Every time a new album recorded by the Austrian musician Gerald Krampl enters my mailbox, I keep hoping that it will contain true progressive rock music, the kind of music he used to create in bands as Kyrie Eleison and Indigo. However, after reviewing Timediver (2008, see review), Innocent Wasteland (2009, see review) and Lighthouse (2010, see review), I more or less lost my faith that this will ever happen. On all of these solo albums I heard a musician that turned his back on prog rock and embraced a style that I regard to be minimal music, ambient or new age.
After putting his new album Wonder Way in my CD player, I was momentarily surprised by what I heard on my headphones: nice parts performed on the acoustic piano. Could it be that he had returned to his old love? Well, after I'd listened to the other songs I knew that this wasn't the case. This time Gerard Krampl was probably inspired by the great composers that wrote classical music for grand piano and violin since that's exactly what I heard from the opening tune Flight Of The Gondolfiers until the last track By The End Of The Day (For H.). Krampl tries hard to sound like a classical composer. He's accompanied on viola and violin by Peter Sagaischek of the Vienna Volksopern Orchestra. Initially these compositions sound nice, but after a while they tend to sound all the same with little variation. Even by adding some additional synthesizer parts he didn't succeed in sounding differently. I certainly had wished that this time I could write a positive review about a solo effort by Gerald Krampl.
For a better understanding of the music on this album I would like to add a few quotes of this musician, because the music also has a certain meaning. In his own words: “The album contains musical reflections of scenes and dreams from a journey full of wonders through life”. And furthermore he stated: “I created very intimate songs that are inspired either by real life sceneries or imaginations, reflecting the associated inner feelings in a minimalistic, classical style, sparely enhanced with electronic embellishments.”
Despite my negative criticism I can recommend this album to people who love classical music, new age and ambient music. I guess I'm not really into this type of music after all!
** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
Where to buy?
All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2013