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Neuschwanstein - Battlement CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.94 | 193 ratings

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3 stars Anyone listening to Battlement for the first time cannot fail to notice the similarity between vocalist Frederic Joos and Peter Gabriel. The Genesis comparisons don't end there either; Neuschwantein musically also tread similar ground to the English symphonic prog legends in the Gabriel era, though less complex, particularly in the rhythm department. Hans-Peter Schwarz though no slouch holds a steadier beat most of the time compared to Phil Collins dextrous excursions. The use of Flute also adds to the Genesis comparisons.

Released in 1978, Battlement is the second album from this German Symphonic prog band and pretty good it is too. Loafer Jack however is not the most impressive of openers with its simple melody and structure for the most part, though a keyboard dominated instrumental break adds some interest. From here though things get more interesting with all the rest of the tracks being longer than Loafer Jack though no epics, most being around the 7 minute mark but long enough for the band to add some enjoyable instrumental sections. There's some nice use of acoustic guitar (Frederic Joos again) and enjoyable keyboard work in seventies tradition from Thomas Neuroth; a fine player indeed.

One of the best tracks is Intruders And The Punishment with its many changes, enjoyable melodies and long instrumental passages. Joos despite sounding like Gabriel does however lack his character and has a weaker voice, thus leading to the vocals being the weakest area not only here but elsewhere on the album. No such problem on title track Battlement with its long opening haunting instrumental section before vocal duties are passed to bassist Rainer Zimmer.

Overall then an enjoyable listen though I'm not blown away by it. A band that are worth checking out for fans of seventies symphonic prog, particularly if you like early Genesis.

Nightfly | 3/5 |


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