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Amon Düül II - Wolf City CD (album) cover


Amon Düül II



3.98 | 262 ratings

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3 stars In the early 70s, this version of Amon Düül II was churning out classic albums for fun. Wolf City was arguably the last of a spectacular run of records that included Phallus Dei, Yeti, Tanz Der Lemminge and Carnival In Babylon. While not matching the very best moments of the preceeding albums (I'm thinking of outstanding cuts like Yeti's Soap Shop Rock and Tanz Der Lemminge's March Of The Roaring Seventies), it does have the advantage of being significantly shorter than them, and as such is probably the ideal introduction to the wierd and wonderful world of Germany's greatest progressive rock band.

Chris Karrer's violin and acoustic guitar work and Renate Krause's startling vocals (given slightly more exposure than before, but still nowhere near enough) are the true engines of the Amon Düül experience, and they function pretty well here. Surrounded By The Stars takes off where the previous album left off (ie, freaky violin and potent acoustic guitar), while Green Bubble Raincoated Man starts off as a mellower affair, riding on Lothar Meid's bass and some synthy flute, before exploding into an acid-rock jam that's heavy on wah-wah guitar.

Most of the seven songs here are pretty strong but if pushed for highlights, I'd have to go for the concluding cut, Sleepwalker's Timeless Bridge which is a classic piece with all the essential elements put together in a rather accesible way. It has many little sections, starting off in sweetly psychedelic mode (more Moody Blues than classic Amon Düül II actually!) before moving into storming hard rock before Karrer's vocals preside over a mix of Indian fusion and spacey sounds ... and it's all done in less then 5 minutes! Jailhouse Frog, with its Gothic chants, "horror" interlude, and space-rock conclusion, and Wie Der Wind Am Ende Einer Strasse, a tabla-propelled nugget with synths and flute and violin both compete for the runner-up slot. There is also a real curiousity in the unpleasant Deutsche Nepal, a heavy-handed piece, thanks in no small part to the thundering speech that rides on dense power chords.

To a certain extent, Amon Düül II is guilty of the repetition of established ideas, and I do enjoy Wolf City less than its predecessors, but I have little doubt this is the place to start with this great band. ... 64% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 3/5 |


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