It's always difficult for a band to choose the right song to open a new album, and it's exactly that what's my first - and only - problem with the re-release of debut album Ausgeliefert from the German neo prog band Traumhaus.
Instead of the first song Aufwärts I prefer to start with the second song Ausgeliefert. In my opinion Aufwärts is played much too fast and it feels like being a nervous rabbit hunted by a pack of dogs. It's a combination of two Marillion songs: Garden Party and Market Square Heroes. The seventeen minutes long song Ausgeliefert starts with a long piano intro and orchestral violins, followed by pounding drums and guitars in the vein of the heavy metal progressive rock band Dream Theater. After four minutes lead singer Alexander Weyland (who also plays the keyboards) tells a fascinating story in his native German language of course. Traumhaus then creates a powerful duel between the guitar of Tobias Hampl, Till Ottinger's bass and the drums of Ray Gattner, followed by a three-minute long Mike Holmes (IQ) like guitar solo and a Mike Varty (Landmarq) keyboard solo, and next Alexander sings about his pain of old memoires and wants to get out. The beginning of Zu Spät is like a very early Yes song, changing into a typical German prog song, similar to that of their fellow countrymen (and old heroes) Novalis. Peter & The Wolf is a hulking, bombastic and pompous instrumental with bass, guitar and drums as key players. Just try to discover the short James Bond-theme in it. You're being screwed out by Die Wändler, not simply a romantic ballad by ending in a fast and furious keyboard solo, brilliantly played by lead singer Alexander. Das Neue has a flashy start also. A madman playing with his electronics, hounded by the power drums and guitar riffs. As if that's not enough, the second instrumental Navanita, throws a few extras. The superhuman bass is inimitable, as if a boxer has to endure 22 uppercuts!! Please knock me down.... The last song from the original album is Am Abgrund. It's a little bit of a melting pot of the music by Spocks Beard, Genesis and IQ. There's always a kind of superficial tension in the music, and the end is typical to neo-prog. The penultimate instrumental song - Die Reise - unfortunately is too busy for me. It makes me nervous and restless. Last, again, instrumental song, is Die Andere Seite. Here the individual instruments all get to play kind of short solos, but the most interesting instrument is Rays excellent drumming this time.
If you want a very long ride in a spectacular (mainly neo-prog) musical landscape, then Traumhaus offers you such a journey.
**** Cor Smeets (edited by Esther Ladiges)
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