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Rebekka - Phoenix CD (album) cover

PHOENIX

Rebekka

 

Prog Folk

3.94 | 44 ratings

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kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
4 stars Although REBEKKA did produce two albums, many believe "Phoenix" to be their sole effort, putting them in the company of a whole host of one-off German bands of the 70s and 80s. They do manage to set themselves apart in a number of ways, but chiefly in their professionalism and the degree of maturity manifest from the get-go. Moreover, the style presented herein lies on the boundary of symphonic and folk, a magical land inhabited by the very few melodious denizens a la RENAISSANCE and STRAWBS.

Having a lovely female vocalist doesn't hurt REBEKKA's comparisons to RENAISSANCE, but in "Imaginary Regards of An Irish Sun", the resemblance is striking as the final vocal line is uttered. Then again, Marion Weldert sings well in both German and English. Hubert Schneider's lead guitar adds a further dimension, sounding a bit like JOHN LEES of Barclay James Harvest, but more complex, and best heard on the scintillating "Floating Dawn". Brass and woodwinds lend a more jazzy ambiance to the already sophisticated "Swan Song" and the monumental 10+ minute title cut, in which everyone shines, and Peter Laubmeier's keys are especially atmospheric. The album finale, "Lotus", is more like a raga rock jam and hints at the group's live performances and their high degree of improvisation. It's a bit harder to assimilate, but decidedly worth the indulgence. Only "Lithpas" seems a bit weak compositionally and creatively, even if the playing is of the same high standard, particularly by Schneider.

That such a marvelous progressive album could come from a new group in 1982 seems like so much mythology, but here we have it. Highly recommended to those symph/folk/jazz fans who want to plumb the ashes of a bygone age to see what might arise.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |

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