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MINOTAURUS

Symphonic Prog • Germany


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Minotaurus biography
The members of this band from Oberhausen, Germany, met around 1972. By the mid-70's, they had become a fine group of self-taught musicians, except for one of the two guitarists who had some classical guitar and cello training. They made a name for themselves when they provided live accompaniment to Stanley Kubrick's film "7117" at the Oberhausen Short Film Festival. In 1978, they rented a studio where they had access to a Mellotron and recorded the album "Fly Away", of which a mere 1,000 copies were printed and sold at their concerts. That same year, however, one of their guitarists stepped down and that spelled the beginning of the end for all. In 1980, they gave their last show and then officially dissolved. Please note: a folk band also named MINOTAURUS released an LP entitled "Rain Over Thessalia" in 1970; this is not the same band.

Thanks to newly found master tapes, label Garden of Delights released a CD version of "Fly Away" in 2002, which contains a bonus track not found on the original LP. The CD is a collection of superb melodic symphonic prog with spacey vibes and hooky compositions. It features lots of Mellotron, crisp percussion, deep bass lines and a surprisingly strong English flavour for a German product. Overall, it is quite an impressive release for a little known band. It is said that other unpublished MINOTAURUS recordings are still sitting somewhere, hopefully to be released one day.

Highly recommended to fans of ELOY, JANE and NEUSCHWANSTEIN; the band's highly melodic style should also appeal to many neo-prog fans.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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InsolubilisInsolubilis
Limb Music 2017
$12.58
$14.40 (used)
The CallThe Call
Limb Music 2013
$6.05
$6.99 (used)
Fly AwayFly Away
Garden Of Delights 2002
$18.00
$14.99 (used)
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3.69 | 62 ratings
Fly Away
1978

MINOTAURUS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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MINOTAURUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Fly Away by MINOTAURUS album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.69 | 62 ratings

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Fly Away
Minotaurus Symphonic Prog

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

2 stars 'See Your Ding Dong Put Some Pants On!

Yes by all means, please throw this dude a pair of boxers or something. Apart from the hypnotic wee-wee cover, Minautorus is not a super-original non-Krautrock german band. I hear lots and lots of Novalis and Eloy, only done in a more boring way. The annoying german accent (like Eloy!) is present all the time only relieved by more or less convincing instrumental passages.

I'm tempted to dissrespect the streetcred given to this record, I find it entertaining at times, some songs have catchy keyboard melodies. I like their thick solo keyboard sound and their use of string synth, it's well done. But again, all this has been heard in (or litteraly stolen from) Sommerabend (Novalis) and Dawn (Eloy) in much professional ways.

Some things have more value in terms of search than musical prowness. This album will fetch some serious dollars if you hunt for it and stands in the 'obscure' bin for sure; an album you can brag about owning mainly because of the cover and the Holy Grail search factor.

Some prog obscurities have more flair so don't break your piggy bank.

 Fly Away by MINOTAURUS album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.69 | 62 ratings

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Fly Away
Minotaurus Symphonic Prog

Review by Hrychu

1 stars I was reading the reviews of this album here on PA and I was wondering if you guys listened to the same album as I did. Cause it was an absolute pain to listen to. Let's start with the vocals. The vocals are AWFUL. It's one of those mixtures of broken English and heavy accent that are totally unlistenable for me. The keyboard department is pretty standard here. Solina, Hammond, an analog synth. That's fine, except on this record the keyboards don't have any standout moments. They're just there. I also have no clue where you guys hear the Mellotron, cause I listened carefully and couldn't hear it. The guitars do the job, I mean the guitarist is certainly the most competent player outside the rhythm section here, but once again, the playing is kinda bland. The rhythm section on the other hand is pretty good. Too bad the rhythms themselves are so effing colorless and boring. The mediocre performance is one thing. The other thing is that the compositions are not memorable at all. They go between fast and slow passages in a really cliched way that I can't really immerse myself in the grooves. There's a quite bit of wanky keyboard solos here and there but that's not enough to make the music really pop. It's almost as if the band wanted to do music like Yes, Genesis or Novalis but with no clue what made those bands so good (the amazing compositions and the virtuoso playing of course). So that's Fly Away by Minotaurus. A very middle of the road musicianship kinda album with terrible vocals that's also painfully boring.
 Fly Away by MINOTAURUS album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.69 | 62 ratings

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Fly Away
Minotaurus Symphonic Prog

Review by Vikentios Geranos

4 stars A true revelation. I have just given a listen to this obscure album by this practically unknown band (of self-taught musicians!) Minotaurus, and I am thrilled. Powerful orchestration with distinguishable instruments (especially the bass and guitar), engaging melodic and rhythmic lines, strong vocals with excellent delivery and a perfectly groovy sound! This is a German band but with English flavor in their sound. However, in some occasions, especially in the case of the song "The day the Earth will die" they strongly reminded me of their fellow countrymen, the more famous Grobschnitt, and more specifically some elements of their album Ballerman. I strongly suggest to give this album a listen.
 Fly Away by MINOTAURUS album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.69 | 62 ratings

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Fly Away
Minotaurus Symphonic Prog

Review by Guldbamsen
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

3 stars Fly me to the moon...

First of all a big thank you to the mellotron lord(John) for introducing me to this album. It is much appreciated, and I┤ve spent many a nights playing this whilst looking at the ceiling in amazement. I expect a lot of symph heads around here will relish this German 1978 release, as it combines some deliciously played songs with loads of analogue synths, mellotrons, emotional guitar solos and a serene feel to it, that during the following decade sadly was compromised by studio recordings that basked in Fisher Price plastics and an unholy hunt on "noise" and everything that pointed towards vitality and humanity in the sound quality of our most beloved art form.

Although this was made in the final chapter of the 70s, and the symphonic get together with verse-chorus-interlude-solo-verse-chorus-chorus-solo(s) had been done lord knows how many times, there┤s really no getting around just how fluid and vibrant this album feels. The musical history buff, could easily get away with accusing a fair deal of the Neo-prog performers to have robbed Minotaurus off their soundscapes, suave textures and tonal serenity. In fact I┤ll go out on a ledge and claim this particular record, along with Babylon┤s self-titled, as the first 2 proper releases of said "style". Well, even so - I really couldn┤t care less, because what matters, is not the shape of the Roman nose, but rather the green gooey substance it holds imprisoned.

Minotaurus were actually formed in 1972, and played together up until this album was recorded, when the group lost of its guitarists and silently withered away without so much as a tiny splash resonating in the vast musical oceans. So one album in 6 years as it turns out... What one should take away from this information is, that during what seems to be a somewhat longish embryonic state of being, Minotaurus obviously developed some remarkable chops - taught how to play together as a band - and first and foremost got to know the ins and outs of each member. This comes across, when you start listening to Fly Away almost immediately. All the pieces fit perfectly together, and there┤s a sense of professionalism in the craftsmanship, that you normally only get from bands who┤s been playing together for years on end. Debut? Surely not...

If any of you guys are into early Marillion, Novalis, Camel, Anyone┤s Daughter, Atlas and a handful of other melodic symphonic acts which frolic in sweet laden artistries, then you should probably be placing your order for this little gem right about now.

Fly Away contains some beautiful guitar solos, that sit quite comfortably at the table of those emotive string bending wizards such as David Gilmour, Andrew Latimer and Steve Rothery. Combined with a wide variety of hammond organs, mellotrons, synths and other keys that fertilize the ground on which these musical acrobatics take place - huge towering symphonic sun flowers continue to grow upwards reaching for whatever - and melody, verse and soul all put together amounts to a rather stunning venture into music with wings of eiderdown and German wool. The German wool here is procured by Peter Scheu and his slightly accented vocals, that in time will win over even the most recalcitrant fighter of "properly English sung music". I┤ve frequently thought of Eloy and Grobschnitt during my listens of Minotaurus, and not only because of the obvious Germanic shadings within the vocal delivery, but more so on account of the recurring psychedelic themes that open up in the music. It┤s a subtle thing though, and if you┤re not paying attention it will pass you by like the smell of a feminine bowel leakage. Underneath the melodies and structures, a decisively spacey expression oscillates and without any flamboyant gestures or bombastic use of semantics - slowly and comfortably continues to diffuse into the music. Either done with small snippets of percussive features like chimes, or the early Camel like elevator synths, that unlike elevator music doesn┤t come off as muzak, but rather sounds like big organic sweeps of bouncy leads that melt through the other instruments and create a wobbly and bubbly psychedelic atmosphere.

Are you a fan of any of the mentioned artists, and haven┤t spent all of your money on Christmas presents or indeed that brand new excavator that you┤ve been meaning to buy for the last 20 years, then I warmly suggest you go for this sweet and melodiously laden German affair. 3.5 stars.

 Fly Away by MINOTAURUS album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.69 | 62 ratings

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Fly Away
Minotaurus Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A late 1970s German symphonic prog album performed in a style not too dissimilar to that employed by Anyone's Daughter at the time. A mild Eloy influence is detectable in the guitar work, and whilst the album does not really do very much that's new when it comes to playing a somewhat more accessible version of Eloy's music, they certainly don't botch it either. Buyer beware, however, because the sound quality isn't exactly great. Worth it if you are particularly taken with the proto-neo-prog direction taken by some German bands at the close of the 1970s, but even then Aphrodite's Child's better albums are generally of a higher quality.
 Fly Away by MINOTAURUS album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.69 | 62 ratings

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Fly Away
Minotaurus Symphonic Prog

Review by JoŃo Paulo

4 stars Nice album for this band from Germany. All music instruments are very balanced, with a seventies sound with some psichedelic space rock parts and some jazz fusion parts that made a multisistem album when we discover some new parts after listen second, third, and more times. The traks have more instrumental importance in this album, because lirics are in English and is nothing special but musicaly this album are great. This is a album for those that like seventies progressive sound and a decade that this kind of music was made with pleasure, without comercial vein, when music are more important that money. This album was made with love and inspiration, but this band was a Germany obscure band and just few guys now. I recomended listen carefuly and with open mind to listen some very good music. I give 4 stars but 4,5 really
 Fly Away by MINOTAURUS album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.69 | 62 ratings

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Fly Away
Minotaurus Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Well the music is pleasantly tasteful even if the cover art isn't. For the love of God put on some underwear ! Actually the being on the cover is called a Minotaur. I must say I was expecting some Krautrock when i bought this, but this is rightfully put under Symphonic. Very enjoyable music though, almost spacey at times with lots of synths, and I love the tone of the guitars.

"7117" opens with synths and processed spoken words as drums come in.This spacey intro changes when a catchy melody comes in with organ and drums leading the way. Vocals and guitar 1 1/2 minutes in. Love the guitar. The tempo keeps shifting back and forth. Some aggressive guitar 4 minutes in. Nice. Some good drum work a minute later. String synths before 6 minutes sound great to end it. "Your Dream" has some good synth work, vocals and guitar to begin with. A calm with string synths and reserved vocals follow. Bass joins in at 2 minutes. It kicks back in with drums leading the way before 4 minutes. Then back to the intro- like section a minute later that i like so much. "Lonely Seas" opens with sounds building as reserved vocals come in. The tempo and sound picks up after 2 minutes. Great uptempo sound 3 minutes in with drums leading the way. Guitar joins in 3 1/2 minutes and it sounds fantastic. Beautiful sound.

"Highway" is a song I just can't get into. Fortunately it's the shortest track on the album. It opens with the sound of a car going by, then uptempo guitar, drums and vocals follow. It's ok I guess. "Fly Away" is the longest and my favourite. For 2 minutes we get synth washes as guitar and light drum sounds come and go. A guitar melody takes over 2 minutes in. Vocals and string synths before 3 minutes. Again the guitar is so beautiful sounding as it goes on and on. Synths join in after 5 minutes. Themes are repeated. A tasteful guitar solo before 10 minutes goes on and on to the end. Amazing tune. "The Day The Earth Will Die" has a Neo-Prog flavour to it. The vocals, string synths, drums and gentle guitar start us off. The tempo picks up a minute in. Prominant organ before 2 minutes. More pleasant guitar after 3 minutes. "Sunflowers" is a bonus track and an instrumental. This song sounds really good with prominant bass and guitar throughout. String synths before 3 1/2 minutes before we get an upbeat ending.

I like this a lot. I feel there's enough good music here to give it 4 stars.

 Fly Away by MINOTAURUS album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.69 | 62 ratings

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Fly Away
Minotaurus Symphonic Prog

Review by The Lost Chord

5 stars 10/10 Masterpiece

"A masterpiece for some no-name, unknown band from Germany with one album and nothing else, HOW!?!?!" I'll tell you how...this album ROCKS. Period. This isn't their only album, also, although I can't speak much for their strangely un-official releases that I have no idea how to obtain (check their website). "Fly Away" on the other hand is THE Minotaurus album as far as I can tell, and it is a masterwork at that, and so late in the prog golden days (1978!?)...Kind of reminds me of how amazing Locanda Delle Fates masterpiece "Forse Le Lucciolle..." is and how that was released around the same time, also a stand-alone album with that line-up for that band.

Anyway! The music on here, fantastic! I first listened to this album while lying on my bed after having purchased a copy on eBay. Through my discman I was transported to the strangest planet with the strongest aura and most profound colors and moods. The guitar here, the synth, the vocals, everything...so insanely TIGHT and impressive, it is just awesome. I won't even look to see the musicians names, for the life of me I sadly just cannot remember any band members names from Minotaurus. This may be because no one I know cares for the band, let alone even most people on this website, and their names are hard to pronounce. But let me tell you they are all AMAZING!! Especially lead guitar, I love the guitar work here...this guy just KNOWS what to play to keep the mood strong, and building.

Best tracks: Your Dream, Highway, The Day the Earth Will Die, Fly Away...OK almost listed the whole album there had to stop. I would say my favorite is "The Day The Earth Will Die", this album just has so much nostalgic connection for me now because of it's strong powerful nature. It immediately attached itself to my time and place, and I will always remember that time in my life with this album, and especially this track. The rest of the songs on here and brilliant, rock driven powerful songs...alot of moods, strangely always happy but somehow sounding dark...never Comus dark at all, always just a GOOD vibe.

Anyway buy this album if you have any sleight interest because it could blow you away!

 Fly Away by MINOTAURUS album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.69 | 62 ratings

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Fly Away
Minotaurus Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Released in 1978, Fly Away is the only released recording from the sextet known as Minotaurus: Michael Helsberg and Ludger "Lucky" Hofstetter on guitars, Ulli Poetschulat on drums, Bernd Maciej on bass, Peter Scheu on vocals, and Dietmar Barzen on keyboards. It's is a strong album,with super keyboards - organ, mellotron, note-rich guitar playing, and some theatrical vocals. Similar bands and recommended to fans of Tibet , Zomby Woof, even Genesis in places, Eloy, Dragonfly,etc. Many pieces has neo- prog feel, so i can say from the late '70 neo-prog starts to take wings for the next decade the '80. The racks are all great but the opening track 7117 and the title track Fly away are the best. In the end Fly Away is fairly decent album, and sure to be of interest to "neo-prog" fans. 4 stars, great album.
 Fly Away by MINOTAURUS album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.69 | 62 ratings

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Fly Away
Minotaurus Symphonic Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I was rather eager to listen to this album when I saw all these high ratings. The first tilme I listened to it, I also succumbed. But after several hearings, I must say that I was not that enthusiast any longer. And here are the reasons why...

A composition like "7117" is very dynamic and at the same time it features some beautiful and melodic passages. The last section of this song sounds VERY much as the finale of "Saucerful Of Secrets" from whom you might know. One of my fave.

Minotaurus style reminds me very much this other German band "Ramses" at times. Although less accomplished, interesting. "Your Dream" is a perfect example of this. One of the weakest song of the album. Again, I am not impressed with the singer. Too monotonous, unimpressive. A great guitar moment will save the song "Lonely Seas" which otherwise would have been too dominated by some of the most boring vocals you can imagine. Actually, I would say typical German vocals, unfortunately.

"Highway" sounds as an old psychedelic song from the sixties. Not really convincing but thankfully short.

The second highlight of this album is the epic "Fly Away". Finally, twelve minutes of good symphonic music. It was about time ! Great bass and druming (although the rhythmic section has been strong throughout the album). Even the singer is not too bad. Nice mellotron as well, which will provide some nostalgic mood. Great and powerful guitar for the finale adds a very nice and pleasant touch to this song.

Minotaurus remains in the good territory with "The Day the Earth Will Die". Very catchy and dynamic song again. Bass is here extremely powerful. Great and complex tempo. The experimental and closing number won't raise the level of this album, I'm afraid.

I can't be as generous as my fellow reviewers. Three stars (and I am rating on the high-end here).

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to H.T Riekels for the last updates

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