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NOVALIS

Symphonic Prog • Germany


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Novalis biography
During the mid-seventies, the Hamburg-based band NOVALIS established themselves as leaders in the field of German-language romantic rock. The quartet called itself NOVALIS after the most important German poet of early romanticism. They created a rock music of poetic, lyrical with german lyrics and instrumental beauty. Their music, a heavy organ rock, was compared to the sounds of bands such KING CRIMSON and PINK FLOYD. They released a few albums of lush, keyboard-dominant prog rock during the seventies. The keyboards created majestic layers on which the guitar builds airy melodies.

Starting with heavily organ-accentued art rock a-la KING CRIMSON (and on their debut, "Banished Bridge", including English lyrics), NOVALIS later developped their own unique style, a mixture of progressive, classic, folk and rock. "Banished Bridge" (1973) showed their KING CRIMSON influences... in a dreamy, laid back progressive rock. This 1975 self-titled album was their 2nd album and continues to show their own style take on these influences. "Novalis" (1975) and the classic "Sommerabend" (1976), both are actually much better than the comparatively disappointing fourth album, "Brandung" (1977). They did very well down musically and commercial in the second half of the 70's. "Flossenengel" (1979) was the last good one. "Rock on Brain" (1978) is an excellent document of the first 6 (and best) years of this great band.

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Buy NOVALIS Music


AugenblickeAugenblicke
MADE IN GERMANY MUSI 2012
Audio CD$12.72
$12.71 (used)
SommerabendSommerabend
Import
Universal Import 2001
Audio CD$7.39
$6.00 (used)
BumerangBumerang
MADE IN GERMANY MUSI 2012
Audio CD$12.16
$10.98 (used)
NovalisNovalis
Import
UNIVE 2004
Audio CD$40.99
$15.65 (used)
FlossenengelFlossenengel
MADE IN GERMANY MUSI 2012
Audio CD$69.00
$24.93 (used)
Banished BridgeBanished Bridge
Import
Repertoire 2002
Audio CD$47.00
$24.99 (used)
Vielleicht Bist De Ein ClownVielleicht Bist De Ein Clown
Import
Repertoire 2002
Audio CD$54.99
$85.76 (used)
SchmetterlingeSchmetterlinge
Import
BRAIN 2017
Audio CD$224.43
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
NOVALIS UICY-9563 CD JAPAN 2005 NEW USD $183.46 Buy It Now
ROCK ON BRAIN accept/epitaph/novalis/rmo/sff/birth control 0040.119 LP PS VG+/VG USD $12.16 Buy It Now 18m 1s
Novalis-Bumerang CD NEW USD $16.53 Buy It Now 9h 22m
Novalis-Flossenengel CD NEW USD $15.08 Buy It Now 9h 22m
DMITRY SITKOVETSKY Mozart Violin Concertos Nos. 4, 5 NOVALIS DIGITAL USD $9.00 [0 bids]
11h 57m
CHOPIN - ETUDES OPP.10 & 25 - YUKI MATSUZAWA - NOVALIS - 1997 USD $2.69 [0 bids]
13h 59m
Novalis-Flossenengel (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $13.63 Buy It Now 14h 5m
JOHANN KASPAR KERLL Organ Works, MARTIN HASELBOCK CD, LIKE NEW, Novalis USD $7.99 Buy It Now 16h 27m
Novalis - Bumerang CD Prog Rock 1984 (2012) USD $11.35 Buy It Now 17h 15m
Novalis - Agenblicke (2012) CD Prog Rock 1980 USD $11.35 Buy It Now 17h 19m
CD 1987 VIVALDI: Concerti Camerata Bern / Novalis Switzerland Import SEALED/MINT USD $0.99 [0 bids]
1 day
NOVALIS Augenblicke BELLE-121992 CD JAPAN 2012 NEW USD $358.53 Buy It Now 1 day
Mozart: Haffner-Serenade; Symphony No. 32 (CD, Novalis) 1988 USD $8.99 Buy It Now 1 day
NOVALIS-AUGENBLICKE -DIGI- (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $20.46 Buy It Now 1 day
JANE-TOGETHER-2010 180g VINYL LP-GROBSCHNITT/NOVALIS/BIRTH CONTROL-NEW USD $33.81 Buy It Now 1 day
History Of German Rock 1972 - 1976/1976 Brain Double LP/Neu/Novalis/Grobschnitt USD $40.57 Buy It Now 1 day
BRUCKNER Organ Works / ERWIN HORN, CD LIKE NEW, NOVALIS, Switzerland, 1990 USD $24.99 Buy It Now 1 day
W965 OPPITZ SITKOVETSKY GERINGAS BEETHOVEN PIANO TRIOS NOVALIS DIGITAL STEREO USD $7.50 Buy It Now 1 day
NOVALIS Konzerte PROG Rock Loops Samples LP HEAR Brain Gold Labels USD $13.51 Buy It Now 1 day
Beethoven: Piano Sonatas op 53 & op 57 - Nikolayeva Last Recording NOVALIS NEW USD $26.98 Buy It Now 2 days
TRIO NOVALIS - BRUCH 8 pieces op.83 for clarinet, alto & piano ADES LP NM USD $24.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Novalis ?- Banished Bridge RARE CD! FREE SHIPPING! USD $35.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Novalis s/t +1 Mini LP CD JAPAN UICY-9563 USD $24.99 [0 bids]
2 days
Novalis : Paradise ...? [german Import] CD (2005) USD $5.99 Buy It Now 3 days
NOVALIS - BUMERANG CD NEW+ USD $15.44 Buy It Now 3 days
EDITH MATHIS W.A MOZART Lieder Karl Engel Piano CD Novalis Import 1986 MINT USD $9.99 [0 bids]
3 days
MARTIN HASELBOCK - BIBER SCHMELZER POGLIETTI - NOVALIS CD STILL SEALED USD $11.24 Buy It Now 3 days
Novalis - Augenblicke [New CD] USD $14.09 Buy It Now 4 days
DMITRY SITKOVETSKY DAVIDOVICH BRAHMS VIOLIN SONATAS NOVALIS LP NM USD $10.00 [0 bids]
4 days
JAPAN NOVALIS FLOSSENENGEL K22P-157 KING OBI INSERT GERMAN PROG SYNTH NEAR MINT USD $39.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Novalis - Banished Bridge GER LP 1977 FOC //4 USD $26.38 Buy It Now 4 days
CD NOVALIS REINECKE & FRANCK - MUSIC FOR FLUTE USD $9.46 Buy It Now 4 days
Novalis - Im Gonna Get You - Future Recordings - 1997 #409795 USD $2.69 Buy It Now 4 days
NOVALIS - SOMMERABEND USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $7.57 Buy It Now 4 days
MARTIN HASELBOCK - CPE BACH sonatina, concerto for organ NOVALIS CD NM USD $14.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Novalis ?- Augenblicke cd USD $5.99 Buy It Now 4 days
NOVALIS - SOMMERABEND (NEW CD) USD $7.64 Buy It Now 5 days
FACTORY SEALED Stadler - Symphony No. 5 - Bennett - Novalis SWISS DIGITAL LP USD $13.99 Buy It Now 5 days
NOVALIS-AUGENBLICKE -DIGI- CD NEW USD $16.53 Buy It Now 5 days
NOVALIS-Konzerte Japan 1st.Press w/OBI PROMO Camel Genesis Yes Anyone's Daughter USD $39.99 Buy It Now 5 days
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NOVALIS-same Japan 1st.Press w/OBI Pink Floyd Camel Genesis King Crimson Rush USD $44.99 Buy It Now 5 days
JANE-Fire, Water, Earth & Air JAPAN Press w/OBI Grobschnitt Scorpions Novalis USD $49.99 Buy It Now 5 days
FAITHFUL BREATH-Fading Beauty Japan 1st.Press w/OBI Novalis Scorpions Genesis USD $99.99 Buy It Now 5 days
NOVALIS CD 150027-2: Mozart Haffner & Sym 32, Sir Colin Davis- OOP 1988 SWISS SS USD $20.31 Buy It Now 5 days
NOVALIS-FLOSSENENGEL-JAPAN MINI LP SHM-CD Hi25 USD $32.99 Buy It Now 6 days
CHOPIN - 27 Etudes Op10 & Op25 - Yuki MATSUZAWA - Novalis USD $11.50 [0 bids]
6 days
LP NOVALIS BRANDUNG 1977 BRAIN ORIGINAL GERMANY PRESSING NEAR MINT NM USD $34.98 Buy It Now 6 days
ANDRE DUMONT Tape Cassette J'ENTENDS TA VOIX Novalis Records Canada ES44-381 USD $8.12 Buy It Now 7 days
Camerata Bern DIE LODRONISCHEN NACHTMUSIKEN Mozart Novalis 150 040-1 1989 NM USD $16.95 Buy It Now 7 days
Novalis ?- Sommerabend CD USD $7.95 Buy It Now 7 days
Konzerte Novalis Vinyl Record USD $26.99 Buy It Now 7 days
33 RPM Vinyl Antonin Dvorak Camerata Bern Novalis Records 150011 Stereo 030515SM USD $13.98 Buy It Now 8 days
Serenaden der Romantik - Camerata Bern 1988 LP Novalis Audiophile Import SEALED USD $9.37 Buy It Now 8 days
Tschaikowsky: Streicherserenade op. 48 w/James Judd LP (Novalis) 1990 New USD $99.95 Buy It Now 9 days
NOVALIS mint PROG KRAUT ROCK vinyl lp BUMERANG german pressing USD $21.91 Buy It Now 9 days
Antonin Dvorak, Serenades in E Major and A Major, Camerata Bern, Novalis CD 1986 USD $3.95 Buy It Now 9 days
Novalis [Digipak] NOVALIS ( PROG ROCK) USD $7.31 Buy It Now 9 days
Novalis Brandung LP Sealed 0060.094 1977 Germany USD $49.99 Buy It Now 9 days
Novalis ?- Konzerte UXP-738-EB Japan Insert Obi Near Mint media USD $36.00 Buy It Now 9 days
NOVALIS DIGITAL JS Bach KOOPMAN Orgelwerke III (CD, 1988, SWITZERLAND) 150 020-2 USD $5.50 Buy It Now 9 days
NOVALIS DIGITAL JS Bach KOOPMAN Orgelwerke II (CD, 1988, SWITZERLAND) 150 036-2 USD $7.00 Buy It Now 9 days
Mahler: Symphony No. 1 Sir Colin Davis Novalis Import USD $29.69 Buy It Now 10 days
NOVALIS KONZERTE LP GERMANY PROG ROCK LIVE BRAIN RECORDS EX/VG+ USD $18.00 Buy It Now 10 days
Young Novalis - Head & the Heart [New CD] USD $12.64 Buy It Now 10 days
Young Novalis - Head & the Heart [New CD] USD $13.31 Buy It Now 10 days
NOVALIS BRANDUNG - GERMAN PRESSING - 1977 BRAIN 0060.094 A2 B EXCELLENT COND USD $19.47 Buy It Now 10 days
NOVALIS SOMMERABEND RARE 1976 KRAUT PSYCH COSMIC prog orange lbl BRAIN LP NM WOW USD $69.00 Buy It Now 10 days
Novalis Brandung Rare German Prog Lp gatefold brain '77 kraut vinyl import WOW!! USD $45.00 Buy It Now 11 days
Anton Bruckner Organ Works Erwin Horn Novalis 1990 CD MINT USD $24.99 Buy It Now 11 days
Novalis Bach Orgelwerke II Ton Koopman CD MINT USD $9.99 Buy It Now 11 days
NOVALIS Self Titled LP JAPAN BRAIN UXP-730-EB W/ OBI GERMAN PROG ^ USD $39.99 Buy It Now 11 days
Novalis - Flossenengel [New CD] USD $12.52 Buy It Now 11 days
SWISS NOVALIS DIGITAL 150 002 LP OPPITZ SITKOVEZKY GERINGAS SCHUBERT TRIO EX USD $15.00 Buy It Now 11 days
Novalis - Flossenengel [New CD] USD $13.03 Buy It Now 11 days
Russische Meisterwerke (Russian Masterpieces) (CD, Nov-1995, Novalis) USD $5.99 Buy It Now 12 days
NOVALIS - LETZTES KONZERT 1984 * NEW CD USD $20.39 Buy It Now 12 days
NOVALIS - LETZTES KONZERT 1984 * USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $17.05 Buy It Now 12 days
NOVALIS - AGENBLICKE [DIGIPAK] USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $16.41 Buy It Now 12 days
NOVALIS - BUMERANG USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $14.30 Buy It Now 12 days
NOVALIS - AGENBLICKE [DIGIPAK] NEW CD USD $22.16 Buy It Now 12 days
NOVALIS - BUMERANG NEW CD USD $15.34 Buy It Now 12 days
NOVALIS DEUX/NOVALIS - PARADISE...? NEW CD USD $18.32 Buy It Now 12 days
NOVALIS - FLOSSENENGEL NEW CD USD $12.51 Buy It Now 12 days
ALBERT , JOHANNES - HOTEL NOVALIS - THE REMIXES NEW VINYL RECORD USD $18.92 Buy It Now 12 days
ALBERT , JOHANNES - HOTEL NOVALIS NEW VINYL RECORD USD $36.22 Buy It Now 12 days
Rock On Brain 0040.119 German LP 1979 Novalis Jane SFF Guru Guru RMO USD $6.75 Buy It Now 12 days
Camerata Bern - Serenaden Der Romantik (LP Novalis 150022-1) NM/NEW USD $5.99 Buy It Now 12 days
Vivaldi Concerti - Camerata Bern (LP 1987 Novalis) NM/NEW Switzerland USD $24.99 Buy It Now 12 days
NOVALIS Wer Schmetterlinge Lachen Hort LP German Prog Brain label GREAT !! USD $24.35 Buy It Now 12 days
SWISS NOVALIS STEREO - BACH ORGAN Toccata,Partita,Fantasy,Trio Sonatas, KOOPMANN USD $9.90 Buy It Now 12 days
Novalis - Augenblicke [New CD] USD $15.11 Buy It Now 12 days
Novalis - Bumerang [New CD] USD $15.37 Buy It Now 12 days
CAMERATA BERN vivaldi concerti LP EX-NM- 150 016 1 Vinyl 1987 Record NOVALIS USD $1.79 Buy It Now 12 days
Flossenengel - Novalis 885513006509 (CD Used Very Good) USD $10.58 Buy It Now 12 days
X149 SEALED SITKOVETSKY BACH VIOLIN CONCERTOS NOVALIS DIGITAL STEREO USD $28.00 Buy It Now 12 days
Mahler: Symphonie Nr. 1 (CD, Novalis) Made in Switzerland USD $18.99 Buy It Now 13 days
Novalis / Brain 000.007 USD $22.00 Buy It Now 13 days
EX-/EX- !! Novalis/Self Titled/1975 Brain Gatefold LP USD $33.81 Buy It Now 13 days
EX- !! Novalis/Konzerte/1977 Brain LP USD $37.20 Buy It Now 13 days

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NOVALIS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

NOVALIS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.57 | 89 ratings
Banished Bridge
1973
3.78 | 155 ratings
Novalis
1975
3.75 | 174 ratings
Sommerabend
1976
3.28 | 80 ratings
Brandung
1977
3.32 | 57 ratings
Vielleicht Bist Du Ein Clown ?
1978
3.40 | 56 ratings
Flossenengel
1979
3.25 | 42 ratings
Augenblicke
1980
2.30 | 23 ratings
Neumond
1982
2.28 | 23 ratings
Sterntaucher
1983
2.10 | 24 ratings
Bumerang
1984
1.58 | 17 ratings
Nach Uns Die Flut
1985

NOVALIS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.02 | 44 ratings
Konzerte
1977
3.50 | 8 ratings
Novalis Lebt !
1993
3.29 | 7 ratings
Letztes Konzert 1984
2009

NOVALIS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

NOVALIS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.96 | 4 ratings
Wer Schmetterlinge Lachen Hört
1978
3.00 | 3 ratings
Sonnenwende
1978
4.00 | 2 ratings
Rock On Brain
1978
4.25 | 4 ratings
Visionen
1982
0.00 | 0 ratings
Castle Masters Collection
1992
0.00 | 0 ratings
Atlanto
2000
5.00 | 1 ratings
Schmetterlinge
2017

NOVALIS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Manchmal Fällt Der Regen
1978
0.00 | 0 ratings
Oft Sagt Man Mehr, Wenn Man Schweigt
1982
0.00 | 0 ratings
Nach Uns Die Flut (Single)
1985

NOVALIS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Vielleicht Bist Du Ein Clown ? by NOVALIS album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.32 | 57 ratings

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Vielleicht Bist Du Ein Clown ?
Novalis Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars My P.A. colleague and good friend Kenneth Levine claims that Novalis found its voice with this album. I am not sure if I totally agree with that statement, since I still haven´t heard much of their later material, but it is clear that Vielleicht Bist Du Ein Clown ? is a different LP of sorts. I supposed everybody thought they would embrace the pop market after the previous Brandung, but that was not what happened. Sure, the extensive, side long, opus are gone forever, but the prog element is still here. And if they were courting the charts they probably would not open the new album with an 8 minute+ song that is also drenched with mellotrons (who was still using that instrument in the disco dominated year of 1978?).

The guitars are on the upfront here, but overall their sound became more fuller and richer than before. There are also two instrumentals, and the most "commercial" song of the entire album, the title track, has a very fine, Jethro Till-like flute solo (again, who was still playing the flute in 1978?). So, although they were not that symphonic or epic, they still have something interesting, different and good to offer to us in a time most prog acts were either stuck in a rut or gone commercial. I found their music to be melodic and accessible, ok, but also intelligent, elaborated and soulful. The last track, Die Welt Wird Alt Und Wieder Jung, where the vocals are accompanied only by a tickling piano is specially poignant, even if I don´t understand german.

In the end I found myself loving this CD because it is obviously a labor of love. I admire their nerve to face the obvious commercial pressures of the time to release something so personal and different. There are no fillers, and the opening track Der Geigenspieler is definitely one of their best songs. If you lost any hope for them after the great Sommerabend, think it over.

Rating: something between 3,5 and 4 stars. Not really essential, but very, very good anyway.

 Brandung by NOVALIS album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.28 | 80 ratings

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Brandung
Novalis Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars After the magnificent Summerabend, the band decided to add a new singer. Fred Mühlböck (who algo plays guitar and flute) would join them for that tour and it was recorded for posterity on their classic Konzerte live album.However, this move would have much deeper consequences than it showed at first. And 1977´s Brandung would prove the point. Although still a fine album it showed a unexpected shift of styles. The songs are shorter, popish and, for a band known almost as a semi-instrumental outfit, with a lot of vocals. In fact, the only instrumental piece we have here is the first part of the almost 17 minute suite Sonnenwende. And it lasts for just a little over 3 minutes. The opener Irgendwo, Irgendwahn must have shocked a lot of the most radical fans. This rocking, yet melodic number, set the pace for much of the songs in here.

In hindsight is easy to say that the change of style had a lot to do with the acquisition of Mühlböck: the guy was not only a much better singer than anything the band had in this department before, but he also writes much of the songs himself here. And, let´s not forget that the year was 1977, the beginning of the "dark ages" for progressive music. Symphonic prog was on the wane for a couple of years already and now it was met with even hostility by critics and the new generation. And Novalis was kind of late comer of sorts. Besides, their music was always melodic and simpler than most of their german prog counterparts, so it was a bit logical that they would eventually do something like this sooner or later. And I should say they did it much more gracefully than a lot of prog acts that tried to deliver simpler stuff at the period. For the songs are of high quality and Sonnenwende is still quite powerful progressive epic.

Conclusion: this is obviously a transitional album, where much of their glorious past is present, although it is clear they were no longer interested in being labeled as prog anymore (something I doubt they even really ever aspired to be). Novalis had no intention to take the world by storm (as they refused to sing in english after their first album). It seems they were happy to be local heroes and do what they wanted. And, let´s face it, they did it well enough.

Rating: 3,5 stars.

 Sommerabend by NOVALIS album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.75 | 174 ratings

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Sommerabend
Novalis Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Sommerabend came just an year after Novalis sophomore record and pretty much follows the new pattern of the previous album: melodic symphonic progressive music with a soft, laid back tone, but their third effort comes even more sophisticated than Novalis (the album). Now reduced to one guitar player, the quartet delivers what is considered their best work to date, and I tend to agree with them. I think the CD fame is very well deserved.

There are only three tracks: the instrumental opener is a 9 minute suite that is quite nice, although in the whole a little without direction and a main theme. It sounds a little like several small pieces put together. Good, but not that remarkable. However, the second one, Wunderschatze is definitely their most beautiful and poignant tune ever: along its 10 minute running time you have dreamy keyboards, a driving rhythm section over gentle acoustic and electric guitars, a soulful duet vocal and several mood swings that come and go smoothly until the grand finale. This song alone is worth the price of the CD. They never sounded so vulnerable and powerful at the same time. A real masterpiece of prog heaven. The third track is the self-titled Sommerabend, a 20 minute opus divided in five parts. Although never reaching the power neither the beauty of the previous track, it is a good symphonic epic that has several excellent sections.

All ion all I found this LP to be extremely enjoyable and full of great moments. Again the only weak point here is its short time, even a little longer than on Novalis (1975). However, if you like good melodic, laid back and strong symphonic prog you must get to know this album. Without almost any experimentalism or quirkiness of so many countrymen at the time, Novalis is hardly what you might expect from a Krautrock band of the 70s, but they did an excellent job in terms of beautiful music anyway. And this is probably their most accomplished progressive work ever. 4 strong stars, no less.

 Novalis by NOVALIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.78 | 155 ratings

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Novalis
Novalis Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars German band Novalis came back two years after their relative insipid debut with a superb sophomore work. It is n coincidence that they decided to entitle this LP after their name, like so many new bands do: the Novalis ofd 1975 is completely different from 1973´s Banished Bridge. Gone is singer Jürgen Wenzel (bassist Heino Schünzel took over vocal duties), and, more importantly, they added not one, but two guitarists to flash up their sound: Detlef Job and Carlo Karges (ex-Tomorrow´s Gift), who also plays some keyboards. They also had a much better production job at the experienced hands of Achim Reiche (of Embryo fame, among others). the result is quite astonishing compared to Banished Bridge: the once thin Novalis sound now is fuller and much more dynamic, helped by a combination of good guitar fillings, more mature compositions and better production. The decision of giving up singing in english was maybe a good one artistically, but it prevented them to break into the international market, specially in England and the USA, where prog bands, even if not as much as at the beginning of the decade, were still quite popular.

The music here is much more symphonic prog than on their debut and they already delivered at least two classic songs: Wer Schmetterlinge Lachen Hört and Es Färbte Sich Die Wiese Grün, both great epic stuff featuring several mood and tempo changes, terrific keyboards/guitar interplay and nice vocals, beautiful melodies and tasteful arrangements. I specially like some funky wah-wah guitar playing on some parts that make their sound quite unique (only Nektar seems to be using such device at the time). The remaining tracks are instrumentals that although not as good as the longer epics are also of high quality. My only gripe with this CD is its short time: only 35 minutes. It ends too soon and keeps me wanting more.

Conclusion: with their second release Novalis found its voice and delivered a beautiful symphonic prog album. Not really a masterpiece, but still an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection. Four stars.

 Banished Bridge by NOVALIS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.57 | 89 ratings

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Banished Bridge
Novalis Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars After listening to the magnificent remastered version of the Konzerte CD I decided to revise Novalis discography since their debut. Banished Bridge was released in 1973, and it is quite a good album for a unknown act. However, their music is far from being mature or unique: in fact they sound similar to a lot of early 70´s Krautrock bands and this is specially true with the title track: a 17 minute opus which is more or less like the remaining of the album: interesting, melodic, promising, but still leaving that kind of unfinished feeling on them, like missing something. Even some spoken words are featured on this first track, another Krautrock cliche of the time. It is also very short (37 minutes). You expect more from a new band.

The most revealing absence is some truly guitar parts. Singer Jürgen Wenze is a good vocalist and plays a little acoustic guitar on two tracks, but clearly the instrumental parts, as good as they are with Lutz Rahn´s soaring keyboards and a good rhythm section, and unlike a band like Triumvirat that did not have much guitar and could get away without it, are in dire need of something extra. Also the songs all seem to be half cooked: good ideas that were not fully explored both in terms of songwriting and in musical performances. That does not mean they are bad, not at all. They are nice, but far from the Novalis we all know and love. Besides they are all sung in english, something they were about to change, The band would get a lot better very soon.

Conclusion: a good starting point for this great band, but far from essential: 3 stars.

 Konzerte by NOVALIS album cover Live, 1977
4.02 | 44 ratings

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Konzerte
Novalis Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

5 stars One of the reasons why I think Novalis never reached the status as one of the most important and original bands of the 70´s prog scene is fact that they never had a decent producer. Their albums always sound like recorded in a two track studio in a back of a long tunnel. When my friend Erik Neuteboom sent me this CD my impression did not change. But upon reading some of the reviews here I found out that there was a remastered version of this live album that was released in 2008. I went out to find it in hopes that they had fixed the old problem this time. And, fortunately, I was right. The new version sounds powerful and clear where the old one is thin and muddy. Besides, as a bonus, there are three extra tracks recorded an year later. So you really got the best of offer with this new edition.

With 2008´s Konzerte , released by SPV, you finally hear Novalis in all its glory: a real terrific band that deserved to be better known by all symphonic prog lovers. Their music is simply divine, with all the elements that made progressive music so good at the 70´s: melodic, adventurous, creative and performed by musicians who know their trade. By the time they released this live album the former quartet had added to the line up singer Fred Mühlböck , who also plays guitar and flute. Mühlböck gave the band one of the few things Novalis really lacked (i.e. a good, professional vocalist). It is no wonder that some of the older material sounds better here than on their studio counterparts.

The tracklist is simply fantastic: after a short intro (that is a sample of Ravel´s Bolero), the band kicks in with the short instrumental Dronsz, on which the driving beat leads an organ heavy riff and guitar forward. After that you have some of the best examples of great symphonic epics in the form of tunes like Es färbt sich die Wiese grün and Sommerabend. But, to me, the highlights are the long instrumental Impressionen and the beautiful and the absolute masterpiece of Wunderschätze, where you don´t have to understand german to feel goose bumps when you listen to the emotional vocals and the seamless, perfect performance of all involved. Sometimes their music reminds me of great german bands like Triumvirat, Eloy and the dutch legends Focus, but for most of the time the songs, although sounding quite familiar, are very original and unique. Lutz Rahn is probably one of the most underrated keyboards genius of the world and the rest of the band is not far behind. The three bonus tracks area also a nice addition to the package: maybe not as perfect as the main course, but they are very good anyway.

Conclusion: I was really, really glad to hear Novalis with a proper remastering that shows their music as it should be from the beginning. I have been listening to this CD almost non stop for the last two weeks and I still can´t get enough of it. This is a prog masterpiece and I´m happy to have found it. If you´re new to this great band and loves 70´s symphonic prog do yourself a favor and get this remastered copy of Konzerte. You will be rewarded with 78 minutes of pure prog heaven.

Rating: 5 stars, no less. A masterpiece of progressive music. Highly recommended!

 Sommerabend by NOVALIS album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.75 | 174 ratings

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Sommerabend
Novalis Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I quite enjoyed Novalis' debut album (Banished Bridge), but they lost me a little on their second album, which felt a little generic and directionless. On Sommerabend, they recalibrate and find a distinctive sound for themselves - a blissful, mellow style of symphonic prog that is much more peaceful and tranquil than prog tends to be. Influences from the likes of early Genesis can still be heard here and there, but if you are looking to rock out you're in the wrong place - follow the example of the lady on the front cover and take in the album on a sunny day, perhaps whilst on a walk through the forest.
 Brandung by NOVALIS album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.28 | 80 ratings

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Brandung
Novalis Symphonic Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

3 stars In the early to mid-Seventies, symphonic prog band Novalis released a decent debut, a far superior self-titled follow-up and an absolute classic of German symphonic prog with the dreamy and wasted `Sommerabend' on their third attempt, in addition to a great live album `Konzerte' in 1977. Moving quite a trip away from the hazy and unhurried drifting moods of that above mentioned third studio album, `Brandung', also from 1977, adopted a more streamlined approach of predominantly vocal-based melodic compositions, with great emphasis placed on the lead vocals of newly instated frontman Fred Mühlböck (who debuted on the live `Konzerte' release), who carries a large chunk of the more accessible approachable melodies and focused tunes of the album with strength and dignity. Most of the pieces were still fairly lengthy, with the second side of the LP culminating yet again with an extended side-long suite like the previous album, but the group were moving towards a strong balance of interesting instrumental qualities with a mainstream rock/pop crossover appeal without sacrificing musical intelligence.

Some will likely be instantly (and unwisely!) put off by the up-tempo poppy opening seconds of lead track `Irgendwo, Irgendwahn', which actually became something of a surprise minor radio hit in Germany for the band at the time. Although it has a rather delirious and energetic repeated synth/guitar theme leaping in here and there, the bulk of the tune settles into a decent rock tune with slight hints of a darker symphonic theme in a few spots that hold a little more weight than the perkier moments. A beautiful short ballad interlude with the first little traces of melancholy seeping in that will show up further on the latter parts of the album, `Wenn Nicht Mehr Zahlen und Figuren', follows, and Fred and the group deliver sublime and exquisite sighing harmonies over gentle acoustic guitars and Lutz Rahn's shimmering subdued synths. The first side closes with a grooving and energetic nine minute rocker `Astralis' that houses Detlef Job's jangling guitars, trickles of Hammond organ and a welcome longer instrumental run in the middle with Heino Schünzel's slowly funky bass and a stomping beat from drummer Hartwig Biereichel, and the frequently reprising soaring theme and boisterous chorus vocal calls to mind the debut 1975 album from Swedish band Kaipa.

The entire second side of the album is comprised of a varied four part suite `Sonnenwende', opening with a cool instrumental introduction driven by thick silken bass gliding behind careful Mellotron veils and chilled-out guitar licks, with a touch of classical piano bombast in the final moments. The piece moves into a slinking dark groover with an intensely maddening repeated chorus and electric guitar bite, followed by a short melancholic piano ballad with restrained power that holds reaching falsetto vocal moments and a stirring and regal extended instrumental outro with gorgeous humming Hammond organ and scratchy Mellotron. The final section and album finale holds a creeping gothic atmosphere, home to gloomy piano and eerie wavering synths, a plodding moribund drum beat, Fred's voice moving between a sorrowful croon and soaring with wounded controlled power, the piece finally culminating in a grandiose storm of organ. Perhaps this `suite' is more a collection of four separate pieces than a genuine extended epic, but it maintains a good flow throughout and doesn't hold a single wasted second of music.

This barely 33 minute album isn't long enough for any filler to creep in, and repeated listens reveal a very addictive and mature collection. Novalis delivered a compact and purposeful rock album brimming with energy and sophistication with `Brandung', and while it's not their best progressive music statement or quite on the same level as the two albums prior for prog rock fans, it still remains a fine adventurous rock album all the same.

Three and a half stars.

 Flossenengel by NOVALIS album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.40 | 56 ratings

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Flossenengel
Novalis Symphonic Prog

Review by Lewian

4 stars After two months listening up and down through Novalis's work, "Flossenengel" emerges as their strongest album, at least for me. Earlier, when reviewing "Clown" I still felt that I should split the price. Now, however, Flossenengel has several tunes spinning around in my head for weeks.

As a concept album, telling the story of some kind of cross between whale and fish being captured, held in a zoo, suffering, and freed by the fisher who initially caught it, it provides Novalis with a great opportunity to combine their tendency toward smaller and more transparent songs that begun with "Brandung" with a bigger overarching structure. Thinking bigger is a winner for the band here, because despite the fact that the different songs are written in a stand-alone fashion without recurring themes over the whole album (apart from some whale sounds in the beginning and end), the concept gives the album flow and cohesion. Throughout their career, the biggest strength of the band has always been the musicality and taste in their arrangements and the careful balance between slower and faster, calmer and louder, more cheerful and sadder parts, and this quality here stretches through the whole album, with a convincing mix of contrasts and changes on one hand and taking time to build up moods and atmospheres on the other hand. Further, the compositions are clearly inspired by how the story goes on, with nice musical interpretations of the limitless freedom in the water, the fight of the fisher with his catch, the beauty of the animal, the melancholy of being captured, a rather aggressive comment on how human beings treat animals in the zoo and so on. A more fitting way of telling this story in music is hard to imagine (which is another strength on many Novalis albums, albeit elsewhere on a lower scale).

Most of the album is on the melodic, soft side of prog, with occasional outbursts of singer Fred Muehlboeck, particularly in the more rocking "Sklavenzoo" and in the finale. Regarding emotions, the album is very versatile, as already pointed out; nice examples are the folk ballad "Flossenengel", "Alle wollen leben" in the style of the optimistic "Irgendwo Irgendwann" of "Brandung", the depressive "Im Netz" and the uplifting "Rueckkehr". The two instrumentals, Atlanto and Walzer fuer einen verlorenen Traum, are among the strongest of the band, combining catchy melodies with dynamic arrangements.

Again, as elsewhere in the band's catalog, there are good guitar and keyboard parts (particularly keyboarder Lutz Rahn is in very good form here; guitarist Job shows the melodic qualities well known from him), and singer Muehlboeck is at his most dynamic (although he somewhat exaggerates it at times). The rhythm section, to be honest, isn't the most exciting, though.

All in all I'd call this the quintessential Novalis album, showing all the strengths of the band embedded in a convincing concept. I give it a very strong 4 stars (some issues with the vocals, and the rather bland rhythm section keep it below 5 but still, listen to this!).

 Brandung by NOVALIS album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.28 | 80 ratings

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Brandung
Novalis Symphonic Prog

Review by Lewian

3 stars Brandung is the first Novalis studio album with the new singer Fred Muehlboeck. It marks a transition from Novalis' more symphonic and epic period to shorter straighter songs. The opener "Irgendwo Irgendwann" shows where Novalis would go after this album. They tried it out as a single with moderate success. It's a very optimistic up-beat rock song with earworm qualities that ended up as a celebrated standard on their concerts until the end of the band. It plays very well to Muehlboeck's show qualities as the band's front man, which was something they didn't have before he entered the band. Given that the rest of the album is of a different mood and style, I'm fine with this song. "Wenn nicht mehr Zahlen und Figuren" is a beautiful, delicate and poetic song inspired by classical music. "Astralis" is powerful prog rock showing off the band's musicality and good hand for melodies and arrangements, although it becomes somewhat repetitive toward the intense end. The second side has the 17-minutes opus "Sonnenwende". This starts with "Brandung", one of their very straight instrumentals with a very nice flute melody. The remainder of Sonnenwende shows the qualities mentioned before again, with pleasant melodies and tasteful arragements. "Sonnenwende" can be seen as four songs; there is not much in terms of recurring or overarching themes that glue the parts together, apart from the lyrics and the fact that the beginning of each part works well at the end of the previous one. What can be criticised about the album and particularly about "Sonnenwende" is that the musical substance is limited. The album is very short, less than 34 minutes, and on top of that there is quite a bit of repetition and some time is spent on predictable variations of the same theme.

Brandung definitely has its moments, but despite it being good to listen to, "Sonnenwende" signifies that such a 17 minutes work doesn't really play to the strengths of the band anymore; the tendency to to go to more transparent and direct songs is already apparent, be it because of Muehlboeck, be it because of a changing taste of other band members, too. The next two albums will see the band elaborating this new approach with Muehlboeck's voice becoming more confident (he is OK here but seems more restricted to a certain range than later, although "Zahlen und Figuren" is sung differently from the others, much more calm and sensitive, and very nice) and more down-to-earth real-life lyrics.

3 1/2 stars.

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