Traumhaus - 'Ausgeliefert' / 'Die Andere Seite' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 24, 2015    
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One talent that shouldn't be confined to the occasional album and gig in his home country.

I always like to think that I know more than most about this wide-ranging thing we call Rock music, but the more I look around the world, the less I think I really know. I'm always surprised when I come across a long-standing outfit I hadn't previously heard of, especially in my speciality areas of Progressive Rock and Metal, Hard Rock and AOR, so here is my second new discovery of this issue, German Progressive Rockers Traumhaus. With three albums and an EP under their belts, (these are expanded re-issues of their first two records), it's perhaps the fact that front-man and keyboard player Alexander Weyland sings in his native language that's the biggest reason they haven't made waves elsewhere. Also, whilst I don't think the German language works well in melodic music, their instrumental prowess and classy amalgam of band like Eloy, Spock's Beard, Anyone's Daughter and Saga should surely find them more admirers.

'Ausgeliefert' was originally released in 2001 and is a very well produced and written collection of tunes that run the gamut of Prog sounds and styles, from the bouncy Neo-Prog of opener 'Aufwärts' to the Kansas-like piano and violin intro to the sub eighteen minute title-track, a powerful and moody piece with long instrumental parts like country-men Eloy. 'Wandler' is another Eloy-like outing with nice acoustic guitar and piano and soaring synth solos, whilst 'Peter & Der Wolf' is a meandering instrumental that not only features melodic guitar and keyboard interplay but frequently breaks down into the James Bond theme. 'Navanita' is a subtle instrumental with some great musicianship and 'Am Abgrund' comes across as a German Gentle Giant with its quirky a cappella vocals. Only the rather pedestrian 'Das Neue' fails to impress, the re-issue stretched out to eighty minutes by two more instrumentals from 2004 that would go on to be included in longer songs on the next album.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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That next album didn't surface until 2008, by which time leader Weyland was the sole surviving member of the band. However, he seems to have surrounded himself with stronger musicians, especially guitarist/bassist Tobias Hampl who distinguishes himself with strong performances on both instruments. Seeming a concept album of sorts (don't ask me what about!) the seven song 'Die Andere Seite' is held together by the three-part title track as tracks one, four and seven, the first and fourth sharing recurring themes and showcasing a Rockier and slightly more modern sound this time out, with more melodic and memorable vocal parts and some stunning melodies. There are more great parts to the ten minute 'Hinaus' with its syncopated rhythms and memorable chorus, and moments of Dream Theater-esque moodiness in the bass-driven 'Kein Zurück', whilst the brooding 'Zwiespalt' and melodramatic 'Bleibe Hier' throw in some samples and loops and come across like the Kevin Moore/Jim Matheos collaboration O.S.I.

Again two bonus tracks bump up the running time, a simple piano and vocal version of the main theme from the title track and a wonderful epic song called 'The Secret' that Weyland sings in English. The two remarkable things here are that Weyland doesn't really have that much of an accent, and that I'd thought the song was a bit SB-like even before I read that the drummer on this recently recorded session was SB's Jimmy Keegan. So, if you can get past the German vocals there's plenty to like here for the fan of Neo-Prog, with long, soaring, uplifting passages and stellar musicianship that reminds you why you love this music in the first place. Expertly produced by Weyland himself, he's one talent that shouldn't be confined to the occasional album and gig in his home country.

Phil Ashcroft

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