Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Amon Düül II - Phallus Dei CD (album) cover

PHALLUS DEI

Amon Düül II

 

Krautrock

4.04 | 429 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Kempokid
5 stars While on one side of the spectrum of prog rock, you have bands like Neu! and Can, who while they do experiment with strange concepts at points, they often stick to very rigid, repetitive, almost mechanical beats in order to create a hypnotic effect. On the other side of things, you get bands like Amon Duul II, more focused on that experimentation side of things while keeping to the basic sound of krautrock. Furthermore, the fact that this is one of the earliest examples of krautrock shows a style already madly experimenting, taking and avant garde approach to writing, being absolutely insane in many respects, especially given the fact that this was released all the way back in 1969.

It definitely has qualities of such an early blueprint of what the genre was to become however, as there are some rough edges to be found within, although these rarely tend to be an issue, as they are far overshadowed by simply how crazy this album is, with madcap lyrics and vocals making appearances everywhere, ranging from drawling chanting to insane screams and wails. This works exceptionally well when paired with the absolutely incredible sound created, a truly psychedelic mix, heavier on the bass, while incorporating great deals of world music into the mix, giving it a tribal feel. Each song incredibly expansive and explorative, bringing in a plethora of different soundscapes and moods while consistently maintaining a very trippy atmosphere. One of my favourite moments of this is in the second song, Dem Guten, Schönen, Wahren, where after some dissonant chords and an offbeat feel are being projected to the listener, everything briefly falls apart and becomes much more energetic and fun as some more standard vocals enter the mix after the previous high pitched squealing has dominated the track. I also adore the upbeat nature of Lucifer's Ghilom's intro, and find it to continue the somewhat dark, yet ultimately zany and fun nature of this album as a whole, as this song in particular is infectiously upbeat and fun, while still keeping up a mysterious air. This song is definitely just a fun romp in every way, with even the slower section being quite entertaining due to the violin used contrasting the distorted vocals in a perfect way, both being very unusual in their execution, but both working so well in tandem, especially with the exceptional drumming and bassline keeping pace. The highlight of the album however is undoubtedly the 20 minute eponymous jam, which takes a much darker approach compared to everything else the album has to offer, along with a far more free flowing one. The multiple crescendos, often baced up by some impressive guitar solos. The furious energy of the drumming further intensifies this soundscape, creating a complex, immersive atmosphere, ever changing and ever brilliant, with interweaving guitar sections, dissonant violins, and downright ominous sonic imagery. The shift into more strange territory just past the halfway point makes this incredible song even better, feeling as if an entire world is being created within the vigourous tribal drumming and screams, feeling as if I've just walked in on some sort of sacred ritual, all before the intensity drops out and introduces some of the most delightful vocal work I've heard. Each line sung is equal parts charming and mad, with each word sounding heavily slurred, but executed in such a loveable way that simply screams "fun".

Overall, as one of the first krautrock albums, this is a masterwork, being extremely dense in atmosphere and not breaking it even with some extremely avant garde concepts being thrown in the mix. There is a definite roughness that this album has, similar to how Can's Monster Movie showed, except in this case it works excellently, rather than taking away from the music, it adds a certain primal edge to it that just further pushes it up into absolute greatness. This is definitely a krautrock masterpiece and definitely an album that I recommend you check out if you're either a fan of krautrock or simple strange music in general, because wow, this album is something else.

Best tracks: Lucifer's Ghilom, Phallus Dei

Weakest Tracks: None

Verdict: This album is incredibly impressive, fusing styles amazingly to create what I can only describe as an absolute masterpiece. If you're into krautrock by any stretch of the imagination, I implore that you give this a listen if you haven't already.

Kempokid | 5/5 |

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this AMON DÜÜL II review

Social review comments () BETA







Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives