROWN or JOE TEX but the tagline is still in the vein of classic rock.

The second track, WILLIE THE FOX, is relatively long track with heavy use of flute at the beginning part. Opened with a touch of jazz and classic rock sound that welcomes the vocal line nicely. Flute work by CHRISTIAN FELKE throughout this track is really wonderful. Unlike the first track, this track has some influence of psychedelic music in a dark mood. Especially, at the middle of the track (approx minute 3 onward for approx 4 minutes) there is a psychedelic and space music exploration appearing sax and organ works. When MICHAEL voice starts re-entering the scene, it's obvious that his singing style at this part is what later would inspire RADIOHEAD. At the ending part, the flute player , CHRISTIAN FELKE demonstrates his capability. Really nice.

FOUND MY HOME is a typical classic rock music with great and tasty melody. Opened with an uplifting solo drum followed by flute and bass line, the music flows to a kind of bluesy rock music with flute (FOCUS like) work to accentuate the bar. When vocal line enters, the rhythm music is full with jazz touch. It reminds me to JOHN MAYALL blues rock and jazz fusion music. The bass guitar is played nicely to position the solo organ work and flute. For me personally, this track is really enjoyable and it's probably accessible to most of you who like the sound of 70s. I keep repeating this track as my listening pleasure. Not only that, this track cheers me up, really. The electric guitar solo is also stunning especially when it is combined with hammond organ and flute. Oh man . it's so damn WONDERFUL!

The fourth track, NO. 4, might be a funny title or the band got no idea to name the track so that they just name it that way. It starts with sort of spacey and atmospheric opening exploring drum, guitar, keyboard and percussion sounds. At first, I did not enjoy this opening. But as part of the whole album, I can understand clearly how this opening is positioned this way as the musicians' interpretations. This track is probably the most psychedelic (even, it tends to be an avant-garde one) compared to others. When vocal line enters the scene, it reminds me to FLOYD' Umma Gumma album; even though it's totally different music. I like the use of clavinet as rhythm section accompanied by saxophone. The music then flows to the exploration of saxophone sounds accompanied by guitar fills. I did not like this part when fist time listening to it; but after 3 spins I loved it! Another interesting thing of this track is the use of drum beat during the sax and organ solo.

WORK DAY (track 5) is opened with a kind of NATIONAL HEALTH music but with a kind like classic rock singing style. It's really a wonderful opening. The musical rhythm seems monotonous at beginning part but when the melody flows ups and downs it changes accordingly following the melody. The insertion of solo drum accompanied with organ sound at roughly minutes 2:10 is really nice. In the middle of the track there is an ambient music with some simple guitar fills and organ sounds accentuated by percussion. The music then enters in the same vein as the opening part with, again, unique solo drumming.

The concluding track, VANITY FAIR, is opened with latin music percussion style. But when the music enters, it's again the kind of NATIONAL HEALTH music until the vocal enters the music. Consistent with other tracks, the singing style is in the vein of classic rock sounds of 70s. The solo sax in the middle of the track is stunning; performed in a jazz jamming style. Great! It's a perfect track to conclude the album.

Despite the long music exploration part in the middle of track 2, WILLIE THE FOX, that tend to be, for me personally, so boring, this album deserves 4 stars rating. In giving the rating, I have excluded the consideration of sonic quality of this CD where I believe that most of you might consider it "very poor". But for me, even this kind of sound quality has even provided the strong "nuances" of the 70s music. I might not enjoy this CD if the sonic quality is of the modern standard where all details can be heard clearly. Other factors: songwriting, structural integrity of song and album composition, and also musicianship are top notch! It's not a matter of being naÔve or generous (or not generous), this album is excellent. Trust me. If you are NOT an audio aficionado and willing to explore the roots of 70s prog, BUY this CD! - GW, Indonesia.

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars This album was extremely sought after (very small pressing) until its first Cd reissue on the great Ohrwalsch label, when the price came down, mostly due to the unexceptional nature of the music. What we have here is a fairly common (if not basic at times) organ-driven hard rock, as the group present itself as a standard prog quartet plus a wind player (who does not get enough exposure) and a singer. A rather rough kind of psych-proto-prog, with only the odd sax and flute to bring in a much-needed sophistication, this rather too bad for a sextet..

Don't get me wrong, there are some finer moments bound to please all progheads (most notably on the 10-min+ Willie The Fox), but on the whole, the album stays a bit rough, but this is probably a bit by design, since there are a few psych jams between the guitar and the sax/flute. In terms of ambiances, the music ranges from the rough, gloomy and sombre to the wild and enthusiastic, almost enthralling. But lengthy tracks like Found My Home are only partially successful.

Not easy to pinpoint obvious sonic references, but one may point to Tomorrow's Gift. Clearly the best musician is saxist/flautist Felke and as far as I know, he's the only one that went on to another group (Epsilon which seemed content to play 50's RnR) after Nosferatu's demise. But if you are into organ-driven hard rock, you can safely go for this one, you should enjoy it lots.

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Back in Germany, in the late 60s and early 70s, while a host of bands were headlong for the evolution and enforcement of a peculiar sort of progressive psychedelia, Nosferatu felt quite comfortable setting a trend inspired by Great Britain's jazz-rock and North America's R'n'B, the result being a hard jazz-rock sound with a starring role for the organ. It is also noticeable that the dynamics delivered by the rhythm duo turns out to be very featured in the mix. The sax/flute and guitar leads add effective colors in many passages, but definitely the latter instruments are the elements that conform the overall sonic core. Michael Thierfelder's range and style very properly fit the band's style, sounding like a mixture between Jack Bruce and Chris Farlowe. The listener should not be fooled by the Bauhaus inspiration drawn in the album cover, nor even by the band's own name: the guys of Nosferatu flaunt their penchant for freshness and extrovertiveness in their material. In progressive terms, the most interesting aspect of Nosferatu's music is the clever and tasteful manner in which the musicians display their skills during the jams and expansions. The opener 'Highway' is a very catchy song conceived in the vein of James Brown-meets-Cream, perhaps with a nice touch of early The Nice. The following two tracks are more ambitious regarding both duration and arrangement. Indeed, 'Willie the Fox' and 'Found My Home' are examples of how well the sources of R'n'B, funky and jazz rock can be fluidly fused with the raw tension of psychedelia. The excursions created alternatedly by the organ the guitar and the sax show a taste for freedom without slipping out of the scheme solidly defined by the rhythm duo. 'Willie the Fox' comprises some of the most vibrating moments in the album during its center section, while 'Found My Home' reveals a closer leaning toward the jazz thing. Even though the flute is especially featured in the latter, I must say that what calls most of my attention is teh guitar lead, arguably the best one in the entire album. Track 4 is titled 'No. 4', being a robust exercise on psychedelic prog: the tribal, ceremonius drumming at the beginning is complemented by bizarre adornments on piano, after which comes a cross between jazz-rock and early symphonic prog. This highlight shows Nosferatu at their most bizarre. The last two pieces find the band getting back deeply into the R'n'B thing, with 'Vanity Fair' including some African-Latin elements. This exotic factor helps the album meet a proper exciting closure. My personal rating for this album is a bit less than excellent, but definitely, more than just good. It's a very good item for any good prog collection with a particular tendency toward jazz - Nosferatu is well worth checking out.
Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars NOSFERATU put out only one album in their short career that being this self titled release from 1970. The sound quality could be better but it's not a hinderance. If you look at the other reviews you'll see that this band's music is described as R&B, Jazz, Psychedelic and Classic Rock. So yes there is some variety here and they are sort of hard to pin down to just one genre.

"Highway" brings to mind Jimi Hendrix right away, mostly because of the tone of the guitar and to a lesser extent the vocals.The organ really stands out on this track. "Willie The Fox" is the longest song on the album and mostly because of the long psychedelic jam during the latter half of the song. The flute to open and prominant drums give way to a pastoral section of reserved vocals and flute. We're back to the original melody before the long jam comes in.

"Found My Home" is very 60's sounding. Vocals and organ lead the way with flute coming and going. Some good bass 3 minutes in followed a couple of minutes later by some nice guitar. "No. 4" has an atmospheric beginning before we get some tribal drumming. Sax and piano follow. "Work Day" has some tempo changes as we get more flute, sax and organ. "Vanity Fair" reminds me of ZAPPA the way it begins. Some good guitar, organ,and sax follow.

I'm not very enthused with this record, but there is enough here to warrant 3 stars.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
5 stars The "krautrock" classification made me think to something different so when I first listened to it it was really a surprise: Hard and psychedelic the first track, quite RPI the second because of the flute which reminds to New Trolls or Alphataurus. A jazzy touch on both and a link to Canterbury, too.

The central part of "Willie the Fox, with a repetitive bass and guitar base overcrossed by a sax and very acid keyboard is comparable to Bo Hansson's Lord of the Rings, only more psychedelic. The "noisy" section sounds like the Ummagumma version of Saucerful of Secrets, then it's back to Canterbury, with a touch of can't be described. It's an orgy of subgenres, a very complex track that can be considered an epic despite the fact that it's less than 11 minutes long.

The third track, ""Found my Home" is still close to Canterbury, only the voice is closer to Deep Purple or Uriah Heep than to Sinclair or Latimer. Also, the German accent is not so evident as in other German speaking groups like Eloy or Clepsydra. Respect to the pastoral athmospheres of early Caravan, this is more acid. The combination of organ and flute is typical of that era, but one thing is clear: this was a band made of very skilled musicians with a lot of ideas and excellent arrangements.

There's probably a bit of Humour in calling the 4th track "N.4", even if they could have given it the title and decided after the position on the disc. This time we are on Ummagumma. The drumming is close to "Set the controls..", the piano is tortured as Rick Wright did on Saucerful. Also the melody of the first sung part is on this line. The difference is that after 3 minutes it becomes jazzy and sounds like Magma's Kobaia. If you think that Pink Floyd at Pompeii, Kobaia, Lord of the rings are all successive to this album, this can give you an idea of how much Progressive they was.

"Work day" if played today could be likely put in the Post/Rock section. THis is the most eclectic track of the album, even if it's clearly derived from a blues idea. All of this in the first 3 minutes, then we are back to the deep space of psychedelia (isn't this guitar sounding as Porcupine Tree in the Coma Divine version of Radioactive Toy?) Very in advance with their time. Another bluesy section completes the track. Impressive.

"Vanity Fair" is another example of what is called progressive. There's a bit of everything in this song.

I started writing with the idea to rate it 4 stars, but while writing I have realized that this album is a clear example of what progressive music was in 1970. Without fitting into a specific standard or sub-genre, any part of it is clearly progressive. So I have changed my mind. This is a masterpiece that came to my library totally unexpected. "Vanity fair" is still sounding in my earphones when I'm about to rate it 5 stars.

Review by Dobermensch
3 stars A pretty much run of the mill heavy Krautrock album from 1970 which retains every cliche you'd expect from the era. A table-stamping rock animal that wants to thrust its crotch in your general direction just for the sake of it. It's still pretty good fun though. You can literally hear the enthusiasm that everyone has whilst playing their instruments.

If nothing else it deserves an extra point for the striking front cover. That's one that's instantly recognisable no matter where you see it.

Michael Thierfelder sounds just like Paul Di'Anno from 'Iron Maiden' minus the flutes and piano, oh and the saxophone too. Come to think of it they're a lot more inventive and innovative than 'Iron Maiden', displaying an inventiveness and playfulness that a lot of heavy rock bands didn't in 1970. Considering it's so old and displays such 'Joie de vivre' with so many instruments and effects I'm going to give this a somewhat prejudiced 3 stars. Damn... those flutes are cool.

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars A band somewhat shrouded in mystery, perhaps maintaining what little attention they still get due to the involvement of Krautrock notable Conny Plank (Guru Guru, Kraftwerk, etc, the producer here), Nosferatu gave listeners one sole self-titled album in 1970, and while no classic, it's an energetic and exciting little work that prog followers will likely find of great interest. I recognized the cover when I came across the CD a few months back, and the vendor had labelled a sticker on the front of case with `Krautrock', but despite the band being German, there's mostly nothing on the album to suggest that style at all. Instead, it's a mix of Hammond drenched early proto-prog in the manner of Atomic Roster and Rare Bird, wild R&B howling English vocals with plenty of emphasis on improvised lengthy sax and flute passages similar to bands such as Out of Focus, Skin Alley and Tonton Macoute.

Opener `Highway' is a punchy umptempo Hendrix inspired rocker, with warm Hammond brimstone the late Vincent Crane would have approved of, lots of feral clanging guitar noise and a roaring vocal. The nearly eleven minute `Willie The Fox' is the most ambitious piece here, the first taste on the album of breezy flute and jazzy lightness to bookend the track, with ferocious rocking diversions and a wildly psychedelic break almost along the lines of `Ummagumma'-era Floyd. This middle is full of droning sections of reverberating feedback, drifting late-night lonely street saxophone and thrashing drum storms. Gutsy 60's R&B flavoured grooving rocker `Found My Home' is highlighted by a lengthy improvised jazzy instrumental passage, aggressive darting flute to rival the best of the vintage RPI bands and red-hot electric guitar wailing, the piece overall almost floating on cool Canterbury breezes and a dash of Jethro Tull.

Side B's `No. 4' is a dark jazz piece with brooding Black Sabbath-like scuzzy buzzsaw guitars, doom-laden drumming, pleading vocals, nice filthy murky intimidating Van der Graaf Generator-styled sax and dazzling electric piano runs. `Work Day' opens and closes as a honking delirious jazz/funk stomper full of angry dirty grooves, a spitting hostile vocal (I love the line " that all that rules your brain?!" too!) and mucky squawking sax. The middle drifts into a spacy psychedelic drone with haunting narration, drifting electric guitar mystery and percussive improvisations. Closer `Vanity Fair' has a slightly mundane chorus (the title of the song simply repeated four times in a row, I never enjoy that), but the latin percussion electric elements and some muddy Soft Machine sax dinginess around thrashing drums makes it a consistent way to end the album.

While not quite up to the same standard as those other artists mentioned above, `Nosferatu' is damn sure still strong enough to sit on the shelf alongside them, an album to give an occasional spin that you'll greatly enjoy at the time. It's addictive, and really starts grooving after a couple of plays. There's plenty of more exciting and important discs, but if early organ driven jazzy prog rock is your thing, you'll more than welcome this into your collection.

Three and a half stars.

Latest members reviews

5 stars I love it. Everything about this album. One of the finest krautrock, or whatever the hell it is albums. 6 tracks with great melodies, heavy guitar playing, psychedelic atmosphere, flute, saxophone, keybords... If you are into krautrock, check this out! But, it's pretty hard to find it on cd. Or ma ... (read more)

Report this review (#129408) | Posted by Deepslumber | Friday, July 20, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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