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Grobschnitt - Ballermann CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.69 | 155 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Grobschnitt - Ballerman (1974)

In 2009 I got very interested in this band and I really like the début, Solar music live and Rockpommel's Land. Ballerman is one of their highest rated albums and I was happy to have a vinyl version of this hard to get double lp.

Whilst the début had an amazing recording, follow-up Ballermann was recorded less good. Grobschnitt does get closer to a prog sound with symphonic prog structured songs on lp1 and a 33 minute symphonic/space-rock epic on lp2. The Santana influences on the début are completely gone, but the humour of the band is still in tact. This time it isn't as subtle as on the début and does the 'humour' actually turns again them.

The opening track Sahara is one bad joke that lasts for five minutes. It really makes no sense to open you album with a extremely poor sang rock track with stupid lyrics. I skip this track. Nickel-Odeon is the second track and the first track of my interest. This is nicely composed long symphonic track with enough nice melodies and chord progressions to make it good. That is, if you I would have liked the heavy-German-accent-distorted-psycho-recorded-through-a-telephone vocals. I really liked the vocals on the début and I can't understand who ever came up with the idea to record the vocals on this track this bad. Drummer's dream is the first good track of the album with a nice symphonic prog sound and reasonable vocals. The Morning Song is a warm crossover track sounds nice. Magic Train is another symphonic prog-track that's quite interesting, though the influences of other bands on Grobschnitt are to appealing. I would give this first record two and halve stars.

Lp2 has the 33 minute studio version of the Solar Music Suite, which was later to be recorded live on the Solar Music live record and many bootlegs. The studio version is good, but not as good as the later live version. The opening part with vocals is messy (why? why?) and makes no sense. When the instrumental parts begin the music get's really interesting and focussed. All parts are nice minimalistic symphonic/space prog parts with lot's of atmosphere. The ending section is good, though the choice of keyboard sound is bad. I'd give this second record four stars.

Well. Really a mixed bag this one. For those who embrace the digital age I would suggest to delete some of the uninteresting songs and listen to Drummer's dream, Morning song, Magic train, Solar-music part 1 and Solar-music part 2. Others might have to accept this album as begin a mixed bag. For me it's a combination of a fans album on lp1 and an excellent addition on lp2 (though the live versions would be even better!). This totals to three stars.

friso | 3/5 |


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