Traumhaus -
Die Andere Seite

(CD 2008 / 2014, 79, 43, PPRCD024)

The tracks:
  1- Die Andere Seite (Part 1)(10:17)
  2- Hinaus(10:07)
  3- Kein Zurück(10:27)
  4- Die Andere Seite (Part 2)(7:08)
  5- Zwiespalt(7:28)
  6- Bleibe Hier(6:57)
  7- Die Andere Seite (Part 3)(10:41)
  8- Zur Andere Seite (piano and vocal version 2009)
  9- The Secret (English vocal band version 2004)

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The original release of the second album by the German prog band Traumhaus took place in 2008, so this is a remastered version with two bonus tracks. On this album the line-up of Traumhaus consists of Alexander Weyland (vocals, keyboards), Tobias Hampl (electric and acoustic guitars, bass), Hans Jörg Schmitz (drums, effects) and Jordan H. Gazall (bass).

The title track consists of three parts. The first part, that lasts more than ten minutes, immediately reveals the musical style of the band: neo-progressive rock in the vein of Saga, IQ and their fellow-countrymen of Martigan and Anyone's Daughter. The music contains many fast synthesizer and Moog solos as well as guitar solos having lots of changes of pace and off course some epic pieces. The rapid succession of the seven tracks gives you the idea that you're in the middle of a Formula 1 race, so at the end you'll feel a bit dizzy after all that racing. However, the second song Hinaus is more well-balanced as far as the slow and speedy parts are concerned. I especially liked the last four minutes of this excellent ten minute long neo-prog piece.

The nice and long intro of Kein Zurück is also characteristic for German prog rock in general: complicated lyrics with symbolic comparisons about love, I guess. After five minutes there's a surprising increase in pace again. The electric guitars and drums are playing as if the devil is at their heels! After three long and very boisterous songs lasting together more than thirty minutes, I longed for a moment of rest. Thank goodness the second part of Die Andere Seite is a ballad, but I just got seven minutes to catch my breath before the heavy metal rocker Zwiespalt entered my brain. The bombastic music came from all sides of my room to terrorize my ears. I felt knocked down after so much noise!

Bleibe Hier doesn't differ that much from the previous songs, and slowly the music was getting on my nerves. Please, give me some moments of rest since my ears can't bear it any longer! The last part of the musical triptych Die Andere Seite starts with a Dream Theater like guitar riff. The bass playing by Gazall is impressive and the lyrics sung by Weyland give you a lot to think about. However, I got one big problem with Traumhaus's music: the lack of a simple chorus or refrain. The bonus tracks contain the same positive and negative elements I already mentioned with the other songs.

The music of Traumhaus is very complex, but also intelligent and worthwhile listening to for all people who love neo-progressive rock. One final warning: please, listen only to the music and don't do anything else...  

***+ Cor Smeets (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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