Nowadays, a progressive rock album of which the lyrics are sung in German is rare. In the seventies and the eighties it was rather common though. Bands as Anyone's Daughter, Grobschnitt and Novalis made music that was called krautrock. At the time they proved that it was possible to play progressive rock without the habitual English lyrics.
However, recently I got a promo from the German outfit Traumpfad, a band that writes their lyrics in their native language as well. In 2004 they released the eponymous debut album followed by Die Kreise Schließen Sich (2006). Their latest record Aufbruch was released early 2011.
At the time Aufbruch was recorded the band consisted of Andi Brandl (drums), Marko Effenberger (guitar), Jonny Faggetter (bass), Flo Huber (lead vocals) and Matthias Unterhuber (keyboards). The additional female vocals were done by Anja Lange. The music on this album can be described best as neo-progressive rock. Due to the excellent keyboard playing the music strongly refers to bands like Pendragon, Pallas, IQ and early Marillion. However, the above-mentioned German bands crossed my mind as well, but on this album the sound is much better than in the early days of krautrock. Of course this is partly due to the improved studio techniques, but also to Yogi Lang (RPWL), who produced this record. He provided for a very transparent sound leaving much room for details. I think not everybody will enjoy the German vocals, but if you don't have any problems with listening to languages other than English, you might have a lot of pleasure with this album.
The ten songs on Aufbruch are strong enough to keep you focused. The only critical remark that I can think of is that the lead singer should try to sing more varied on the band's next album. After a while the vocal lines tend to sound alike. However, in general I would like to advise Traumpfad to carry on with recording this kind of strong progressive rock music.
This album is recommended to people who like the music made by bands as IQ, Pendragon or Pallas and to people who have no problems with the German language.
***+ Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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