Frank Rohles -
Trapped In A New World Pt.2

(CD 2019, 71:27, Private Release)

The tracks:
  1- Follow Me To The Other Side(13:29)
  2- Trapped In A New World(11:41)
  3- Life Trough A Lens(14:41)
  4- I May Break Out Of Here(10:43)
  5- I Need To Break Out(8:15)
  6- After This Journey(12:38)

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How often does it happen that a progressive rock act releases its albums very quickly after each other? Not very often, I guess. However, there are always exceptions to the rule. A good example is how the German multi-instrumentalist and composer Frank Rohles released Trapped In A New World Pt.1 (see review) and its successor Trapped In A New World Pt.2 within a couple of months. Rohles was able to release the first part on September 20, 2019, while the second was released only three months later on December 20. Maybe Trapped In A New World could have been a double album after all. But I think he made the right decision to release them separately. As a double album, many of the songs would not have been played after each other or even never been heard. Listening to a double album takes too much time, and people don't have it nowadays. Now with two albums released separately, you have the time to digest the music on both releases much easier. Background Magazine didn't get a review copy of Trapped In A New World Pt.2 immediately after it came out. Therefore, a review is only on our website now.

At the time I wrote in my review of part 1, the following words; “Trapped In A New World Part 1 is without doubt for me personally one of the biggest musical surprises of 2019. Lovers of Saga, The Electric Light Orchestra, Pink Floyd, Toto and Queen are advised to check out this fine release. Do it fast because Trapped In A New World Part 2 might be already out when you read this review. Probably it will be of the same high musical level as you can hear on part 1. I hardly can't wait to get my hands on that one too! All I can say is well done Frank!”. Well Frank and his fellow musician who recorded part 2, didn't let me down. Because once again an amazing album is released to the progressive rock scene.

Those who own a copy of part one, must have enjoyed the strong vocal parts of Michael Sadler. He gave two tracks a typical Saga sound. But this time around he wasn't needed which left most of the lead vocals to Frank himself. However, he is listed in the credits under "Overall lyrical editing and guidance".

As for the concept of Trapped In A New World there are certain similarities with Pink Floyd's The Wall, released in 1979. So exactly forty years later, both are dealing about a person who is trapped in his mental mind andcan't handle the outside world anymore. Both are saying:”Goodbye cruel world, I am leaving here today”.

Also, music wise Pink Floyd is once again a big influence and inspiration for Rohles. Right from the start of the opening piece Follow Me To The Other Side you can enjoy the strong David Gilmour influenced guitar parts. Wonderfully done and sometimes you not only hear rock or progressive rock parts but also the blues are there to enjoy too. Special mentioning here are the duo lead vocals between Frank and Brigitte Oelke. Anyone who saw We Will Rock You in Germany, the Queen musical in which Frank plays the guitar parts, might remember this strong female singer in the role of "Killer Queen". Perhaps there is a bit of similarity with the way Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush sang on Don't Give Up, taken from Gabriel's fifth studio album So released in 1986.

When you hear the intro of the title track, which is next to Follow Me To The Other Side, you can't deny that some parts played on the electric guitar sound like the intro of Shine On You Crazy Diamond., released on Wish You Were Here back in 1975. So much more of Pink Floyd influences to enjoy. Yes, to enjoy! Because it is so well done in combination with flamenco parts played on the acoustic guitar.

But it's not only Pink Floyd that you hear throughout the entire album. The music of Neal Morse seemed to be an inspiration as well. Just listen to songs like Life Through A Lens, I May Break Out Of Here or the final track After This Journey. A song which is very melancholic and has certainly some similarity with The Spirit Carries On. A track which can be found on Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory. Released in 2006 by Dream Theater.

Mentioning Dream Theater certainly brings to the surface the heavy guitar parts (played by Frank himself), which you can hear on the entire album next to the fantastic orchestral and classical keyboard parts performed by his son Marc Rohles. If you mention one of the main musicians on this fine album you can't afford not to mention the other important contributor. Namely drummer Acki Janßen. His parts are always great and give a lot of groove and strong rhythms to the excellent compositions. Mentioning those heavy guitar riffs and parts certainly doesn't mean you are dealing here with heavy metal music. No way! They give the songs a lot of variety together with the melodic parts. Variety is the very spice of life after all!

Trapped In A New World Part 1 is an excellent album. And so is Trapped In A New World Part 2. Even if some parts on it reminded me of other well-known tunes. Therefore, I can without any doubt recommend this strong album to every fan of melodic prog with a penchant for Neal Morse, Boston, Toto, Dream Theater and Pink Floyd. It has a lot to offer for the progfan with a penchant for more melodic compositions and never disappoints. So once again I can say “Well done Frank!”. You entertained me throughout the entire album. And that's all that matters.

**** Henri Strik (edited by Dave Smith)

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